Comment history

KU should be concerned about AAU membership

Regarding AAU, follow the money.

By this dollar measure of the research enterprise (it's not based on the opinions of high school guidance counselors, or anybody's opinion for that matter), KU is in 76th place. If there are going to be 60 universities in AAU, it takes 132% of KU's reported research expenditures to be be in 60th place.

September 22, 2012 at 9:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Rankings matter

The KU retrophilia case is totally unconvincing to me, and totally useless as a basis for deciding anything about what to do in the future. Research universities are in an arms race. What it cost to have a bunch of propeller driven airplanes that weren't much more complex than automobiles, and the number of countries that could compete at that level, is different than the number of countries that can spend $1.45 trillion on the joint strike fighter program. A decade ago, some farsighted people at KU were talking about a future where the gap between the have and have-not universities would keep widening and only about the top 75 research universities would really matter. The only thing I think has changed in the interim is that ten years from now, it will be more like only the top 50 really matter. It seems to me that KU's realistic choices fall between being mediocre at everything or good at a short list of things.

September 16, 2012 at 9:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Rec center puzzle involves many pieces and players

A lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you's. And, uh, lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder's head. Luckily I'm adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug regimen to keep my mind limber.

September 15, 2012 at 9 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Hiring new dean is top priority for KU medical school

It's always more fun to speculate when you don't have any facts to limit your imagination. So the first thing I'd wonder, knowing nothing about this search, is if the search committee was instructed at the outset to present one name, or if that was the opposite of what they were instructed to do.
The typical external candidate only has a couple of days during the interview to antagonize people and make some enemies. Internal candidates have had years to do that. From what I have seen in other searches, internal candidates are often highly polarizing, get the toughest questions and generate the most opposition during the interview, because they are very well known quantities. The people opposed to an internal candidate may very well express their opinions through other channels than the search committee. A search committee might be unanimous while the people they represent are anything but unanimous.

September 8, 2012 at 9:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Group files complaint against school district over records request

Let me guess, the PDF had multiple layers, proving to those who don't know anything about the subject that it was a forgery.

August 28, 2012 at 11:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Surprise ending

Well there is the Research Achievement Award, worth $10K, if we want to be picky. If we want to be snarky, the best lecturer at KU (lecturers weren't Kemper-eligible) is pretty likely to be a better teacher than the 301st-best tenure track faculty member.

August 24, 2012 at 8:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

GOP colleagues: Yoder's nude swim breaches trust

I'm using that as my epitaph.

August 20, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Regents Retreat Live: Regents trying to deal with new political landscape

I heard the regents chose it to get their huntin' dawgs some training at the same time as the meeting.

August 15, 2012 at 9:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Years of work went into cancer center designation

Pat Roberts deserves significant credit for the growth of KU's West Campus over the last decade. His address to the Legislature about investing in research facilities, and the bond issue that followed, also paid for the first phase of the Structural Biology Center and key instruments in it on the West Campus (in addition to the higher dollar projects mentioned in the column). From then on, it was pretty much continuous construction through completion of the new School of Pharmacy building. Although all those facilities got built for reasons other than strictly cancer research, they show extremely well to visitors and I don't doubt they left a strong impression with the NCI reviewers about KU's strength in basic pharmaceutical research.

The basic point of Roberts' speech, that you've got to spend some of your own money to be in a competitive position to get other people to invest their money with you, all in pursuit of the public good--looks like it was borne out, I would say. Maybe my memory is getting bad, but I don't recall that there was partisan rancor surrounding the bond vote.

So what do we make of the Kansas state government acting like the government, spending money they don't strictly have to in order to get a payoff well in the future? Sorry they're not inclined to do it more, or amazed they did it that time?

July 14, 2012 at 10:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal )