Archive for Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Heard on the Hill: Chesapeake Energy donation is still on track; State Department hits the brakes on Confucius Institute directive; website ranks KU as best university to work for

May 29, 2012


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• After some recent news stories about the struggles of Chesapeake Energy (here’s one that provides a recent wrap-up), the nation’s second-largest natural gas producer, I was curious to know if the company’s announced $5 million donation toward an expansion of Lindley Hall and KU’s new Energy and Environment Center would be affected at all.

Dale Seuferling, president of the KU Endowment Association, told me while he’s seen some of the stories that are out there, he has no reason to believe the donation won’t come in as scheduled.

The company is on a payment plan, he said, and has already made some payments.

“They’ve paid. They’re current,” he said.

• All that stuff about the State Department wreaking havoc on Confucius Institutes from last week?

Yeah, well, never mind, apparently.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, which first reported the story, is now saying that the government has backed off an initial directive that would have said that Chinese schoolteachers sponsored by the institutes, which are administered by the Chinese government and promote Chinese language and culture, would have to leave the country because of visa issues.

A new directive said that universities should contact the State Department and that a “transition time” would be provided to find groups to sponsor teacher visas.

Chinese officials had said the U.S. action could “harm” exchanges between the two countries.

• Also thanks to a few tipsters who pointed out that KU ranked as the best college or university to work for, according to the Business Research Guide.

I don’t know very much about the Business Research Guide or its methodology, but it appears to be something like a startup consulting firm trying to make some inroads by ranking the best places to work in a variety of different fields.

The site praises KU for placing “a high value on the input of its faculty in the decision making process and internal communications.”

One potential reason for caution, though. The website praises Brown University for its child care, but commenters on the site indicate that Brown recently shuttered its child care center.

Iowa State University and Brigham Young University rounded out the top three on the list.

• Heard on the Hill would definitely win the best online column to write award, but that’s only because of the awesome tips you send in to


MyOpinionCounts 5 years, 9 months ago

Apparently, they don't work for the University of Kansas.

Clark Coan 5 years, 9 months ago

KU classified employees are paid well below average wages for public universities. Some only get $9.00/hour and they keep the university running.

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