KU news

Visiting KU professor shares Israeli perception of Netanyahu visit
05:28 p.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 10:21 p.m.
Many Israelis are cynical about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the United States, viewing it as an attempt to drum up popularity for his reelection that could even harm Israel’s relationship with America, a Kansas University visiting professor says. While Israelis see party politics of one kind — Netanyahu’s Likud v. Herzog’s Zionist Union — many Americans are talking about other party politics in connection with the visit — Republican v. Democrat. By Sara Shepherd
Academic freedom: Scholarly concept sparks lively mainstream debate
March 1, 2015
Academic freedom is a source of lively debate right now among some at Kansas University, where the cases of two faculty members have propelled the term out of academia and into mainstream headlines. And KU is not the only school with academic freedom disputes making the news. By Sara Shepherd
Natasha Trethewey, former U.S. Poet Laureate, to visit KU
March 1, 2015
Former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey will speak and read from selected works at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union. The event, titled “Poetry and History: An Evening with U.S. Poet Laureate (2012-2014) Natasha Trethewey,” is free and open to the public.
Racial divide: Theatre Lawrence, KU Theatre collaboration examines race, property
March 1, 2015
If talking about race makes you uncomfortable, it may be time to ask yourself why. That’s the idea behind Theatre Lawrence’s current production, “Clybourne Park,” which opened Friday and is being staged in conjunction with KU Theatre’s “A Raisin in the Sun.”
FAA rules mean KU Athletics can’t pay for flights on university planes
March 1, 2015
Although Kansas University Athletics had almost $97.7 million in revenue last year, when its officials fly on KU jets, the expenses are paid for with public money. Federal Aviation Administration rules prohibit the university’s aviation services from accepting payment from anyone, including KU Athletics, for flights, university communications director Erinn Barcomb-Peterson said.
KU Endowment pays to purchase planes
Company that sold a jet ‘time-share’ to KU is owned by endowment committee member
12:00 a.m., March 1, 2015 Updated 05:14 p.m.
Taxpayers fund the operation of Kansas University’s aircraft, but the planes themselves have been purchased with private donations from the Kansas University Endowment Association, the independent, non-profit fundraising organization for KU.
KU medical program uses planes to provide treatment for rural Kansans
March 1, 2015
For several decades, KU Medical Center has had a rural medical treatment program that allows doctors who specialize in serious diseases to treat patients in rural areas via a video conferencing system and then fly to those areas, generally once a month, to examine patients in person. KU’s rural medical outposts are in Salina, Hays, Goodland and Garden City. KU also flies doctors from Wichita to Pittsburg, and Wichita to Garden City as part of the Ryan White HIV Satellite Clinics program.
Taxpayers footing the bill for hundreds of flights that KU defends as essential
March 1, 2015
In January 2014, former Kansas University head football coach Charlie Weis and his wife, Maura, flew to Belmar, N.J., to recruit players. The cost to taxpayers for the round-trip flight? $19,682.61. That’s because the Weises flew on a jet owned by KU rather than taking a commercial flight. Over five years, KU has spent $3.5 million flying coaches, administrators and others on some 641 trips, mostly on university-owned aircraft but occasionally on state-owned or charter planes. The trips were aimed at snagging top-notch professors, athletes, students and researchers, as well as attending sports and academic meetings, basketball and golf tournaments, funerals and donor events in Kansas and nationwide. By Karen Dillon
KU School of Music to host Jazz Festival this week
February 28, 2015
The Kansas University School of Music will host the 38th Annual Jazz Festival concerts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Kansas Union’s Woodruff Auditorium.
KU professor creating digital app to interpret black teen’s 1955 murder
02:39 p.m., February 26, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
Founders of the Emmett Till Interpretive Center in Sumner, Miss., have dealt with numerous roadblocks to commemorating the black teenager’s 1955 killing. Among them, many versions of Till’s death circulate in the area, and roadside markers at significant sites have been stolen or shot and replaced, only to disappear again. A Kansas University faculty member is working on an app for that. By Sara Shepherd
KU jazz colloquium to feature scholars, performance
February 26, 2015
Scholars and artists will discuss the idea of “place” within creative improvisation during a colloquium next week at Kansas University.
After years of decline, KU spring enrollment increases slightly
08:39 a.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 10:05 p.m.
After four years of decline, Kansas University’s Lawrence campus reported a small uptick in spring enrollment after totaling numbers from a count taken last week on the 20th day of classes. Total enrollment on the Lawrence campus went up 85 students, or .4 percent, from 22,971 in spring 2014 to 23,056 in spring 2015, according to the university. By Sara Shepherd
KU taking piecemeal approach to $4.8 million budget cuts for current fiscal year
06:08 p.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 10:21 p.m.
Responding to statewide spending cuts announced earlier this month by Gov. Sam Brownback, needed to close a budget gap created by lower-than-projected state revenue, KU leaders are discussing how to trim $2.7 million from the Lawrence campus budget and $2.1 from KU Medical Center for this fiscal year, which ends June 30.
Kansas University Honor Roll for fall 2014
February 24, 2015
Approximately 4,970 undergraduate students at Kansas University earned honor roll distinction for the fall 2014 semester.
Irving Hill overpass to be painted ‘KU blue’ as part of improvement project
11:51 a.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 10:27 p.m.
By summer’s end, the Irving Hill Road bridge over Iowa Street will be bright blue with “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” on one side and “The University of Kansas” on the other. That’s according to a plan announced Tuesday by KU. By Sara Shepherd
KU project explores black writers with Kansas ties
07:22 p.m., February 23, 2015 Updated 10:20 p.m.
In observance of Black History Month, Kansas University Libraries in conjunction with KU’s Project on the History of Black Writing will host a program that explores black writers with roots in the Sunflower State.
Final architecture dean candidate to visit KU on Wednesday
05:34 p.m., February 23, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
The fourth and final candidate for dean of the Kansas University School of Architecture, Design and Planning will give a public presentation from 1 to 2:15 p.m. Wednesday at The Forum in Marvin Hall, with a reception immediately following. Bruce Stiftel is professor of city and regional planning and chair of the School of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Institute of Technology.
KU’s Murphy Hall houses Oscar treasure
February 21, 2015
Go ahead — ask Kathy Pryor about Oscar. In addition to her duties as managing director and budget officer of theater at Kansas University, Pryor also serves as a caretaker of sorts for a 53-year-old Academy Award statuette that once belonged to playwright, novelist and KU alumnus William Inge.
Foreign language enrollment at KU: Down but hardly out
Mirroring national trend, enrollment has declined even as globalization grows
February 21, 2015
After a period of growth, enrollment in foreign languages at the college level has gone down in recent years. That’s also been the case at Kansas University, which prides itself on being a national leader in the study of foreign languages — offering courses in 40 of them, more than any other school in the Big 12 or the entire plains area. Is declining enrollment threatening KU’s program? KU language leaders say no. Rather, it underlines the need for rethinking it, a process KU has already started. By Sara Shepherd
With Ukraine cease-fire violated, future is uncertain, KU professor says
February 21, 2015
When Vitaly Chernetsky speaks with his family and friends in his Ukrainian hometown of Odessa, he tries to express empathy and offer his support to those living in a country that has been ravaged by violence between its government and Russian-backed separatists for the past year and a half. By Conrad Swanson
KU’s first all-woman, all-African-American debate team to compete in national tournament
02:55 p.m., February 20, 2015 Updated 10:05 p.m.
Kansas University’s debate team of Jyleesa Hampton, a senior from Overland Park, and Quaram Robinson, a freshman from Round Rock, Texas, have been selected as a first-round, at-large qualifier for the National Debate Tournament, the university said in a release.
Creator of KU’s most famous bronze sculptures dies at 95
05:20 p.m., February 19, 2015 Updated 10:11 p.m.
A bronze sculptor and professor emeritus who created some of Kansas University’s most iconic public art died this week. Elden Tefft’s Academic Jay stands alert in front of Strong Hall, and his monolithic Moses kneels outside Smith Hall, across from the Kansas Union. By Sara Shepherd
KU high among schools with most Fulbright Scholars
01:52 p.m., February 19, 2015 Updated 10:09 p.m.
With six faculty members designated as U.S. Fulbright Scholars this year, Kansas University is tied for having the fifth-most of any college in the country, according to a recently released list. The fifth-place ranking is KU’s highest since 2011, when only Harvard University had more Fulbright scholars than KU, according to KU.
KU School of Music to host Annual Scholarship Concert
February 18, 2015
The Kansas University School of Music will host its Annual Scholarship Concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive.
Visiting ceramic artist to discuss ‘Wildness Within’ at KU
February 18, 2015
Beth Cavener, a Washington state-based artist known for creating emotionally charged animal sculptures, will talk about her creative process Thursday at the Spencer Museum of Art.
KU proposal aims to alert transfer schools about students expelled for sexual assault
05:06 p.m., February 18, 2015 Updated 10:05 p.m.
Some Kansas University students want to ensure that students expelled for sexual misconduct at one state school can’t enroll at another without the new school knowing about their past. By Sara Shepherd
KU names this year’s Humanities Research Fellows and Creative Work Fellow
03:17 p.m., February 18, 2015 Updated 09:56 p.m.
Kansas University’s Hall Center has announced its Humanities Research Fellows and Creative Work Fellow for the 2015-2016 academic year, the university said in a release.
KU and Ford Motor Co. to offer a $10,000 scholarship this year
03:14 p.m., February 18, 2015 Updated 09:56 p.m.
The Ford Motor Co. will provide Kansas University’s Center for Design Research with a $10,000 scholarship for the 2015-2016 academic year, the university said in a release.
Budget panel rejects ‘absurd’ KU requests for enhancement funding
07:01 p.m., February 16, 2015 Updated 10:20 p.m.
A key Republican lawmaker called the funding requests by Kansas University and other Regents institutions an “absurdity.” Kansas University had sought $5 million to establish a Drug and Vaccine Discovery Institute, plus funding for a 3-percent merit-based pay raise for faculty and staff at KU Medical Center. By Peter Hancock
KU’s endowment fund grows, holds steady in national rankings
02:37 p.m., February 16, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
Kansas University’s endowment market value increased 14.1 percent from 2013 to 2014, up from 9 percent growth the previous year, according to recently released national rankings. KU Endowment Association’s total endowment funds — $1.5 billion for 2014, according to NACUBO — are by far the largest of any Kansas university on the list. By Sara Shepherd