Heard on the Hill: KU medical dean in Wichita returns from India; ‘godfather’ weighs in on woo debate; I’m looking for new things going on in your world

Your Friday the 13th edition of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• David Wilson, the dean of the KU School of Medicine in Wichita, continues to be KU’s only blogging dean (though the last time I mentioned deans on Twitter, one snuck up on me that I didn’t realize, so I should probably be more careful about saying things like that).

But, anyway, Wilson’s most recent post detailed a trip to India.

He was setting up an exchange program with the Shri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Medical and Health Sciences.

Wilson wrote that he had a chance to inspect the quarters where students will stay.

“There are no color TVs, no novels on the shelves to be read,” Wilson wrote. “But, they’re only going for a month and they’re going to learn a lot!”

He also reported that the nearby hospital had many patients, something that’s good for students, too. He brought back signed documents to set up an exchange, which will be forwarded along to KU Medical Center in Kansas City.

• So I’ve probably written way too much about that darned woo in the Rock Chalk Chant. I acknowledge this up front. But I couldn’t resist one additional update.

A piece of actual postal mail made its way to my desk this week. It was an anonymous missive that appeared to be written on a typewriter, but I couldn’t quite tell.

“I thought I would give my own personal ruling about the debate that has surfaced concerning the ‘woo’ in the Jayhawk chant,” the letter said.

The writer identifies himself as “a godfather” (though not “the godfather of all Jayhawks, but I definitely am a godfather”).

The letter goes on for awhile, when the godfather mentions that he understands fans’ concern. But he takes a different view.

“It’s a bit like historic site preservationists wanting to restore and preserve a building in its original condition,” the godfather said. “There is nobility and much to be commended in these efforts, and yet change occurs all around us, and none of us can stop time and render the world motionless and static.”

And then he issues his ruling: the woo is OK.

My real question is: who might this person be? If Jayhawks have godfathers that love wooing, who do you suspect?

• I spotted a good question on another higher education blog I follow (the Chronicle of Higher Education’s ProfHacker, to be specific), and figured I’d ask this community, too.

As journalists, we have a rather insatiable desire for new stuff. I ask lots of people what’s new all the time, but I can’t know all of it, so if you’re trying something new — in your teaching, in your research or anywhere else on the hill — you know where to find me. I may not be a Jayhawk godfather, but I can write a mean Heard on the Hill, and your tips keep it afloat, so keep sending them to ahyland@ljworld.com.