KU administration’s weapons policy committee is officially underway; email set up for comments and questions
The Kansas University administration’s Weapons Policy Advisory Committee is officially formed, has a website and is accepting questions and comments through it, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little announced this week.
The website is weaponspolicy.ku.edu, and the committee’s email address is email@example.com. On the site is a brief description of the newly formed committee and its next steps, a timeline, links to other resources including the Personal and Family Protection Act, which is the reason for all of this in the first place, and links to news articles about campus carry (several of which you avid Journal-World readers have probably already seen).
KU’s five-member Weapons Policy Advisory Committee, convened in February, is made up of chairman Jim Pottorff, university general counsel; the Lawrence and KU Medical Center campus police chiefs; University Senate president and KU faculty member Mike Williams; and KU Medical Center Faculty Assembly Chairwoman Patricia Kluding, according to the chancellor’s Monday message to campus.
That committee is supposed to present Gray-Little with a final universitywide plan — covering all KU campuses across the state — by Sept. 1. The Kansas Board of Regents wants all state universities’ plans by October. (Background: Kansas law says that beginning in July 2017, state universities will no longer be allowed to prohibit concealed guns from their campuses. To comply with the law, the Regents approved amendments to their statewide weapons policy in January. Now state universities must develop their own policies to implement the law on their respective campuses.)
Helping KU’s main committee will be two subcommittees, or “campus implementation committees,” which are still being assembled, the chancellor said. One will determine a campus-specific plan for implementing the law at the Lawrence, Edwards (Overland Park) and Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (Yoder) campuses. The other will do the same for KU Medical Center’s three campuses (Kansas City, Wichita and Salina).
Gray-Little also took questions about guns Tuesday, during an informal general update and Q&A session with students, faculty and staff at KU Medical Center.
Refusing to comply with the law is not an option, she said. Also out of the question is writing a policy prohibiting guns from all buildings, because universities would have to place adequate security measures at every entrance where they wanted to do that.
One estimate showed it would cost in the neighborhood of $30 million a year to secure all KU entrances statewide, Gray-Little said. “So no, we are not able on a wholesale basis to provide gun detectors and guards at our entrances.”
The two subcommittees will be important, Gray-Little said, because there are a lot of differences in KU’s various campuses. For example, guns are widely used for educational purposes at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, but that campus will need to figure out a way to distinguish between those and personal concealed weapons. At the Lawrence campus, there’s a preschool and students living in dorms, which pose different challenges.
Gray-Little said the committees also will watch for evidence of how campus carry has — or has not — affected safety on campuses in states that already allow it. But so far, she said, “we don’t have anything but our judgments and beliefs.”
• KU Medical Center weapons info session: An informational session — similar to the one University Senate held on the KU Lawrence campus in December — is planned for noon to 1 p.m. March 10 in the School of Nursing auditorium at the KU Medical Center. Kluding said faculty assembly leadership is organizing the session, which is open to all KU Medical Center students, faculty and staff.
— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.
Andy Marso’s medical rehabilitation was extreme — beginning with the fact that he even survived at all.
It was near the end of the spring 2004 semester and Marso, a senior in journalism, was living in Kansas University’s Pearson Scholarship Hall when he suddenly became gravely ill. As described in a 2005 Journal-World story, friends carried him to a car and drove him to KU’s Watkins Health Center before he was rushed to KU Hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with a severe case of bacterial meningitis.
Doctors were unsure Marso would survive, and the weeks that followed were touch-and-go.
Marso was hospitalized for 141 days, according to KU Hospital. Because of tissue death, doctors had to amputate half of both feet and most of both hands.
But he did survive, and through extensive rehab was able to regain his independence. KU Hospital celebrated that this week, inducting Marso into its Rehab Hall of Fame with a ceremony on Tuesday at the hospital.
“Today, Andy’s a successful journalist, reporting on health stories for the Kansas Health Institute,” according to a hospital announcement, which praised Marso’s “perseverance and success” and said he had been an inspiration to the whole staff.
Marso’s first job after rehab was covering sports for the Basehor Sentinel, a weekly paper owned by The World Company, which also owns the Journal-World (another, possibly unnecessary, disclaimer: I know Andy, through mutual journalism friends). He’s written a book about his experience, “Worth the Pain: How Meningitis Nearly Killed Me — Then Changed My Life for the Better,” released in 2013, and is an advocate for meningitis vaccinations on college campuses.
• KU mourns death of Bill Woods: Bill Woods, a professor emeritus from the department of geography and former director of the Environmental Studies Program, died Sept. 11. Woods' obituary in the Journal-World can be found online here.
“To say that he loved his life as a professor and mentor would be a gross understatement,” Stephen Egbert, professor of geography and atmospheric science, said in a news release from KU. “He loved to see the progress of his students and went the extra mile to see them through to completion of their degrees. He will be sorely missed as a colleague, a friend, a mentor and a first-rate scholar.”
• KU eco devo recognition: KU announced Wednesday that it’s one of four finalists in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship category of the upcoming University Economic Development Association Awards of Excellence program. KU will present Sept. 27-30 in Anchorage on the "Entrepreneurs@KU" initiative housed at KU Innovation and Collaboration, which the university describes as “a transparent and supportive infrastructure to assist faculty and staff in starting companies.”
• Beauty vlogger from KU: This KU freshman has built a following on YouTube doing video beauty and makeup tutorials. The Kansan recently featured vlogger Sarah Salvini from De Soto, who said cosmetics started as an “escape” for a lack of confidence but that she hopes they will turn into a career.
Salvini's videos are peppered with personal anecdotes like boyfriend status, stress about upcoming tests, bad days, taking and later previewing her senior pictures. She says in a recent video that she's had to cut back from vlogging every day, as college has been really busy so far. When she does, though, they'll be on her YouTube channel, TheSarahSalvini.
By email at email@example.com, by phone at 832-7187 or on Twitter @saramarieshep.
KU's announcement yesterday that longtime Medical Center faculty member Douglas Girod would become the new executive vice chancellor there capped off a process that began about a year ago (though at that time, the search committee thought it was looking for a new medical-school dean, rather than a leader for the whole campus).
We weren't able to talk with Girod yesterday. (That's the thing about surgeons: They tend to be unavailable for hours at a time.) But you can learn a bit more about him at the KUMC website, if you're interested.
The Med Center Public Affairs office has posted a Q-and-A with Girod, in which he talks a bit about what he sees in store for KUMC. Among many other things, he mentions the push for state funding for a new education building, beefing up the School of Medicine's Wichita campus and working to provide more doctors for the state of Kansas, including the possibility of more programs like the new Salina campus to produce physicians for rural areas.
Also available is an hour-long YouTube clip of Girod's town-hall meeting with folks on the KUMC campus after he was announced as a finalist for the job last month.
You can expect a story here introducing Girod, where he's coming from and what he sees ahead for KUMC sometime before he steps into the new job Feb. 1.