Comment history

KU should be wary of implementing ex-provost’s strategy

oops! "then" = than

November 27, 2011 at 8:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

KU should be wary of implementing ex-provost’s strategy

The best leaders differentiate themselves not by knowing the answers, but by knowing the right questions to ask. The former Provost was bright --- but not brighter then the collective wisdom of those under his command. His arrogance was palpable and irritating. Moreover, his disdain for seeking information and insight from others will always (1) lead to sub-optimal decisions and (2) lead to resistance from those tasked with implementing these decisions. His demise at Oregon was predictable --- all they had to do was ask a few people at KU about him. Apparently they failed to do so.

November 27, 2011 at 7:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Jayhawks ‘hurting’ after loss to OSU

Nobody's making Mangino out to be a deity and nobody expects him to come back here anytime soon. He was, however, a good football coach (can you say "Orange Bowl victory") whose main crime was that he (1) was not hired by Lew and (2) didn't look good on the sidelines. Moreover, the manner in which he was railroaded out of town was unseemly. Mangino had his faults but in terms of his performance as a football coach, he didn't deserve to be (in effect) terminated.

October 10, 2011 at 8:46 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

No defense for KU coach Turner Gill

Turner Gill seems like a nice man. I'd like to believe that if he recruits a few athletes this off-season to shore up the "D" that he can right the ship. But right now the ship is looking like the Titanic! Has anyone else noticed this pattern with KU football coaching? Hire a tough disciplinarian who wins, followed by a nice guy who loses, followed by a tough disciplinarian who wins, followed by a nice guy who loses. Gee, what kind of coach will KU hire next? Someone on this thread suggested Mike Leach. Given the reason behind Leach's dismissal (very similar to the alleged reason for Mangino's dismissal) he seems the perfect candidate ("tough disciplinarian"). Perkins' legacy at KU? (1) Instituting his points system to extract every last dollar out of basketball fans while displacing long-time loyal fans; (2) hiring friends and family in KU athletics for large $$; (3) the ticket scandal; (4) orchestrating Mangino's demise in order to (5) hire the more telegenic TG for a guaranteed contract at $2 million per annum and (6) securing large $$ for himself while doing such a fine job! What have I failed to mention about Big Lew's reign of error at KU?

October 9, 2011 at 4:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Heard on the Hill: Husband of new KU business dean to teach at KU; planting event planned for new pharmacy garden; KU Professional Clothes Closet plans extended hours

Thanks for that link. As I said above, smart talented people tend to marry smart, talented people. Here's the other half of the tandem:

But you folks have it all figured out (as is always the case in these forums) --- every person involved in this decision was either inept or unethical (or both). And, the people who were hired by these incompetent, unethical nincompoops also lack both talent and a moral compass (unlike all of you, who are faultless).

Against my better judgment, I drop in on these forums every few months and in many ways it's just like a soap opera. You can miss several months of the broadcast and you really aren't very far behind. The same cast of characters is saying the same things. Just like on TV, the lines are delivered in a very dramatic, over-the-top fashion. Again, just like with TV stars, I'm sure it's very important that you shield yourselves from your adoring public by sharing your words anonymously. You are such paragons of virtue, kindness and wisdom (dispensed freely out of the goodness of your heart!) that you would be swamped with people beating a path to your door seeking your advice, council and friendship.

April 21, 2011 at 6:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Heard on the Hill: Husband of new KU business dean to teach at KU; planting event planned for new pharmacy garden; KU Professional Clothes Closet plans extended hours

As pointed out, this is a very typical scenario especially when universities want to lure top talent. A smart, talented person is often married to a smart, talented person and, if they are both academics, if you want the one, you will often have to accommodate the other. Where else would you expect her husband to get a position equivalent to his OSU position? You either also offer the spouse a job or throw your big fish back in the lake. This all assumes, however, that the person being accommodated is a quality hire. If the Fisher School at Ohio State kept him around year after year despite his non-tenured status, he must be pretty good. The concern about the reporting relationship is more legitimate and, as the person who negotiated this package deal, this is something the Provost should consider. However, dual hires at universities --- all universities -- are pretty darn common. If you want to play in the major leagues, you've got to learn to play ball.

April 20, 2011 at 3:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Regents critical of KU School of Business handling of extra course fees

I was simply trying to suggest that if you were able to track even your most productive employees' movements, you would find that there are a few minutes out of each day when they are not being productive. Somehow I don't think you would "fire and prosecute" someone for being non-productive 2.7 minutes out of an eight hour day. In fact, if they were productive 99.44% of their day, their performance levels would have you rewarding and promoting them. But this is a side issue .........

I agree with you that "trust" is a key ingredient. But when you say that "it's not the money", I think that's both right and wrong. I accept your point that with complete trust then concerns about expenditures would not be an issue. On the other hand, if we were only talking about a small amount of money, then the failure to keep the advisory board in place and the lack of transparency would be much less of a problem. When the stakes get much higher (e.g., $31 million) then these issues become much more of a concern. So it is about trust --- but it's also about the money. Finally, just because people are not in lock-step with you on all of these issues does not mean they are "part of the problem".

November 19, 2010 at 1:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Regents critical of KU School of Business handling of extra course fees

Sir, nobody walking this earth is 100% pure. His point, of course, is that any serious analysis will always find some degree of inefficiency. Let's take your example of "hours of work". Applying the "Ivory principle" suggests that out of an eight hour work day (480 minutes) someone would not be "purely" working a total of 2.7 minutes. Personally, I could live with that degree of imperfection; in fact, I would want to hire many more of these “impure” employees. In the case of the business school, the review suggested that $60,000 out of $31 million dollars was not spent in ways that conformed to the original agreement. This is a little different than the athletics ticket situation where employees are charged with systematically stealing more than 5 million dollars for their own private use. Instead, try this analogy: Suppose your kid is attending State U and you give him or her $500 for textbooks. If they inappropriately spend at the same rate as the business school, this suggests your kid spent $1 of the $500 inappropriately. Upon questioning, you discover that instead of spending all of the money on textbooks, your kid made the decision to spend $1 to replace a burned out light bulb in their dorm room lamp so they could read the textbooks they were purchasing.

November 19, 2010 at 11:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

MBA students respond to KU School of Business differential tuition audit

Connecting the dots, the major transgressions of the business school in this issue seems to be (1) failing to follow through on having the student advisory committee in place and (2) failing to communicate the expenditures of the differential tuition monies on an ongoing basis. This was clearly a mistake on the part of the b-school and at variance with the original agreement. More importantly, this allowed for things to get to where they are today. A number of students, disappointed at some of their MBA experiences, have seized upon this as a "smoking gun" suggesting inefficient or, more seriously, inappropriate use of this money. Posters elsewhere have claimed that the students' "data" is better than the auditors' "data". The above response from KU Communications questions this assertion. While the students have some legitimate grievances, it doesn't look like the situation is as problematic as the Editor has consistently suggested or as the students have consistently assumed. I am not sure what the Editor's motives are. He seems to have a long-standing problem with KU and his views of this and other issues seem to always reflect this negative orientation. The students' actions are more understandable --- they believe they have been short-changed. At this point, however, it seems they are over-reaching. I suggest the students take their own written words seriously: Stop spending your time and energy trying to prove that the audit was "wrong" and that you were "right". Most importantly, stop making inflammatory charges. This approach is counterproductive. Instead, devote your time and energy to positively and productively improving your business school, including how the monies are spent going forward. If your goal is truly trying to help your business school "rise to its potential", then this latter strategy is much more likely to achieve this end. If, on the other hand, your goal is really to prove that you are "right", you are getting side-tracked from the bigger picture.

November 15, 2010 at 1:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Case closed?


You're not a student and yet you seem to claim a lot of knowledge about the students' data being more "comprehensive" than the audit's data, the business school's "retaliatory environment", and many other issues. One of the problems many of us have with the Editor’s columns is that they are often based upon his “deep throat”, backroom conversations with unnamed sources that he claims as “knowledgeable” or “influential” insiders, etc. The Editor certainly is in a position to talk to people of significance at KU and I’m sure he does. But he then generalizes his “survey of one” (e.g., one faculty member) to the entire population (e.g., all faculty members). As such, readers of his column should discount much of what he says. Similarly, you’re not walking the halls with the students, so why should we give credence to your descriptions of life and activities within the business school?

November 14, 2010 at 10:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal )