Heard on the Hill: This week’s events include panel on amateurism in college sports, Pulitzer-winning author’s lecture; roundup of recent faculty, staff honors

Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• Today’s will be a quick-hit version of Heard on the Hill, because who wants to read more than a sentence or two on any one subject on Monday morning?

First up, a few events of interest happening on campus this week:

  • In case you haven’t heard about it, I’ll again mention that 91-year-old World War II Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez will receive a degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at 11 a.m. today in the Lied Center pavilion. I’ll be there to witness what should be an incredible story.

  • Also today will be a panel discussion about a topic in which I’m sure a few readers have an interest: the amateurism, or perhaps lack thereof, of big-time college athletes. It will be led by health, sport and exercise professor Angela Lumpkin, who argues that those athletes could hardly be called amateurs. From 12:30-2 p.m. in the Media Crossroads area on the fourth floor of the Kansas Union, she’ll discuss “A Plan to Save Big Time Collegiate Sports,” along with a student athletics representative, an associate athletics director and a former faculty athletics representative. It’s free and open to anyone.

  • Finally, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author will speak on campus Wednesday night. Stephen Greenblatt wrote “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern,” which won a Pulitzer in 2011, and he’ll deliver a lecture with the same title at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Kansas Union’s Woodruff Auditorium. He’s a humanities professor at Harvard and an expert on Shakespeare and the Renaissance. This is part of the Humanities Lecture Series by the Hall Center for the Humanities.

• Next is a round-up of some honors awarded to KU faculty and staff recently:

  • During the men’s basketball game Friday, five instructors were given Outstanding Educator awards by the KU chapter of the Mortar Board honor society: William Beedles, a business professor and director of undergraduate programs for the School of Business; Victoria Corbin, an associate professor of molecular biosciences; Tammara Durham, vice provost for student affairs; David McLeod, a biology lecturer and director of anatomy labs; and Kala Stroup, an honors emeritus faculty member and Honors Program internship adviser.

  • Political science professor Erik Herron today will officially receive the 2012 George and Eleanor Woodyard International Educator Award from the Office of International Programs. That one goes each year to a faculty member who’s helped expand the university’s international reach.

  • And two faculty members are among the first-ever class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society for 2013, which consists of 1,119 mathematicians from more than 600 institutions. (Perhaps the number 1,119 has some sort of mathematical significance?) They are Judy Roitman, a professor of mathematics, and Rodolfo Torres, also a professor of mathematics as well as associate vice chancellor of research and graduate students and vice president of the KU Center for Research.

• We’ll keep this part short, too: Send your KU news tips to merickson@ljworld.com.