Sara Shepherd (KU reporter)
I'm the Journal-World's Kansas University and higher education reporter. Most of my time is (easily) spent covering all things newsworthy happening on KU's 25,000-student main campus here in Lawrence — from unusual or groundbreaking research, to multi-million dollar construction projects, to policies affecting student safety or academic success. I also cover the Kansas Board of Regents in Topeka, Haskell Indian Nations University (the country's sole federally run four-year university, attended by tribe members from across the United States) in Lawrence, plus highlights from the KU Medical Center and KU Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.
Previously, I was a crime and courts reporter for The Kansas City Star, where I covered untimely death or destruction most every day for a few years, everything from quadruple homicides to massive chemical fires. I’ve also covered suburban city government and schools for The Star and The Shawnee Dispatch, a weekly paper just up the road. My first beat at the Journal-World was features, covering food, arts and entertainment.
I'm originally from Emporia, but my family goes way back in Lawrence and at KU. I had ancestors living here when William Quantrill sacked the town in 1863 (they survived the massacre, probably thanks to being politically insignificant German immigrants). I’m also a fourth-generation KU grad, led by my great grandfather, who got his undergraduate and law degrees from KU. I majored in journalism, art history and French, and in case any of you fellow KU journos were wondering, my reporting beat on The University Daily Kansan was campus police. I'm occasionally asked whether covering the KU beat means I get in free to basketball games. It does not. My most covet-worthy power as KU reporter is a campus parking pass.
To reach me, call 785-832-7187 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Clery report shows another marked increase of forcible sex offenses reported at KU
- October 6, 2015
- Forcible sex offenses reported on the Kansas University campus shot up for the second year in a row, according to KU’s newly released Clery Act Annual Security Report.
- Agreement formalizes how KU works with local victim advocacy agency in sexual violence cases
- October 6, 2015
- Last fall, Kansas University Sexual Assault Task Force members and leaders of the Sexual Trauma and Abuse Care Center agreed that the university and the local victim advocacy agency needed to not only work together informally, but get their relationship in writing. The university now has a formal memorandum of understanding with the Sexual Trauma and Abuse Care Center (formerly GaDuGi SafeCenter), KU announced this week.
- KU’s new international recruitment program reports 88 percent fall-to-fall retention rate
- October 6, 2015
- Fifty of the 57 international students who came to Kansas University last fall through the International Academic Accelerator Program are back on campus this fall. That number meets the year-old program’s “aggressive” goal for its first fall-to-fall retention rate of 88 percent.
- KU, K-State provosts are finalists for chancellor’s job at University of Arkansas
- 10:16 a.m., October 5, 2015 Updated 05:22 p.m.
- Kansas University Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jeff Vitter is one of three finalists for the position of chancellor at the University of Arkansas. The University of Arkansas named the finalists in a news release Monday, and all three are scheduled to visit the Fayetteville campus and give public presentations within the next two weeks. By Sara Shepherd
- Raises for KU employees remain in limbo
- October 4, 2015
- Even with the semester well underway, Kansas University employees still don’t know whether they’re getting raises this year. KU is tentatively planning for some raises but won’t bestow them until the threat of last-minute state budget cuts this semester has passed. By Sara Shepherd
- Another change to KU employee benefits: If employment terminates, coverage ends same day
- Deductibles, premiums also going up for state employee health insurance in 2016
- October 4, 2015
- Kansas University and other state employees, regardless of pay raises, face higher health insurance deductibles and premiums next year. In another benefits change, should their employment end, employees’ insurance coverage will end with it immediately — at midnight that day instead of at the end of the month. By Sara Shepherd
- KU Endowment developing its next five-year strategic plan
- Communicating, interacting with donors in new ways is key theme
- September 30, 2015
- Kansas University Endowment’s Far Above fundraising campaign concludes in June 2016. Endowment is working on a plan for what will come next for the organization and expects to finalize its new five-year strategic plan, “Above and Beyond — Continuing the Momentum,” this spring. By Sara Shepherd
- KU names new liberal arts and sciences dean
- 10:35 a.m., September 30, 2015 Updated 06:26 p.m.
- Kansas University has named a new dean for its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Carl Lejuez, a professor of psychology and associate dean of research for the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland. By Sara Shepherd
- With $527,154 grant, Monarch Watch will train tribes to restore butterfly habitats on their lands
- September 28, 2015
- Kansas University’s Monarch Watch effort is getting more than half a million dollars to enable a butterfly version of the old “teach a man to fish” proverb. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced Monday that Monarch Watch would receive $527,154 for its “Building Tribal Capacity for Monarch Habitat Restoration” project, which will train seven American Indian tribes in Eastern Oklahoma — whose lands are beneath the monarchs’ spring migration flight path — in habitat restoration. By Sara Shepherd
- One year after alleged sexual assaults, fraternity is paying, but it’s still unclear whether any individuals are
- Four separate entities investigated accusations against Kappa Sigma
- September 27, 2015
- Over homecoming weekend 2014, an informal party thrown by freshmen at Kansas University’s Kappa Sigma fraternity house got out of control. There was “excessive” underage drinking, the fraternity has acknowledged. Within days, allegations surfaced that one or more women had been sexually assaulted in the midst of it, maybe even drugged. A year later, Kappa Sigma is paying as an organization. It’s still unclear whether anyone is paying as an individual. By Sara Shepherd