After being considered for several other university executive jobs, a former KU administrator has been picked to lead the University of California Riverside, the Los Angeles Times reports today.
Kim Wilcox, a former dean of KU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as well as a former president of the Kansas Board of Regents, still has to be confirmed by regents before he'll officially become chancellor at UC Riverside. He left KU in 2005 to become the provost at Michigan State University, where he stayed until this summer.
Much to my confusion, Wilcox earlier this year was a public finalist to be the executive at two different public universities that go by the abbreviation "UW," the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Wyoming. He was also the candidate for another executive job, the chancellorship at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, in 2012.
UC Riverside has about 22,000 students. Wilcox's boss will be Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano when she becomes president of the University of California system in September.
Leading a university is a pretty big job, I suppose, but I'd argue that no job is more important than that of a Heard on the Hill tipster. You can apply by sending a KU news tip to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More LJWorld KU News Coverage
KU links: KU men’s basketball team reaches title game in academic bracket; Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap advances in college food tourney
Your spring break edition of KU tidbits from around the Internet:
• The KU men's and women's basketball teams will hit the court in their NCAA Tournaments today and tomorrow, but the results are already in for the publication Inside Higher Ed's annual Academic Performance Tournament. So you can go ahead and distribute prizes for your office pools in that area.
The tournament is a fun little exercise that uses the same seeds and bracket as the basketball tournaments but advances teams based on their Academic Progress Rate—the NCAA's measure of academic performance for each team. A graduation-rate measure is used as a tiebreaker.
APR gives each athletic program at each school a score based on how many players stay in school and remain eligible to play. It doesn't penalize programs for athletes who leave early to play professionally, as long as they are in good academic standing when they leave.
The KU men's team has performed as well in the academic tourney in recent years as it has in, well, basketball. It won the whole thing last year, and this year it made the title game before running into the buzzsaw that is Belmont University (man, those "B" teams, huh?). Memphis and Butler also made the Final Four.
The men's team's APR is a perfect 1,000 for each of the past four years published by the NCAA here. The women's team's score is a bit lower — 982 in the most recent year published. As such, the team was knocked out in the first round by Colorado in Inside Higher Ed's corresponding women's tournament.
• Speaking of brackets: The KU Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap has moved on to the Sweet 16 of the Cooking Channel's college food tournament, where it faces some honey buns from Syracuse University. It defeated some Iowa State cherry pies in the first round, by a margin of 4,257 to 3,904. (The University of Missouri's entry lost in the first round.)
• We told you a few weeks back that Kim Wilcox, a former dean of liberal arts and sciences at KU, had managed to be named a finalist in two different state universities' search for a new leader (both of which go by the acronym UW, no less). But now each of the UWs has chosen someone else. The University of Wisconsin-Madison picked Rebecca Blank, the acting U.S. secretary of commerce, while the University of Wyoming went with Robert Sternberg, the provost at Oklahoma State University.
We are sure you have spent your spring break, if you get one, resting calmly and reserving energy for the final two months of the semester. Get yourself started up again today by sending in a few KU news tips to email@example.com.
Your snow-day edition of KU-related tidbits popping up in the news around the country:
• A former KU dean of liberal arts and sciences appears to be a finalist in two different public universities' searches for a new leader.
When I saw this story reporting Kim Wilcox was one of four finalists to be president of the University of Wyoming, and also this story saying he was one of four finalists to be the new chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I thought somebody mixed something up. I mean, both schools use the abbreviation "UW." Come on.
Wilcox led KU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences until 2005, when he left to be provost at Michigan State University. He's announced he's stepping down from that job in June. He was also the president of the Kansas Board of Regents at one point. Last spring, he was up for another chancellorship, this one in a place markedly different from Wyoming or Wisconsin: the University of Hawaii-Manoa.
• Our old friend Leobardo Espinoza Jr., the Topeka High School senior blogging about his college choice for the New York Times, elaborated on his feelings about KU in another post this week.
When we last heard from him, he was feeling conflicted after KU offered him a full-ride scholarship (one created especially for THS graduates). Though he's waiting to hear back from Yale, Stanford and some other powerhouse universities, he writes now that his reluctance to come to KU has nothing to do with its rankings. It's all about his desire for a new experience.
• We're a bit late on this one, but here goes: This Kansas City Star feature about pipe organs from last month mentions that KU's organ program is one of the biggest in the country, even though it has only 24 students. It includes a video featuring James Higdon, the KU professor who leads the organ program, playing on the organ in the Bales Recital Hall at the Lied Center.
By the way, in case you had not guessed, that Student Union Activities "Buried Life" event we told you about yesterday won't be happening tonight as originally scheduled. But according to an SUA release, it's been rescheduled for 7 p.m. March 12 in Woodruff Auditorium at the Kansas Union.
I'm still planning to be in the Media Crossroads at the Union from 9 a.m. to noon tomorrow for Heard on the Hill Office Hours, as long as classes are in session. Please come tell me how to do my job better or ask me a question. If you can't do that, then send those KU news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.