Heard on the Hill
Three more KU professors were given Kemper Awards for outstanding work in the classroom [today].This brings the total number of awards handed out [to 14]. By the end of the week, 20 professors will have received the awards, which include a check for $5,000.Monday's winners included James Stiles, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, Holly Storkel, associate professor of speech-language-hearing, and Anthony Walton, associate professor of geology.Here's more information about the [awards and the first day's winners]. : http://www.news.ku.edu/2007/august/20/kemper3.shtml : http://www2.ljworld.com/blogs/heard_hill/2007/aug/17/more_kemper/ : http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/aug...
For Edward Fensholt, two points made a $58,000 [difference]. ! After taking the ACT college entrance exam and scoring a 34, most students would have been perfectly happy. But Fensholt decided he wanted to shoot for Kansas University's [Perfect Achievement Scholarship], awarded to Kansas high school seniors who earn either a 36 ACT score or a 1,600 on the math and reasoning portions of the new SAT.The scholarship, which covers four years of tuition, plus housing and a food and book allowance, is valued at $58,000.Fensholt is a microbiology major, and he hopes to become a teacher and researcher after graduation. : http://www.news.ku.edu/2007/august/20/fensholt.shtml : http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1170/1... : http://www.admissions.ku.edu/scholarships/#first-year
Four more KU professors received [Kemper awards] for their work at Kansas University.Today's winners include:¢ Victoria Corbin, associate professor of molecular biosciences. ¢ Paul Johnson, professor of political science. ¢ Krzysztof Kuczera, professor of chemistry. ¢ Ellen Sward, professor of law.A total of 11 awards have been handed out thus far, with nine more to be handed out by the end of the week. Here's more information about the [awards and winners so far]. : http://www.news.ku.edu/2007/august/17/kemper2.shtml : http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/aug...
Kansas University has announced that Jonathan Earle, associate professor of history and associate director of the Dole Institute, will fill the role of interim director of the Dole Institute of Politics.Earle fills in for Bill Lacy, who is heading up the likely presidential campaign of Fred Thompson. Lacy, who left last week, said he expects Earle will be able to slip in cleanly and continue the work of the Dole Institute until his return."Jon is an outstanding choice. He was there along with other talented people from the time I got there," Lacy said. "Leaders get credit a lot of time where credit isn't due. There are a lot of outstanding people at the Dole Institute, and Jon is one of them."Earle spent the past year as a visiting professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles, but returned earlier this summer. He first joined the Dole Institute in 2003.
Have you been waiting for the latest [edition] of the U.S. News and World Report rankings?Well, they've finally arrived, and KU moved up one tick to [38th] among top American public universities. The university ranked 85th when considered with top public and private schools.Most noteworthy, perhaps, is the ranking relative to its peers in the Big 12 for Kansas. This year, Kansas is tied for the fifth highest ranking in the conference, behind the [University of Texas] at 44th, [Texas A&M University] at 62nd, [Baylor University] at 75th (are you seeing a trend in location yet?) and the [University of Colorado-Boulder] at 79th.Joining Kansas at 85th overall is [Iowa State University], followed by the [University of Nebraska-Lincoln] and the [University of Missouri-Columbia] tied at 91st. [The University of Oklahoma] at 108th and [Kansas State University] at 124th round at the list.Neither [Texas Tech University] nor [Oklahoma State University"] were listed among the rankings.The top-ranking public school was the [University of California-Berkeley].Check back on the blog later for some additional analysis and rankings of the schools. : http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/t1natudoc_brief.php : http://www.news.ku.edu/2007/august/17/bestcolleges08.shtml : http://www.utexas.edu/ : http://www.tamu.edu/ : http://www.baylor.edu : http://www.colorado.edu/ : http://www.iastate.edu : http://www.unl.edu : http://www.missouri.edu : http://www.ou.edu/ : http://www.kstate.edu : http://www.ttu.edu/ : <a href="http://osu.okstate.edu/ : http://www.berkeley.edu/
We're going to try something new here at the HOTH blog.With classes back in session, news from Kansas University will no doubt come fast and furious. We know a good story when we see on, so here's some links to and snippets from articles about KU that you might find worth reading.[Crossing manager says his bar will not close] [(University Daily Kansan)] Breathing room was the only thing in short supply at The Crossing Tuesday night. Students packed every square inch inside the barroom and on the outside porch. Crowded nights like that occur regularly at The Crossing. And despite a proposal to build a hotel at 12th and Indiana on The Crossing's land, manager Phil Mears said the bar had four years remaining on its lease and the patron-packed nights would continue.[Dorm residents affected by magazine scam] [(University Daily Kansan)] Becky Getman just thought the two men standing in her doorway were students wanting to introduce themselves. "We had just had a get to know everyone activity," said Getman, a St. Louis sophomore. "I thought they were from my floor." They weren't. The two men reportedly went to Templin and Lewis Residence Halls Tuesday afternoon and evening attempting to sell magazine subscriptions to students. But according to a release from the KU Public Safety Office, the company the two men claimed to represent did not exist.Note: The Journal-World also makes [mention] of this incident, as does [the Kansas City Star.] [Kansas City Star]For parents of children with autism-spectrum disorders, many of whom find it a lonesome struggle, help is on the way. The University of Kansas is preparing to establish what it's calling the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training. Planning began a few weeks ago. An effect on services for autistic people could be felt in the next year or two. Kirsten Sneid of Leawood, for one, is thrilled. : http://www.kansan.com/stories/2007/aug/16/crossing/?news : http://www.kansan.com : http://www.kansan.com/stories/2007/aug/16/scam/?news : http://www2.ljworld.com/blogs/lawrence_blotter/2007/aug/15/magazine/ : http://www.kansascity.com/news/breaking_news/story/233208.html : http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation/story/233587.html"?KU working on center for autism research and training : http://www.kansascity.com
[Bryan Young], assistant professor of engineering, received this year's first Kemper award in a presentation during his 8 a.m. class today.Young is the first of 20 KU instructors who will receive the award, named after William T. Kemper, for this academic year. The award, which is accompanied by a check for $5,000, was handed out by [KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway], [Provost Richard Lariviere], [Endowment Association President Dale Seuferling] and [Mark Heider], president of Commerce Bank in Lawrence.Six more fellowships were to be handed out today, with the other 14 to be handed out by the end of next week. Check back here for more names as the awards are handed out.Other recipients include:¢ David Bergeron, professor of English. ¢ Lee Skinner, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese. ¢ Yan Bing Zhang, assistant professor of communication studies. ¢ Patricia Hawley, assistant professor of psychology. ¢ Mark Mort, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.[You can read more about the winners and their backgrounds in KU's press release.] : http://ceae.engr.ku.edu/people/young.html : http://www.chancellor.ku.edu/about/ : http://www.provost.ku.edu/about/ : http://www.kuendowment.org/about_us/senior_leadership.shtml : http://www.commercebank.com/about/news/News/nr12152003Heider.html : http://www.news.ku.edu/2007/august/16/kemper1.shtml
We've already proven that [free stuff] gets students excited.So, now we're back with another way for you students to get free stuff. Being honest, though, this requires a little more effort.The Kansas Athletics Department is rolling out a [Rock Chalk Rewards] program, that will give students points for all the KU sports they attend. One point for each KU [volleyball], [soccer], [baseball] and [softball] game, two points for each [women's basketball] game and two points for buying an [all-sports combo package] for men's basktball and football.The Web site is still short on details, but the last time the department did [something like this], prizes included things like free food (see above), free T-shirts and gift certificates for KU merchandise.The Web site also talks of a [grand prize] for those who reach the "National Champion" level. Maybe it'll be a lifetime supply of [Priority Points].Don't bet on that one though. : http://www2.ljworld.com/blogs/heard_hill/2007/aug/14/food/ : http://kuathletics.cstv.com/ot/rock-chalk-prize-levels.html : http://kuathletics.cstv.com/sports/w-volley/sched/kan-w-volley-sched.html : http://kuathletics.cstv.com/sports/w-soccer/sched/kan-w-soccer-sched.html : http://kuathletics.cstv.com/sports/m-basebl/kan-m-basebl-body.html : http://kuathletics.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/kan-w-softbl-body.html : http://kuathletics.cstv.com/sports/w-baskbl/sched/kan-w-baskbl-sched.html : http://kuathletics.cstv.com/tickets/kan-mbaskbl-student-tix.html : http://www.cstv.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/nacda/sports/nacma/auto_pdf/Kansas_Rock_Chalk_Rewards : http://kuathletics.cstv.com/williamsfund/kan-williamsfund.html
Be honest. When you hear the words "Prize Patrol," you think [Publishers Clearing House], don't you.Well, there won't be millions handed out, but [KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway] and [Provost Richard Lariviere] will be handing out checks for $5,000 to 20 KU professors, starting with six on Thursday.The checks are part of the award that come with the [W.T. Kemper Fellowships] for teaching excellence. They're handed out at the start of each academic year and have been for 12 years.Professors on all of the KU campuses are eligible for those awards._So, who do you think deserves the next Kemper? Who's the best KU instructor you ever had? Here's a [list] of last year's winners._For more on this story, check back at LJWorld.com tomorrow, or pick up a copy of Friday's Journal-World. : http://www.publishersclearinghouse.com/ : http://www.chancellor.ku.edu/about/ : http://www.provost.ku.edu/about/ : http://www.news.ku.edu/2007/august/15/kempermedia.shtml : http://www.news.ku.edu/kemper_awards/
Joseph Steinmetz, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at KU, citing concerns over the rising cost of a college education and the needs to the student body, said that differential tuition on classes in the college is dead - for now.Differential tuition is an extra fee, which is retained by the school or college where the course is taught, tacked onto certain classes. CLAS and the School of Social Welfare are the only academic divisions that don't charge differential tuition."I looked at the numbers a lot over the past year, and I've determined for now that it's just not worth it," Steinmetz said. "I know how expensive an education is. I have a son at Indiana."In a wide-ranging interview with the Journal-World on Tuesday, [Steinmetz] said that he hoped to update the majors and classes offered in the college to bring them more in line with what is going on in the world."Most of the major innovations in the academy are going on at the intersection of many different departments," he said.Steinmetz said that as part of his [comprehensive plan], he would encourage more classes to be co-taught to include experts from different departments and to better cover areas that might have an impact not only on economics, for example, but also on sociology and psychology.Steinmetz also said that he hoped to revitalize graduate programs, increase course offerings and help students graduate in four years by adjusting the general education requirements. : http://www2.ku.edu/~clas/faculty/deansoffice/steinmetz.shtml : http://www.clas.ku.edu/about/plan.shtml
Clemson University in South Carolina has hired away a professor in KU's molecular biosciences department, according to this Clemson news release.
Robert Cohen, a professor of molecular biosciences at KU right now, will go to Clemson to become chairman of its biological sciences department. At Clemson, that's in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.
Cohen earned tenure at KU in 1996 and was promoted to full professor in 2005. Before that, according to the Clemson release, he was on the faculty at Columbia University in New York. He'll start at Clemson on July 1.
A few facts about Clemson, since I went through the trouble of looking it up: It is not a member of the Association of American Universities as KU is, its endowment was less than half the size of KU's as of 2012 at about $483 million and it ranked No. 68 in the most recent U.S. News and World Report "Best Colleges" rankings to KU's No. 106.
No word on the local campus blogging situation at Clemson, though if there are any blogs I'm sure their readers are not nearly as helpful as mine. You're so helpful you didn't even need me to butter you up like I just did there for you to send a KU news tip or two to email@example.com.
More LJWorld KU News Coverage
The KU faculty, staff and student governance meetings I check out on occasion can venture into some esoteric territory. (Thursday I witnessed a debate that featured several folks weighing in on whether a proposed policy could be described as "Byzantine.") But they can also be quite educational.
For instance, Thursday at a University Senate meeting I learned that KU does not provide as much tuition assistance for its faculty or staff or, especially, their spouses or dependents as some other universities around the state and the nation, at least according to a report from a task force that had looked into the subject. (That's the other thing about these governance groups: There are a lot of task forces. Task forces and committees, of the standing and non-standing varieties.)
The group was led by Donna Ginther, a professor of economics, and it reported that KU's policies on tuition support for faculty, staff and their families lagged behind other Board of Regents institutions and a selection of seven "peer" universities from around the country, for the most part.
KU allows faculty and staff who work at least half-time to apply to take one free course each semester, for up to five credit hours, which theoretically allows for up to 15 credits per year if you factor in the summer term. However, that policy doesn't apply to anyone who has a doctoral degree, which obviously counts out a lot of faculty. And it does not stretch to spouses, children or dependents. KU is the only Regents university that doesn't offer assistance to dependents, and one of only two (along with Washburn) not to offer it for spouses.
Kansas State University, for example, allows for a few free credit hours for spouses or children of faculty or staff each semester, with a few qualifiers. K-State reported to the group that it provides just shy of $1 million worth of tuition assistance each year, on average. KU's estimated cost is around $275,000 per year.
There is one big caveat: The children and dependents of KU employees and faculty are eligible for a merit scholarship from Coca-Cola, as part of the company's beverage deal with KU, for up to $1,000 per year. That covers about three credit hours, at the tuition rate paid by incoming freshmen for 2012-13. According to the report, that scholarship paid a bit more than $150,000 in tuition for 185 students this academic year.
Anyway, as you might expect, the faculty, student and staff representatives who put this report together recommended that KU expand its assistance. They suggested expanding it to all faculty and staff with at least six months' service and their dependents, spouses or domestic partners, and also providing more credit hours' worth. The group reported it was tough to guess exactly what that might cost, maybe somewhere between $400,000 and $1 million. It suggested KU pay for that with savings from its Changing for Excellence efficiency campaign.
Ginther argued in Thursday's meeting that the expanded assistance might help KU, too, perhaps making it more attractive to potential faculty. And, she said, the children of faculty and staff might likely be pretty good students that KU would like to recruit.
University Senate president Chris Crandall said he guessed that the university administration would be unlikely to make that change right at the moment, as budget matters are uncertain. But the faculty, staff and students at the meeting Thursday voted unanimously to send the recommendation and the accompanying report to Provost Jeff Vitter.
No KU tuition assistance is available for Heard on the Hill bloggers, and even if it were, their bosses would probably frown upon that arrangement. But you can offer me your own form of assistance: KU news tips. Send 'em to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More LJWorld KU News Coverage
KU links: Professor sticks up for Neanderthals in NYT; blogging Topeka high-schooler picks Yale over KU
Surely you don't have too much time to waste with the end of the KU semester approaching, so we'll get right on with your weekly-or-so roundup of KU news and mentions from around the Internet:
• We finally have a verdict from Topeka high-schooler Leobardo Espinoza Jr., who was offered a full-ride scholarship to KU while blogging about his college choice for The New York Times. And ... he's going to Yale. You can read more about it in his post. One interesting thing Espinoza did while trying to decide between his two final choices: He sent an email to one faculty member at each school and waited to see how quick and how in-depth their responses would be.
• David Frayer, a KU professor of anthropology, wrote this New York Times op-ed about Neanderthals, who he says have unfairly gotten a bad rap over the years.
• A KU official shared some comments with Inside Higher Ed for this story about the Voluntary System of Accountability, which is a cooperative effort among universities to share information about themselves, at collegeportraits.org. One category of information those universities can share is data on how much students are learning, but the story says the possible testing metrics offered for universities to use in that area have been criticized by people who say they don't accurately show what students are getting out of college. Paul Klute, a special assistant to the vice provost for academic affairs, says in the story that KU had declined so far to post student learning data on its College Portrait page, but some new rubrics now are available. (The story is pretty lengthy, technical and chock full o' acronyms.)
I poked around the KU College Portrait and found a few interesting things — for instance, a listing of the most common areas of study for KU bachelor's degree recipients as of 2011-12. (Business is tops, followed by journalism and engineering.)
• David Cateforis, a KU professor of art history, shared with the Kansas City Star his disappointment at the closing of a KC art gallery.
• The Huffington Post talked with Charles Greenwood, director of KU's Juniper Gardens Children's Project in Kansas City, Kan., about how the federal budget sequester is affecting the research work there. We talked with him about that same subject a couple months back.
• Mashable reported on some KU Medical Center research that found that the online virtual-reality community Second Life could be used as a tool to lose or maintain weight.
• In case you were curious, former KU provost Richard Lariviere did not exactly take an easy job when he became the president and CEO of Chicago's Field Museum last year. The Chicago Sun-Times reported on the financial troubles Lariviere inherited and how he's trying to overcome them.
• KU's Dining Services has a blog post outlining some of the changes in store for Mrs. E's, the main dining facility for the residence halls up on Daisy Hill, after renovations are completed this summer. Look for more on that in our KU Today edition that will come out in August.
Don't forget to send your KU news tips to email@example.com, you Neanderthal. (That's a compliment.)
More LJWorld KU News Coverage
KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was the 86th-highest-paid public university executive in 2011-12, according to a report published this week by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Her total compensation of just more than $475,000 was an increase of about 0.8 percent from the previous year.
The Chronicle's report analyzed the total compensation for the chief executives at 191 different public universities and university systems around the country for the 2012 fiscal year — roughly equivalent to the 2011-12 academic year. Four different executives made more than $1 million during that year. (For perspective: 36 different executives at private universities topped the $1 million mark during the 2010 calendar year.)
The highest-paid public-university executive for the year was Graham Spanier, who was fired in November 2011 as president at Pennsylvania State University because of "insufficient action" related to the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse allegations and now faces felony charges related to the Sandusky case. Under the circumstances, his big payday sounds pretty crazy, but it makes sense if you look at the details: Spanier had served in the job for 16 years, he was already the third-highest paid executive the year before and most of the $2.9 million he earned in 2011-12 came from severance and deferred compensation spelled out by his contract.
Because the Chronicle analysis looks at total compensation and not just annual salaries, it includes things such as severance, retirement payouts and deferred compensation packages. That's one reason there are some university leaders near the top of the list that seem to be head-scratchers. (Auburn? George Mason? Ball State?)
Gray-Little received about $429,000 in base pay (ranking 60th nationally), according to the Chronicle, plus retirement pay and $25,000 in annual deferred compensation that she is to receive whenever she leaves the job. (UPDATE: As KU spokesman Jack Martin pointed out to me, some of that pay comes from private donations and not state funds. For the 2012 fiscal year, about $267,000 of Gray-Little's salary was paid by state funds.)
Among the 10 institutions that KU leaders consider "peer universities," her compensation ranked seventh. Her pay ranked below that for former KU provost Richard Lariviere as president of the University of Oregon, but the bulk of his $485,000 in compensation came from a severance payment he received when he was fired. She ranked below two different Penn State presidents, because Rodney Erickson earned nearly $550,000 after he replaced Spanier.
Other Kansas executives included in the report were Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz, who ranked 131st with about $396,000 in compensation; and Donald Beggs, who retired in June 2012 as president of Wichita State University and ranked 182nd with about $303,000.
Gray-Little does receive one benefit that the Chronicle reports is not included in the numbers because it's tough to quantify: She lives in a university-owned home (and has a university-owned car). The KU chancellor's residence, known as the Outlook, is worth about $2.4 million, according to the Chronicle.
Those salary numbers can be interesting to poke around in, though I probably need to pull myself away now. Help me do that by sending a KU news tip to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More LJWorld KU News Coverage
Summer, at least in KU school-year terms, is upon us. But we soldier on as normal here at Heard on the Hill, albeit a bit sunburned after Sunday's commencement ceremony. (Check out these photos if you'd like to re-live it.)
In that spirit, here's your weekly-or-so collection of KU bits n' pieces from around the Internet:
• After Monday's horrible tornado in Moore, Okla., NBC News talked with Joe Eagleman, a KU professor emeritus of physics and astronomy, about his research on the best practices when tornadoes threaten to hit schools or other large buildings.
• The Hutchinson News noted that Neeli Bendapudi, the dean of KU's School of Business, was the lone academic official to appear in a recently produced promotional video for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. She appeared alongside a number of business executives and Republican state lawmakers in speaking about the Chamber, whose political action committee spent a good deal of cash supporting conservative Republicans before the last round of state elections in November 2012. Bendapudi's comments in the video are not terribly political, though: She says the state Chamber and KU have a "shared goal" to promote business activity in Kansas. She told the News that she didn't intend to speak for the whole university, saying she "honestly did not think it through."
• This story in The Atlantic about a "virtual worm" that could be used in biological research includes comments from Brian Ackley, an associate professor of molecular biosciences at KU.
• The Wichita Eagle told the story last week of John Castellaw, who went through periods of homelessness as a child but graduated this month as the student body president at Wichita South High School. Castellaw is coming to KU in the fall, the story reports, with an eye on medical school. He's receiving a Hixson Opportunity Award, a KU scholarship for students from Kansas who've faced hardships.
• Elizabeth Kronk, director of the KU School of Law's Tribal Law and Government Center, chimed in on this McClatchy story about Native American tribal laws on same-sex marriage.
• David Ekerdt, director of the Gerontology Center at KU's Life Span Institute, wrote this post for The New York Times' "The New Old Age" blog, about an unusual possible gift for older parents on Mother's Day or Father's Day: an offer to help them unload some belongings.
If you make that offer to your dad this Father's Day, why not also ask if you can take any KU news tips off his hands? Then you can send them to email@example.com.