Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.
• We’ll ring in the new year here at Heard on the Hill World Headquarters at Seventh and New Hampshire with this news story in the New York Times written by two KU professors.
James Gentry, a KU journalism professor and former dean, and Raquel Alexander, a professor in the KU School of Business who studies taxation, dug through a bunch of football coaching contracts to see what they could find.
Their main story focuses much on the contracts of the two coaches in the upcoming national title game — LSU’s Les Miles and Alabama’s Nick Saban.
They talk a lot about the various perks that come in these contracts these days, and mention a bit about Turner Gill and Charlie Weis’ contracts in this sidebar story.
Weis gets reasonable travel expenses for his wife and two children paid for so they can attend KU road games, the article points out. That’s particularly meaningful, I’d imagine, for his wife and daughter, who live in Ocala, Fla.
The article also said Gill received a “grossed up” payment of about $355,000 to ensure he had a tax-free $200,000 to buy out his contract with the University of Buffalo.
• A thousand thanks to the magnificent crowd of Heard on the Hill tipsters who showed their brilliance once again by tracking down that one “JAYHAWK” license plate tag I was looking for last week.
As it turns out, not just one, but two different tipsters pointed me in the direction of Pamela Barker, a 1973 KU journalism alumna living in Minneapolis, Kan., as the owner of the plate. UPDATE: Though I said earlier a separate story would be available on this fine website, that's obviously not true. But it is now scheduled to run later.
One person also alerted me that there may yet be another “JAYHAWK” plate out there. Even though only one regular personalized plate with "JAYHAWK" on it is allowed in the entire state, apparently an antique plate that reads “JAYHAWK” is OK, too.
My tipster alerted me to one possible antique “JAYHAWK” plate in Liberal, on a 1935 Buick, but I was unable to track that person down. Fun stuff.
• KU has posted the newly-created job of vice provost for student affairs.
This position is one part of the shakeup that followed the resignation of Marlesa Roney, former vice provost for student success. UPDATE: In the latest in the "I shouldn't trust my memory files," I erroneously stated earlier in this post that Roney's position came about after the termination of Richard Johnson, the former dean of students. That's not right — it was formed in a reorganization after the retirement of David Ambler, the longtime senior student affairs officer.
But the job posting gives us a glimpse into what it will look like moving forward. It lists the various departments in student affairs: Counseling and Psychological Services, Department of Student Housing, Hilltop Child Development Center, KU Memorial Unions, KU Recreation Services, Legal Services for Students, Student Health Services, Student Involvement and Leadership Center, Student Conduct, Parent Programs and Student Money Management.
The person would also be the new liaison to KU's Student Senate.
Tammara Durham is serving in the role currently on an interim basis.
• I actually heard from a reader who was disappointed that I didn’t work the word “kerfuffle” into every post last week like I’d promised. I’ll have to do better, but in the meantime, you can create your own kerfuffle by sending me a tip for Heard on the Hill at email@example.com.