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Archive for Sunday, January 5, 2014

The year ahead in higher education

January 5, 2014

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Colleges and universities are bustling, busy places. To help keep up, here's a look ahead to what 2014 holds for regional schools.

Kansas University

The new year will bring plenty of new construction, new faces and new developments at Kansas University and its campuses. Among the new construction projects:

  • The KU School of Business will begin construction on a long-coveted new building.
  • An addition to Marvin Hall, which will house the KU School of Architecture, Design and Planning's very first lecture room, is slated to be completed by the school's Studio 804 class next fall, the school has said.
  • KU's "master plan" for development will head into the final phases of its creation and approval next year. This new plan will be more easy to revise (the campus has only had five master plans in 100 years) and will outline ways the university can expand into the western campus, create new research communities and increase mobility across campus.

A veritable crowd will step into key administrative positions across KU in 2014:

  • Michael Roberts, the former founding director of the KU clinical child psychology program, will replace Thomas Heilke as the dean of KU Graduate Studies.
  • Derek Kwan, an executive at Lincoln Center in New York, will take over as executive director of the Lied Center of Kansas following Tim Van Leer's retirement.
  • Jonathan Earle, a KU associate professor of history, will lead the KU Honors Program starting in January 2014, following current director Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett's retirement.
  • A yet-to-be-announced candidate will become dean of the KU School of Medicine in 2014, replacing Barbara Atkinson, who retired in 2012.

KU will also be closely following some targets related to its long-term strategic plan, "Bold Aspirations." KU spokesman Jack Martin highlighted some key points:

  • The university hopes to see continued growth in its incoming freshman class, as well as growth in the standardized test scores and diversity of that class.
  • The university looks to be more competitive in attracting students to its master's programs, which saw a decrease of 3,514 students in 2013. The university will also try to win top Ph.D. recruits to the university through new doctoral fellowships.
  • In undergraduate programs, more classes will be added next year to the new KU Core curriculum, the recent university-wide revamp of its general education requirements.

Baker University

  • Baker will have a new president in Lynn Murray, who will leave her post as vice president of development, alumni and international relations at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. to replace outgoing Baker president Pat Long, who announced in February she would retire.
  • Baker will also replace the longtime and much-beloved head of Student Health services, Ruth Sarna, who served more than 15,000 students, staff and faculty since she came on as director in 1989. Sarna retired in December.
  • Baker will be adding some new academic programs to its offerings next year, including a bachelor of science in accounting at its Overland Park campus and an online bachelor of science in mass media, the university said in December.

Haskell Indian Nations University

  • Haskell is still awaiting a new president to replace Chris Redman, who left his post in May. Seven candidates visited Haskell in October to interview for the job. The federal Bureau of Indian Education will make the final decision on the university's new president.

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