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Archive for Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Heard on the Hill: KU film professor Kevin Willmott making new ‘Jayhawkers’ movie; law school welcomes new faculty; KU Hospital to occupy space in new building

July 18, 2012

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• Kevin Willmott, a KU professor of film, is working on a new project, and this time he’s tackling the subject of KU basketball.

His new project, “Jayhawkers,” is a drama that looks at famous basketball player Wilt Chamberlain’s experience being recruited and being in Lawrence in the 1950s, when he discovered it “was a world separated by black and white,” according to the film’s description. The film also explores the role the “youthful and progressive” Chancellor Franklin Murphy played in Chamberlain’s recruiting.

It looks like the film is still in the pre-production stages.

Willmott also made “CSA: Confederate States of America,” which explored what the country would be like if the South had won the Civil War. His latest film, “The Only Good Indian,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

You can find all sorts of other information about the film at its Kickstarter fundraising page.

• I’ve been in communication with each of the deans of KU’s 13 schools for our annual KU Today edition, and had conversations of varying lengths for a story I wrote for that edition.

Each of the deans told me a whole bunch of stuff, not all of which fit in the space allotted. One thing I heard from Stephen Mazza, dean of the School of Law, was that he seemed particularly excited about the hiring of “two outstanding lateral hires” to the school’s faculty.

Corey Yung, he said, is a nationally recognized scholar in sex crimes and judicial decision-making. He comes to KU from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

The other is Elizabeth Kronk, who will join the faculty from Texas Tech and will direct the school’s Tribal Law and Governance Center.

The school lost Stacy Leeds, the previous director of that center, to the University of Arkansas, where she is now serving as dean.

• KU Hospital will operate an inpatient acute rehabilitation center in 27,800 square feet of space on the second floor of a new mixed-use development at 39th Street and Rainbow Boulevard in Kansas City, Kan.

If you haven’t been by that area lately, there’s a large, new development at the southwest corner of the intersection. The first phase includes an 83-room Holiday Inn Express and Suites, a Five Guys Burgers & Fries and other retail shops.

The second phase will bring the KU Hospital addition, along with two other floors being leased by Kansas City Transitional Care Center, a subsidiary of Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc., which will operate a post-acute skilled nursing rehabilitation center on the building’s third and fourth floors.

The first floor will feature a common lobby and other dining and retail shops. The building is expected to be completed in the fall of 2013.

• Followers of the LJWorld Twitter account had the distinct pleasure (and boy, I'm sure that's the word, too) of seeing me run for journalism on Tuesday. I know I said "never again," but just imagine how far I’d run if I wake up on Wednesday morning and my inbox at ahyland@ljworld.com is stuffed full of tips for Heard on the Hill.

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