Posts tagged with Kansas University
A tip of the hat to the KU Alumni Association Twitter account for this one: As you may have seen, famous KU fan Jason Sudeikis, fresh off a visit to Allen Fieldhouse last month, is engaged to actress Olivia Wilde. A KU fan who writes for the wedding website The Knot reacted to this news by posting a list of KU-themed wedding tips for the couple.
The suggestions, which could be applicable to any KU alumni planning to get hitched, range from the realistic to the ridiculous. None is as ridiculous as Sudeikis' performances as the dancing track-suit guy in the "Saturday Night Live" "What's Up with That?" sketches, though.
Please remember to send all your KU news tips, ridiculous or otherwise, to email@example.com.
Brownback suggests support for new KU Med Center building; details on higher-education funding to come today
If you were waiting on the edge of your seat to see what Gov. Sam Brownback might say about state higher-education funding in his State of the State speech last night, it may have been a bit anticlimactic: We won't know details about that until his proposed budget is revealed in full today.
But Brownback did suggest his budget would include support for one thing KU wants: a new educational building at the KU Medical Center. He also said it would allow for the training of 50 more medical doctors each year at the Med Center.
KU officials say the new building will help the Med Center move away from lecture-based education toward more hands-on simulations and training, as is the trend in medical education. KU is asking the state to chip in $30 million toward the proposed $75 million building, in addition to the release of a $26 million refund of payroll taxes that were incorrectly collected from the Med Center during the 1990s, which would also go toward the building effort.
As for higher-education funding in general, more information about what may be in store will come out today when the governor's budget is released.
Last month, the state Division of Budget recommended an 8 percent cut to higher-ed funding. KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said such a drop in funding would likely put jobs at risk. I also heard from a student group planning to publicly demonstrate against such cuts if they're proposed.
So keep watching LJWorld.com today to learn more about the fate of state higher-education funding. And while you're at it, keep your KU news tips coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A fixture and a leader at KU for decades has died.
Francis Heller, a distinguished professor of law and political science and an administrator who filled a number of different roles, was connected to KU in some way for about 60 years, before he finally cleaned out his office at Green Hall in 2008 to move to Denver. We received his death announcement last week.
We'll be putting together a proper story of his life and impact at KU this week. But in the meantime, does anyone have any memories to share about Heller, who taught classes until 2003?
Share below, or send your thoughts to email@example.com, along with all your KU news tips.
Following the death of Internet activist and developer Aaron Swartz, hundreds of academics took to Twitter this past weekend to honor him by posting open-access links to their research. And among them were at least one current and one former KU faculty member.
Swartz committed suicide in New York on Friday as he was awaiting trial for charges that he illegally downloaded nearly 5 million documents from JSTOR, an academic research database. He was an advocate for the free flow of information on the internet, after gaining fame by playing a role in the development of both the Internet tool RSS and the site Reddit, the so-called "front page of the Internet."
In tribute to his efforts, and perhaps in protest of his prosecution, researchers on Twitter linked to open-access research articles they'd written, using the hashtag #pdftribute.
Through a brief Twitter search, I spotted a couple of people with KU connections who joined in.
If you scroll down a bit in Baym's Twitter feed, you'll see some additional commentary about open access to research. She notes that KU encourages open-access publishing. Indeed, a number of KU faculty members have joined a boycott of the academic publisher Elsevier, alleging exorbitant subscription prices and other policies that discourage open access. And the KU Libraries system (which pays millions to provide faculty and students access to academic journals each year) also took part last fall in the international Open Access Week promotion, during which U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder spoke about legislation that would make all federally funded research articles available for free within six months of publication.
Those were the two folks with KU connections I managed to find who took part in the #pdftribute movement. If anyone else out there took part, feel free to note that in the comments.
And to contribute to our own free flow of information here, don't forget to send your KU news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may have noticed this morning that the home page of the KU website, ku.edu, has a snappy new look.
It certainly looks sharp. It also seems to focus more on providing a window to the university for the rest of the world, when compared with the old home page (Google offers a small peek at a cached version, which you can see below).
The page is now dominated by a series of rotating, attention-grabbing photos, with overlaid messages touting the strength of KU undergraduate and graduate programs. Below that is a series of capsules about research news and more. The old A-Z directory of departments and offices is no longer at the top of the page, and the event listing prominently featured on the old home page is also no longer visible (though both the directory and the events are easily accessible via the "KU Directory" tab in the top right). Also new is a link offering information for corporations; the university, and especially Provost Jeff Vitter, are working this year to establish more corporate partnerships for research collaborations, internships and more.
Altogether, the page seems to serve as a bit more of a public face of the university, with less prominent spots for features meant for people already on campus (though, again, it's hardly inconvenient to find those things). After all, KU's strategic plan aims to do things like improve recruitment of students and faculty, make KU research activity more visible and form more business partnerships.
Vice chancellor for public affairs Tim Caboni, who leads KU's communication efforts, tweeted that the site redesign, which also includes a revamped news page, was the result of a "huge effort by a host of folks."
This blog also requires the effort of a host of folks, though perhaps not a huge one. Please send those KU news tips to email@example.com.
KU's "Big Event" is kicking into gear for its third year, though if it keeps growing at the rate organizers are hoping, it might have to change the adjective in its name to "massive" or "humongous" or something like that.
The Big Event is a student-organized community-service project that aims to send hordes of KU students, faculty and staff out into Lawrence on one spring day to help with pretty much anything that needs doing. Organizers say it's meant to say "thanks" to the town.
This year's day is April 13. In the event's first year, about 500 volunteers helped at 100 different sites around town. Last year, some 2,000 people helped out at around 200 different places. And this year, organizers are shooting for 4,000 volunteers and 400 sites.
Registration — both for volunteers and for people asking for help — begins Jan. 22 at thebigeventku.com. It runs through March 31.
The students behind the effort don't want you to be shy about asking for help with any sort of project or mess you might have. Last year organizers had to remind folks that help is open to absolutely anyone who might need it, regardless of age, financial situation or anything else. Some past projects have included painting, raking leaves, washing windows, garden work, moving heavy objects and a bunch of other stuff. The volunteers will help with any task, "within reason," says a release from the organizers.
And, you know, something else you shouldn't be shy about is submitting KU news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. They don't even need to be "within reason," as long as they're true.
Connell grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and he started out at Dartmouth College. But after serving in the Navy during World War II, he graduated from KU in 1947 with a degree in English.
Two companion novels about a well-to-do Kansas City family, "Mrs. Bridge" and "Mr. Bridge," drew him praise, and he also wrote a best-selling account of the Battle of Little Bighorn, "Son of the Morning Star," among many other varied works.
Have you read any of Connell's works? Did you know he was a KU grad?
Put your answers in the comments. But if you have a KU news tip, send it my way at email@example.com.
KU professor appearing on national TV tonight, days after being featured by Journal-World (these things likely unrelated)
A KU psychologist will be a national TV star, at least for a short time tonight.
This is surely prompted by the Journal-World's report a few days ago on the recent finding by Atchley and his wife, Ruth Ann Atchley, that people became much more creative after spending a few days out in the wilderness with no electronic devices.
But in a more realistic sense, it's probably not related to our story, because Paul Atchley will be discussing a similar but different topic: texting and driving. He was interviewed by NBC's Kate Snow about his research on the subject.
Atchley has researched the dangers of cellphone use in cars, saying he would support a ban of phone use while driving. He's also looked at the effects of text-messaging on young people's brains, reporting this fall that texting is a compulsion for them.
You can watch the "Rock Center" segment at 9 p.m. tonight on NBC.
Would you like to become a part of the Journal-World star-making machine? Send your KU news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org, and maybe we can land you on national TV too! (Note: This almost definitely will not happen.)
We working folks may feel a bit jealous of the lengthy winter break KU students enjoy. But here's a reminder that they're not actually sleeping till noon and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix all day as they are in our envious imaginations — at least not all of them.
Ten KU pharmacy students are actually in the midst of a tour of independent pharmacies in rural southwest Kansas, the Dodge City Daily Globe reports. They're learning about what life might be like were they to strike out on their own pharmacy once they graduate.
That's important because officials for have been predicting a serious impending need for more pharmacists in rural Kansas, where the local pharmacy is often the first place people turn for health care. That's a big reason the KU School of Pharmacy received $50 million from the state for a new building on KU's West Campus in Lawrence and an expansion of its facility in Wichita. The idea is that the school will now have more capacity to pump out pharmacists who can serve rural Kansans for years to come.
This tour is trying to spur that along by getting pharmacists-to-be thinking about running their own businesses. Joined by KU pharmacy dean Ken Audus, they're visiting a list of towns that includes Greensburg, Kinsley, Cimarron, Medicine Lodge and more.
The Daily Globe was there to report on the visit to a pharmacy in Cimarron, where a longtime pharmacist said locals often went to him with their health concerns before going to a doctor. One person, he said, once brought in a jar of urine for him to examine.
I have no doubt that many other KU students are also finding ways to fill their break that don't involve sleeping late and watching TV marathons. But if that is what you're doing, why not take a break to send a KU news tip to email@example.com?
KU student-government leaders planning to lobby state legislators on concealed carry on campus, higher-education funding
We're just a few days away from a new Kansas legislative session, and KU's student government is getting ready to join in the fun.
Student Body President Hannah Bolton is rounding up students to come along on Higher Education Day, Feb. 11, when student governments from all the Kansas Board of Regents institutions will head to Topeka to lobby on the sorts of issues that might matter to college students.
Bolton said the KU representatives would focus on three issues in particular:
• Concealed carry on college campuses. The KU students will lobby against this, as they did last year at the same event. Bolton said the student-government groups at the other Regents universities would each be writing resolutions opposing on-campus concealed carry, as well.
• Potential higher-education funding cuts. Gov. Sam Brownback won't unveil his recommended state budget until the session starts, but the state Division of Budget last month recommended cuts of approximately 8 percent to higher-education funding, according to the Board of Regents. Bolton said that number is worrisome to students, so they'll hammer this one hard.
• And, finally, issues related to international students. Bolton said some of these issues (such as working restrictions) will apply more to the federal level, but one issue the KU students might consider will be in-state tuition for illegal-immigrant students who've lived in the state for at least three years. She said she wasn't sure how other student governments might feel about that issue, though.
KU student-government folks will also head to Washington, D.C., to lobby along with contingents from other Big 12 schools in March.