Posts tagged with Ku
There is a highly disturbing video on the KU Lawrence Campus Alerts website. It’s called, “RUN. HIDE. FIGHT. Surviving an Active Shooter Event.”
When I say disturbing, I don’t mean it's disturbing that KU put it on the website. What’s disturbing is that it NEEDS to be on the website. But these are the times in which we live, and as the narrator in the short educational film states (with ominous piano music in the background): “Sometimes bad people do bad things. Their motivations are different, the warning signs may vary, but the devastating effects are the same. And unfortunately you need to be prepared for the worst.”
Following the recent mass shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College (plus two others last week, though the shootings at Northern Arizona and Texas Southern universities were different in that they reportedly stemmed from disputes) seemed like a good time to revisit KU’s protocol in case of an active shooter on campus.
There are plenty of arguments over why shooters do what they do, what response works and what doesn’t, whether campus alerts are fast enough, or whether allowing guns on campus would affect these situations. But regardless of people’s opinions on those matters, here’s what KU has in place now.
Alerts for students and employees
In case of an urgent emergency such as an active shooter, KU’s primary method of alerting campus would be sending out a text message to cell phones of students, faculty and staff, university spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Peterson said. “That’s the most accessible for most people,” she said. “It’s going to be the most immediate.”
For the past two years, KU has automatically signed up students to receive the alerts, she said. Faculty, staff and any students who aren’t signed up are urged to do so, and to be sure that if their cell number changes to update it with KU (there’s a link to sign up online at alerts.ku.edu).
KU also would post the latest official updates online at alerts.ku.edu, can send out an email to all university email addresses, and can use social media “when appropriate,” Barcomb-Peterson said. KU’s official Twitter handle is @KUNews, and its Facebook page is Facebook.com/KU.
Barcomb-Peterson said KU officials would coordinate with law enforcement to determine what message to relay.
Training for responders
KU Office of Public Safety officers conduct crisis training annually with other area law enforcement agencies, Capt. James Anguiano said. Authorities review real-life events and look for ways to improve response, he said, so “it’s an ever-evolving process.”
KU conducted its most recent “full-fledged” active shooter exercise in May 2012 at Corbin Hall, Anguiano said. The Journal-World had this story about the training, which involved role-playing by multiple law enforcement agencies and KU’s alert system.
Awareness and education
Anguiano urged KU students, faculty and staff to report disturbing or potentially threatening social media posts to police. For preparedness, he suggested always being conscious of your surroundings, knowing where exits are, and having an escape route planned — “whether you’re on campus, in the mall, even in the grocery store ... just to be aware.”
Anguiano also suggested reading the other active shooter tips posted online at alerts.ku.edu, and watching the aforementioned video. KU police conduct training upon request with KU faculty, staff and other groups, he said, and that’s the video they show and the response they teach.
“RUN. HIDE. FIGHT.”, produced by the city of Houston with grant money from the Department of Homeland Security, is a dramatic interpretation of a gunman going into an office building hunting down and shooting everyone he sees. In short, it suggests run if you can, hide if you can’t, and fight if you must.
“We’ve always been trained on what to do when the fire alarm goes off since we were little,” Anguiano said. “In the times we are in now, it’s unfortunate we have to prepare for these type of incidents as well.”
By email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 832-7187 or on Twitter @saramarieshep.
The Kansas University School of Law has publicized a handful of points of pride recently — in addition to one of its professors arguing twice this week before the U.S. Supreme Court (as mentioned in Monday’s Heard on the Hill).
This week, KU announced two rankings that would be enticing for prospective law students who want to be able to get jobs and pay off their law school loans once they graduate.
National Jurist magazine ranked KU Law the No. 18 Best Value Law School in the country. According to KU, the ranking highlights affordable law schools whose graduates perform “exceptionally well” on the bar exam and “have had success” finding legal jobs. U.S. News ranked KU Law 20th in the nation among law schools whose graduates finish school with the least debt.
“We pride ourselves on delivering an affordable legal education that prepares our graduates for successful careers,” Stephen Mazza, dean of the law school, said in KU’s news release. “At KU Law, value isn’t just about reasonable tuition. Our graduates pass the bar exam at a rate that consistently exceeds the state average, and they secure quality employment at a rate that stacks up against the top quarter of law schools in the country.”
And about that bar exam: Last week KU announced that the 2015 class of law school graduates passed the bar “at rates that far exceeded state averages.”
KU grads taking the Kansas bar exam for the first time in July 2015 achieved a 91.6 percent pass rate, surpassing the state pass rate of 81 percent, according to KU. In Missouri, 94.7 percent of KU test-takers passed the bar on their first attempt, surpassing the state average of 86.7 percent.
According to KU, those numbers mean KU “ranked No. 1 among all law schools in Kansas and Missouri whose graduates sat for the July 2015 bar exam in high numbers, including the University of Missouri, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, St. Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis and Washburn University.”
• Late Night is Friday, dancing is promised: A reminder for anyone who either wants to attend or avoid the traffic — the KU men’s basketball team’s 31st-annual Late Night in the Phog is 6:30 p.m. Friday at Allen Fieldhouse and will last until about 9:30 p.m. You never know what’s in store until you get there, but according to this writeup by Gary Bedore of kusports.com, freshman Carlton Bragg, at least, is “ready for dancing.”
• Visual art minor: KU will offer a visual art minor starting in spring 2016, which the university says is in response to students asking for it — specifically, students majoring in subjects across the university who want to “enhance their current degree or fulfill a personal interest in visual art.” Minoring in art will require 18 hours of any visual art concentration, including ceramics, drawing, painting, textiles, metal smithing and sculpture.
• Odd research of the week — Alpine skiing: “Skiing into Modernity: A Cultural and Environmental History” is the title of a book by KU assistant professor of history Andrew Denning. Fascism, tourism, overbuilding, World War I ski troop training, marketing, the first motorized ski lifts, dynamiting the mountains and climate change — it’s all in there. KU News service recently wrote about Denning's book; read the feature here.
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At least one KU insider is finalist for vice provost for undergraduate studies; and other KU personnel matters
At least one of three finalists for Kansas University’s next vice provost for undergraduate studies is a KU insider.
Ruth Ann Atchley, professor and chair of KU’s Department of Psychology, will make a public presentation from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday at the Kansas Room in the Kansas Union, 1301 Jayhawk Blvd. Her assigned topic: “What are the three biggest challenges to student academic success that public research universities face? How do you propose to engage academic units and academic support services in efforts to improve graduation rates?”
Atchley has been on the KU faculty since 1998 and became chair of the psychology department in 2009. With nearly 1,000 students, psychology is the fourth most popular undergraduate major at KU, and the department is home to 38 faculty members, according to the university.
The third vice provost candidate, whose name has not yet been announced, will speak from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Malott Room in the Union. KU should be announcing that name about 48 hours prior. The first finalist named was DeAngela Burns-Wallace, assistant vice provost for Undergraduate Studies at the University of Missouri. She gave her presentation last week. More on her professional experience is available here.
The new vice provost for undergraduate studies will replace Ann Cudd, who left KU in July to become dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University. Tammara Durham, vice provost for student affairs, is interim.
• Award-winning dining director gone: KU also is looking for a new KU Dining Services director after the resignation of Nona Golledge shortly before the start of fall classes. Golledge had worked for KU 27 years and racked up honors in the profession, including the 2015 International Food Manufacturers Association Silver Plate Award in the Colleges and Universities category — aka the “Academy Award” of collegiate foodservice.
I don’t know what Golledge is doing now, and KU Memorial Unions director of public affairs Mike Reid said only that she left due to personal reasons. He said a national search is being undertaken and it’s hoped to have a new director on board by January.
In a letter announcing Golledge’s resignation to colleagues, Unions director David Mucci said she “built one of the nation’s strongest dining services.” Mucci doesn’t specifically mention it, but the Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap’s historic run in the 2013 Cooking Channel Best College Eats tournament happened under her watch, too.
• Geological Survey director retiring: Rex Buchanan, interim director of the KU-based Kansas Geological Survey since 2010, will retire in June 2016, the university recently announced. Buchanan has been with the Survey since 1978. KU says a search committee has been formed to find Buchanan’s successor.
The Survey researches a number of issues that have been big news in the state lately, including the state’s depleting aquifers and the relationship between saltwater disposal from oil production and earthquakes. “These are some of the most important long-term issues facing the state of Kansas,” Buchanan said, in a KU news release. “The KGS is a leading source of research and information for policy makers and the public, and I’ve enjoyed being part of that.”
• Lecturer found guilty of stalking: David Pendergrass is no longer employed by KU this semester, our public safety reporter Caitlin Doornbos has verified with KU. You may remember Pendergrass for two things: winning the 2014 Honor for an Outstanding Progressive Educator (better known as the HOPE Award) at a KU football game last fall, or being in the newspaper back in February after being put on probation in Johnson County for stalking and protection order violations involving an ex-girlfriend.
Pendergrass administered the molecular biosciences degree program at KU’s Edwards Campus in Overland Park and taught graduate biology.
By email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 832-7187 or on Twitter @saramarieshep.
5 questions with Uber VP, Google Earth co-founder Brian McClendon prior to his induction into the National Academy of Engineering
Last weekend when some friends were “Ubering” home after a few beverages on our patio, nobody worried about how the software was designed — only about whether driver Kelly (or whatever her name was) was far enough away for them to have a final final. (At 4 minutes away, it was determined that she was not.)
The behind-the-scenes part of geographical software development, which most users don’t think about as long as it’s working, is landing Kansas University grad Brian McClendon one of the engineering world’s top honors. McClendon will be inducted this weekend into the National Academy of Engineering for, according to KU, leadership resulting in “widespread, accurate and useful geographic information.”
McClendon is vice president of advanced technologies at Uber. Before that, he was a vice president at Google, where he co-founded Google Earth (and made Lawrence the center of it). According to KU, his former Google colleagues nominated him for the National Academy.
McClendon kindly took a few minutes to talk with me Tuesday. Here’s what I asked him.
First, what’s your bio in a nutshell, and what ties do you still have with Lawrence and KU?
McClendon, 51, and his wife, Beth, live in Portola Valley, Calif., (the Silicon Valley area). He graduated from Lawrence High School in 1982 and from KU in 1986, with a degree in electrical engineering. Depending how much free time he has, McClendon said he tries to get back to Lawrence about four times a year. He serves on advisory boards for KU’s School of Engineering and Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, visits family and likes going to KU basketball games.
You were with Google more than 10 years before joining Uber in June. Why did you make the move?
“I think the biggest reason is that Uber needs maps even more than Google does, because it’s fundamental to their business. And Uber is doing something that’s going to change the face of transportation, and I think that’s pretty exciting.”
Disputes involving Uber have been in the news a lot nationwide, including in Kansas and Missouri over what type of service it is and how it should be regulated. Do such disputes make you worry about the future of the concept?
“I think they come with the territory when you’re disruptive. And a lot of existing ways of doing business were, I think, effectively inefficient and not providing a great customer experience, and so there’s an opportunity for Uber to change that.”
I pulled up some Journal-World articles about your past visits to town, in which you made these predictions: Over time we’ll have a completely modeled (Google) Earth (2007). The digital divide is real, and children who don't have access to technology at home must have it at school (2008). Cloud computing and mobile Internet is the future, and it’s within reach (2009). Mobile apps are going to be huge for industry, even outside the electrical engineering and programming worlds (2011).
All those came true — so, what’s the next big thing?
“I think that computers and sensors are going to play a much bigger part in people’s lives. They will help assist with recognition and safety, and they will become much cheaper. I think the hardest part of the industry will be trying to organize all of the opportunities into something that real humans can understand.”
What’s your reaction to the award?
“It’s a cool award, the NAE is pretty selective. The only reason that I think I got in is that the people I’ve worked with over the last many years were brilliant as well, and I learned a lot from them.”
• More worry about weapons on campus: At Tuesday afternoon’s University Senate Executive Committee meeting, this subject came up again — as usual these days in university governance. Senate president Mike Williams reported that the weapons committee will have its first meeting this week and has agreed to use July 1, 2017, as the date guns are coming to campus. The date has been a source of confusion for some, but that’s the one the Kansas Board of Regents has settled on.
Guns dominated discussions by faculty from universities statewide attending this month’s Regents meeting, Faculty Senate president Tom Beisecker said. He said the Regents want all state universities to coordinate efforts in developing plans for implementation, through the Regents governance committee. “There is no doubt now ... that everybody on all campuses now is concerned,” Beisecker said.
• Astronaut scholarships: KU on Tuesday announced that two seniors are the first KU students to receive the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's Astronaut Scholarship. Winners Jennifer Stern, a senior from Lawrence majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology, and Jessica van Loben Sels, a senior from Albuquerque, N.M., majoring in microbiology, each will get $10,000 scholarships.
The Foundation selected KU to join its scholarship program based upon the university's STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs and strong research opportunities for undergraduate students, according to KU. This is hardly the first scholarship for either of these young women — both have a lot of honors on their resumes already. Read more about Stern and van Loben Sels here.
By email at email@example.com, by phone at 832-7187 or on Twitter @saramarieshep.
In Sunday’s paper I had a story updating the situation with Kappa Sigma, the fraternity KU announced was facing “serious and disturbing” allegations of sexual assault at an informal party over homecoming weekend a year ago.
In short, KU gave the entire fraternity two years of probation for violating the university’s sexual misconduct policy, and the fraternity is complying with the conditions so far. As for what reportedly happened, we don’t know. No criminal charges have been filed; Lawrence police say their investigation is “ongoing.” KU, citing federal privacy laws, won’t reveal whether the university investigated or found any individuals responsible for sexual misconduct.
In response to the Kappa Sigma story, a reader (perhaps feeling like we were picking on fraternities?) suggested I write about the rapes in the dorms at KU.
We have. Or, more specifically, we have reported on all the alleged on-campus or fraternity sexual assaults that we knew about and could get information on — but there aren’t very many in that category. Unless cases proceed to court, details aren’t available through official channels. Police and KU disclose little to nothing in order to protect the privacy of victims and others involved.
So for that reader and others who may have missed the reports, here’s the latest on cases we’ve written about since I took over the KU beat last year.
A common theme (nothing new, as highlighted in the 'Losing proposition' project I published in December): No one is going to jail.
Lewis Hall, fall 2013 — The Lewis Hall rape case, which got national attention when the victim shared her story with media and spurred outrage on the KU campus, did not result in criminal charges. The district attorney’s office cited “impediments” to a successful prosecution and helped negotiate an out-of-court agreement between the victim and alleged assailant. KU, however, did discipline the man, according to documents obtained by the Journal-World.
GSP Hall, spring 2014 — A man accused of raping a woman he knew in GSP was criminally charged with sexual battery and ultimately got a diversion. The diversion requires him to pay restitution, write an apology letter and perform community service, among other things. KU expelled the man for sexual misconduct.
Hashinger Hall, fall 2014 — Criminal charges against two men accused of raping incapacitated women in Hashinger were dropped, then expunged completely. Arrest affidavits that presumably described what was alleged were never made public. KU did not disclose anything about an investigation into the man who was a KU student.
• Upcoming lecture of note: University of Wisconsin sociologist Alice Goffman, author of “On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City,” will speak at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at Spooner Hall as part of the Hall Center for the Humanities Lecture Series. I’ve heard academic types are particularly interested in Goffman because of the debate her research has sparked.
Critics, as The New York Times puts it, “have debated not just her facts, interpretations and methods, but the fraught politics of privileged white outsiders studying minority communities.” One law professor went so far as to accuse Goffman of conspiracy to commit murder during one incident she wrote about from the six years she spent “observing and sometimes living among” a group of young men in Philadelphia.
• Super blood moon over KU: Architecture on (and near) the KU campus makes for great photos, especially when there's a dramatic lunar event. Journal-World photographer Mike Yoder took full advantage Sunday night, with these impressive shots of the lunar eclipse looming over The Oread hotel and next to the campanile. Below those, there's an oldie-but-goodie blood moon image Journal-World photographer Nick Krug captured in 2014.
Any other photographers out there have a successful #superbloodmoon shot incorporating the KU campus? I'd love to see it. Send it my way, or reach out with other KU news tips, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 832-7187 or on Twitter @saramarieshep.
A few weeks ago when I blogged about the lilacs going missing from Lilac Lane (ICYMI: they have since been replanted), I invited readers to let me know if they’d noticed anything else missing from campus — and a couple of people actually responded.
Lois Orth-Lopes, of Lawrence, shared a memory and some photos I know will spark nostalgia for many locals and KU alumni. She writes:
You asked what else is missing at KU ... I am confident most students do not realize that until serious construction began on what is now called the West Campus, the area was wooded with meadows. Wild daisies bloomed in May and June. Most likely the dorm area on Daisy Hill had daisies prior to the construction of the big five dorms, but that was before my time.
Interjection: She is correct, Daisy Hill got its name from the wild daisies that covered it once upon a time. Back to Lois:
When my sister, also a KU student, and I realized how extensive the construction was going to be on campus west of Iowa Street, we transplanted daisies to our family's farm in central Kansas. Several years ago I transplanted daisies from the family farm back to Lawrence. They now thrive in our yard.
She shared these old, fuzzy — and precious — black and white snapshots of her younger siblings visiting her at KU in 1969. They’re playing in the daisies that once covered the area where the Lied and Dole centers are now.
Obviously Daisy Hill and West Campus will never revert to vast fields of daisies, because, you know, progress. But wouldn’t it be neat if KU incorporated them into the landscaping plan? Let me know if anyone starts a petition — bring back the daisies!
Another reader saw our recent A&E feature about Phog Allen’s piano being moved to the chancellor’s residence and wondered, what became of The Outlook’s old piano that moved out to make way for Phog’s?
Apparently it touched off a game of piano dominoes.
“While the piano movers had all their gear the Outlook piano, which is a ‘Chickering Quarter-Grand, Scale 121,’ was loaded on the truck and delivered to Ellsworth Hall,” where it got a tune-up and a new quilted cover, KU Student Housing associate director Kip Grosshans said.
The small upright Wurlitzer that had been in the Ellsworth lobby was moved to Oliver Hall, Grosshans said. That’s where this domino chain ends, though, as the piano at Oliver Hall was “beyond repair,” Grosshans said. As other circa 1970s instruments need replacing, he said, KU Housing may consider digital pianos, like the one at the new Oswald/Self Hall.
• Reflection room now open: This summer I reported that KU had designated a “reflection room” for students of all faiths or no faith to pray and meditate. That room (formerly known as Alcove A) is now open, according to a press release from KU Memorial Unions. I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but when I do I’ll try to post a current photo — safe bet there’s not a conference table in the middle of the room anymore.
• Glee at the K: Guess who sang the national anthem before the Royals beat the Mariners Thursday night, clinching a division championship for the first time in 30 years? That would be the KU Men’s Glee Club, which incidentally, is the oldest continuous choral ensemble at KU.
• KU prof at the Percolator: “Contested Territories,” a show of monoprints by KU associate professor of visual art and Osage Nation member Norman Akers, opened Friday at the Lawrence Percolator, 913 Rhode Island St. A gallery talk, “Experiences of a Native Artist in the Mainstream,” is planned for 1 p.m. Oct. 17. Akers’ prints, according to the Percolator, explore the “impact of colonialism in the Americas exploring issues related to identity and place.”
About things that are missing, KU piano news or whatever other tips you think would make good KU beat stories. By email at email@example.com, by phone at 832-7187 or on Twitter @saramarieshep.
I have applied my investigative reporting skills to Kansas University’s Lilac Lane situation and can now confirm that the lilacs have, in fact, been replanted as promised. (And by investigative reporting, in this case what I really mean is taking 15 minutes to drive up to campus Tuesday afternoon and investigate.)
There are more than six dozen new bushes along the Fraser Hall side of the lane, from Jayhawk Boulevard to the cul-de-sac by Blake Hall. They’re more numerous than the old bushes — which had gotten pretty gigantic and kind of unruly — but will never grow as large, because the newly planted bushes are dwarf varieties.
As long as the new lilacs don’t take an unexpected turn for the worse over the winter, KU campus-goers shouldn’t have to go a spring without enjoying the scent of them on historic Lilac Lane.
• Business professor emeritus dies: KU School of Business professor emeritus Larry Sherr, 74, died on Sunday. “Larry willingly shared his expertise, when asked, and provided input and ideas to encourage better teaching skills, especially to new faculty members,” business dean Neeli Bendapudi said in an email to school colleagues, adding that former students and TAs have raised funds to donate a classroom in the new Capitol Federal Hall in Sherr’s honor. Services for Sherr are planned for Thursday. His obituary appeared in Tuesday’s Journal-World and is online here.
• Delta State motive 'continues to elude': The Chronicle of Higher Education visited the Delta State University campus in the wake of the fatal shooting of history teacher and KU alumnus Ethan Schmidt. An article they published Tuesday has more nice words about Schmidt, a little speculation about the mental state of his suspected killer and fellow teacher Shannon Lamb (who authorities say killed himself after killing his girlfriend and Schmidt), still no explanation for what problem Lamb would have had with Schmidt. Only this:
The killings have been particularly confounding in part because a motive continues to elude investigators, who quickly ruled out a rumor that the professors and Ms. Prentiss were in a love triangle. Mr. Schmidt’s colleagues find that particular suggestion, widely reported in the first day of news-media coverage, to be baseless and cruel, unnecessarily compounding grief for the victim’s wife, Elizabeth A. Skolaut Schmidt.
"In the end, it was a mental illness," says Paulette A. Meikle, chairwoman of the division of social sciences and history. "Ethan was not a target. I think he found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. It could have been any one of us, and that is why it’s so perturbing."
• Murphy Hall losing its Jay Break: Despite a student petition to keep it open, the Jay Break in Murphy Hall will close at the end of this semester, The University Daily Kansan reports. A KU Dining official told the Kansan that the location lost $5,000 last year and that once the De Bruce Center opens, students will be able to cross the street and get snacks there.
I take feedback and KU news tips by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 832-7187 or on Twitter @saramarieshep.
New survey shows details about sexual misconduct at KU’s peer schools; KU not releasing comprehensive data despite task force recommendation
One of the largest and most detailed surveys yet of campus sexual assault shared results on Monday, and it says nearly one in four women who responded said they’d experienced “nonconsensual sexual contact” by physical force, threat of force or while incapacitated at college.
It also includes the uncomfortable details about what that "contact" entailed — ranging from clothes-on rubbing to forced intercourse.
The Association of American Universities conducted its “Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct” at 26 AAU universities and one other school, polling students at the end of the spring 2015 semester (the full report is online here). Kansas University is an AAU member but did not participate in the survey, though most schools that did are fellow large public research universities.
I joined a national press call about the survey Monday morning. One key discussion point was the survey's breakdown of circumstances surrounding the students' encounters.
For one, the report differentiates between penetration (by anything — body part or object) and sexual touching such as kissing or groping. Bonnie Fisher, University of Cincinnati professor and consultant for Westat, the firm the AAU contracted for the survey, said it also breaks out why the behavior was nonconsensual, either because of physical force, incapacitation or “absence of affirmative consent.”
As for incapacitation, researchers said they defined it as “unable to consent or stop what was happening to you because you were passed out, asleep or incapacitated because of drugs or alcohol.” David Cantor, Westat vice president, said the language comes from a White House task force recommendation, tweaked “to make it very clear that we’re not just talking about being drunk, we’re talking about being so incapacitated that you can’t give consent.”
On to what the survey actually says. Key findings, according to the AAU’s overview:
• 11.7 percent of students who responded said they’d experienced nonconsensual sexual activity by physical force, threats of force or incapacitation while at college. (Note: The response rate was 19.3 percent, with 150,072 students participating, according to the report. Researchers said their analysis indicated that “non-victims may have been less likely to participate.”)
• The incidence of nonconsensual sexual activity was 23.1 percent among female undergrads. Of those, 10.8 percent experienced penetration.
A few more points, from the AAU’s summary:
• The risk of the most serious types of nonconsensual sexual contact (physical force or incapacitation) decline from freshman to senior year.
• Nonconsensual sexual contact involving drugs and alcohol constitute a significant percentage of the incidents.
• 28 percent or less of incidents are reported to university or law enforcement officials. More than 50 percent of victims of even the most serious incidents (e.g., forced penetration) say they do not report because they do not consider it “serious enough.”
• About half of respondents say they think it's likely their university will conduct a fair investigation if sexual misconduct is reported.
• A little less than half of the students have witnessed a drunk person heading for a sexual encounter. Among those who reported being a witness, most did not try to intervene.
• About a quarter of the students generally believe they are knowledgeable about the resources available related to sexual assault and misconduct.
Why didn’t KU participate?
In the conference call, AAU leaders said most member universities that opted out were doing or planning their own surveys. KU says that's the case here.
"The university has been doing its own climate survey for four years now and does so each year," KU spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Peterson said. "The most recent one was sent out via email to students on Feb. 10." Results of the surveys are posted on KU's Office of Institutional Research and Planning website, here.
The AAU said many schools that participated in its survey also would release school-specific aggregate data the same day. University of Missouri, for one, beat the AAU to the punch in releasing comprehensive sexual assault data from the school's Title IX office last week, according to a report in the MU student newspaper.
KU — citing confidentiality and the possibility of identifying individual victims, after past requests — has not publicly released such comprehensive data about sexual assaults reported to its Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access.
I've gotten and reported some numbers through interviews (related story: "Sex assault persists in KU student culture despite organized administrative efforts") and reports at meetings (related story: "Sexual violence and related complaints doubled at KU in 2014"). In December, KU did release a list of sanctions imposed for sexual harassment (related story: "KU expels 8 students over sexual harassment since May 2012").
The Sexual Assault Task Force — which also was unable to obtain detailed aggregate data from KU upon request — recommended that change in its final report, saying this:
Little data and information are available about how cases proceed through the campus resolution system for sexual assault cases. The KU community is not informed in aggregate or in particular cases about what happens to sexual assault complaints that are made. This lack of transparency undermines trust and prevents effective, tailored policy responses.
KU should regularly collect and post online information and data about the nature and resolution of sexual assault complaints filed at IOA. This information should include, but not be limited to, day of week, time of day, on-campus or off-campus, location (dorm, fraternity/sorority, private residence, other), whether alcohol or drugs were involved, relationship of victim/survivor and perpetrator, or if the incident in any way was connected with a KU event or activity.
KU responded that the university has already implemented that Task Force recommendation by releasing the information on sanctions. "Moving forward, KU plans to continue providing data regarding sexual assaults and the resulting disciplinary actions on a regular basis, probably annually," Barcomb-Peterson said.
• That noise is only a test: Be advised, KU will conduct a campuswide test of its emergency public address system at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. If you're on campus expect a 3-second alert tone followed by a test message. According to KU, speakers for the PA system have been installed in and around 84 buildings, reaching 98 percent of KU’s academic areas.
• Enrollment count expected this week: K-State's president said in his state of the university speech last week that his school's fall enrollment is down for the first time since 2006, according to an Associated Press report. For the moment that's unofficial, though. Official counts are taken on each university's 20th day of classes, and the Kansas Board of Regents expects to release official numbers on Friday, Regents spokeswoman Breeze Richardson said. By my estimation, that means KU's "census day" is Monday.
• KU announces two teaching awards: Associate professor of theater Nicole Hodges Persley received the Byron T. Shutz Award for Excellence in Teaching. Associate professor of communication studies Jeffrey A. Hall received the Ned N. Fleming Trust Teaching Award. Read more about the winning prof's in this KU news release sent out Monday.
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Some patrons of the handicapped-accessible parking stalls on the Kansas University campus are noticing additional restrictions this year — although KU Parking and Transit says those restrictions aren’t actually new. The office is finally catching up on installing signage communicating them.
Parking stalls compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act seem few and far between, so I was surprised to learn how many there actually are on campus: 464, according to KU Parking Director Donna Hultine.
Kansas University didn’t used to require vehicles to have a KU parking permit to park in handicapped-accessible stalls on campus, as long as they had an ADA hangtag, of course. That changed after KU hired a director of accessibility, Hultine said, her thought being, “in a system where everybody pays, everybody should pay.”
For two years KU has required disabled students, faculty and staff to purchase KU parking permits (or for disabled visitors, one-day visitor permits) to park in ADA stalls on campus during restricted parking hours (generally 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays), Hultine said. However, KU Parking finally just finished adding “bubble signs” beneath all the regular ADA signs stating a KU permit is required in addition to an ADA hangtag. With the signs now posted, Hultine said, KU Parking also has begun enforcement.
“Because signs are expensive and there’s so many, we over the years would print what we could pay for and go out and install them and make another order ... it was just a process,” Hultine said. “There are a total of 464 ADA stalls on campus, and they’re everywhere.”
Some spots where visitors regularly park have taken measures to help them, Hultine said. One example is the The Schiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic in Haworth Hall, which Hultine said purchases four KU permits and loans them to clients when they visit.
While the rest of us can no longer park behind Strong and Bailey halls — that lot was among those reconfigured this semester — all the spaces are now reserved for individual employees (presumably important ones). Ten non-reserved ADA stalls remain there, Hultine said.
A few more ADA parking facts, by the numbers:
$260 — the cost to buy an ADA KU permit this year. Hutline said that’s the cheapest permit offered, the same price as student permits for residence halls and yellow lots.
141 — the number of ADA KU permits sold so far this year. Hultine said the total sold all of last year was 209.
79 — the number of KU’s 123 monitored parking areas that contain ADA stalls. Hultine noted that a lot of parking areas aren’t accessible to any building and, as such, may not have ADA stalls.
$3 — the cost of a full-day visitor permit. It’s $1.50 for a half-day.
$25 — the cost for a gameday permit to park in an ADA stall at Memorial Stadium, where they’re first-come, first-served. A shuttle compliant with ADA access guidelines will pick up guests from satellite lots, though. Rules are the same for basketball gameday parking at Allen Fieldhouse.
• KU Endowment VP retiring: Jeff Davis, KU Endowment senior vice president for investments and treasurer, has announced plans to retire at the end of this calendar year, according to a Sept. 17 KU Endowment update letter from president Dale Seuferling. Seuferling said Davis has been with KU Endowment more than 31 years and that the organization has engaged EFL Associates to conduct a national search for his replacement.
• AAU sex assault survey: The Association of American Universities, of which KU is a member, says it will announce on Monday aggregate results of a campus climate survey on sexual assault and sexual misconduct. A total of 27 universities (about half of the AAU's members) participated in the survey in April and May 2015, according to the AAU, “making it one of the largest surveys on sexual assault and sexual misconduct ever undertaken.” I hope to get those results and report what they say. Stay tuned.
Have KU story ideas or news tips? Let me know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 832-7187 or on Twitter @saramarieshep.
“I got into French Lit for the money,” — said no one ever.
To pick on a major that got made an example of in Wednesday’s Heard on the Hill, we wrote that graduates' salaries revealed in Obama’s new College Scorecard really aren’t that revealing because they’re just averages. Results of a new study KU shared this week back up the point that, indeed, it matters more what you major in. The study confirms that lifetime earnings are higher with a college degree, but the decision about what to study is more important, said ChangHwan Kim, KU associate professor of sociology and the study's lead author, according to a KU news release. It found the most lucrative majors are medicine or dentistry, business, law and STEM degrees.
This is the first study to use “nationally representative survey data matched to longitudinal earnings data spanning a long stretch of the same person's life to document how lifetime earnings vary by field of study and how lifetime earnings change by getting an advanced degree in different fields,” KU said. Authors used personal income tax data and tracked the earnings of the same individuals over 20 years, then estimated the long-term effects of fields of study.
One reason this study is useful to students is that it can help them determine for which fields investing in graduate school will pay off earnings-wise, Kim said, as level of education doesn’t necessarily translate to more money for all majors.
Liberal arts and humanities leaders at KU and everywhere these days are clamoring to communicate how such degrees help us understand our world and give graduates important job skills — and of course they do. Kim, in KU’s press release, acknowledges there are many nonmonetary benefits to education, and “a liberal arts education is good, but it doesn't necessarily transform into a high salary."
Here are the top 14 fields of study for lifetime earnings, according to the study:
- Medicine or dentistry graduate degree - $5.25 million
- Business graduate degree - $2.91 million
- Law graduate degree - $2.9 million
- STEM graduate degree - $2.82 million
- STEM bachelor's degree – $2.66 million
- Business bachelor's degree - $2.26 million
- Health science bachelor's degree - $2.11 million
- Social science graduate degree - $1.98 million
- Liberal arts/humanities bachelor's degree - $1.88 million
- Social science bachelor's degree - $1.86 million
- Education master's degree - $1.86 million
- Liberal arts/humanities master's degree - $1.81 million
- Education bachelor's degree - $1.53 million
- High school graduate - $1.49 million
- Medicine or dentistry graduate degree - $2.12 million
- Business graduate degree - $1.89 million
- Law graduate degree - $1.77 million
- STEM bachelor's degree - $1.76 million
- STEM graduate degree – $1.74 million
- Education graduate degree - $1.5 million
- Health science bachelor's degree - $1.44 million
- Social science graduate degree - $1.39 million
- Business bachelor's degree - $1.38 million
- Liberal arts/humanities master's degree - $1.19 million
- Social science bachelor's degree - $1.05 million
- Education bachelor's degree - $1 million
- Liberal arts/humanities bachelor's degree - $0.98 million
- High school graduate - $0.73 million.
• A gift of land to KU: If you love reading the land transfers list the Journal-World publishes each week in the Hometown Lawrence section — and really, who doesn’t? — you may have noticed that KU Endowment just transferred some vacant property to KU, according to Friday’s paper. KU Endowment confirmed for me that this is the West Campus tract on which KU plans to build a greenhouse to support the soil microbiology research of Foundation Distinguished Professor James Bever, who’s coming to KU in January.
Here’s a story I wrote about the greenhouse when the Kansas Board of Regents OK’d it in June. (And a confession: I don’t read the land transfers. But my editor Chad Lawhorn does.)
• KU student out of running: Thursday night the Lawrence City Commission narrowed the pool of applicants for a vacant Commission seat from 14 to 12. KU student Kolbe Murray, a junior from Lawrence, didn’t make the cut.
• Update on Delta State slaying: The man suspected of fatally shooting Delta State University assistant professor of history Ethan Schmidt in his campus office Monday morning is a fellow Delta State teacher named Shannon Lamb — who allegedly also killed his girlfriend before killing himself the same day. Here’s the latest, most comprehensive media report I could find on the case as of Friday, but so far there seems to be no explanation for why Lamb targeted Schmidt.
Paul Kelton, Schmidt’s doctoral adviser at KU, shared comments for my story on Monday. Here’s a few more from former KU history professor Jonathan Earle, recalling Schmidt as a promising and enthusiastic scholar who, “in his short time on the planet already thought deeply about history, and discovery, and what makes Americans tick.”
Ask me about my favorite French literature, or send KU news tips via email at email@example.com, by phone at 832-7187 or on Twitter @saramarieshep.