Posts tagged with Ku

Naismith’s original rules of ‘Basket Ball’ freshly installed, now on view at KU’s DeBruce Center

Kansas University’s DeBruce Center is now truly complete: James Naismith’s original rules of “Basket Ball” — the high-profile acquisition for which the building was constructed — are installed and on display.

The building opened to the public a few weeks ago and the rules were put in place Friday morning, in a flurry of activity that involved removing and reinstalling a wall panel, security system verification and humidity and temperature checks in the display case, said Curtis Marsh, director of the DeBruce Center.

“We had a pretty intense morning,” he said.

Most of the modern, open-concept, glass-walled DeBruce Center is flooded with natural light. But the Rules Gallery — the passageway between the DeBruce Center’s atrium and Allen Fieldhouse where the rules are installed — is darkened by design to protect the historic document.

The two-page, handwritten rules of “Basket Ball” are displayed in a glass wall case along with a small portrait of Naismith. At the press of a button next to the case, the light inside comes up slightly and the voice of Naismith himself begins to play. It’s the only known audio recording of Naismith, a 1939 radio interview that was recently discovered by a KU professor.

James Naismith's original rules of "Basket Ball" are displayed inside Kansas University's DeBruce Center. The display also features a 1939 radio interview of Naismith himself describing how he invented the game, the only known audio recording of Naismith's voice. Quotes from former KU basketball players and coaches, displayed on the opposing wall, are reflected in the glass covering the rules.

James Naismith's original rules of "Basket Ball" are displayed inside Kansas University's DeBruce Center. The display also features a 1939 radio interview of Naismith himself describing how he invented the game, the only known audio recording of Naismith's voice. Quotes from former KU basketball players and coaches, displayed on the opposing wall, are reflected in the glass covering the rules. by Sara Shepherd

In addition to the tiny-by-comparison rules, the gallery features oversize wall displays about Naismith — the inventor of basketball, one of KU’s early basketball coaches and the university’s first athletics director — and legendary KU basketball coach Forrest “Phog” Allen, a contemporary of Naismith’s. There’s also backlit quotes, laser-cut into the steel walls, by other former KU basketball coaches and players.

Visitors look at James Naismith's newly installed original rules of "Basket Ball" on display at Kansas University's DeBruce Center on Friday, May 13, 2016. The low-lit Rules Gallery displays also include quotes from former KU basketball players and coaches.

Visitors look at James Naismith's newly installed original rules of "Basket Ball" on display at Kansas University's DeBruce Center on Friday, May 13, 2016. The low-lit Rules Gallery displays also include quotes from former KU basketball players and coaches. by Sara Shepherd

Current KU basketball coach Bill Self walked up to get his first glimpse of the newly installed rules while I was there Friday morning.

Self said he’d seen the Mona Lisa, a tiny painting that’s one of the world’s most famous, and said the rules display reminded him of that.

“What makes it so cool is how simplistic it is,” Self said. “For those two pieces of paper to have such an impact in our sport is what makes it so special.”

Kansas University men's basketball coach Bill Self gets his first glimpse of the newly installed rules of "Basket Ball" at the DeBruce Center on Friday, May 13, 2016. The historic document, handwritten by James Naismith, was put into place a few hours earlier.

Kansas University men's basketball coach Bill Self gets his first glimpse of the newly installed rules of "Basket Ball" at the DeBruce Center on Friday, May 13, 2016. The historic document, handwritten by James Naismith, was put into place a few hours earlier. by Sara Shepherd

KU alumnus David Booth and Suzanne Booth purchased the rules at auction in 2010 for $4.3 million, a sports memorabilia record according to Sotheby’s in New York City. The $21.7 million donor-funded DeBruce Center opened to the public April 25 and also features a cafeteria, gift shop and lounge space.

The DeBruce Center, 1647 Naismith Drive, has extended hours for commencement weekend. The building will be open until 9 p.m. Friday, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The DeBruce Center, 1647 Naismith Drive, on the Kansas University campus.

The DeBruce Center, 1647 Naismith Drive, on the Kansas University campus. by Sara Shepherd


Click here for more photos of the DeBruce center


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage at KUToday.com. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

Reply 1 comment from Bob Smith Steve Jacob

Memorial Drive reconstruction project, other summer road closures start Monday on KU campus

If you can find a spot, Memorial Drive is one of the best places to park on the Kansas University campus, I think. Assuming you’re trying to get somewhere on Jayhawk Boulevard, it’s halfway up the hill. Plus it’s peaceful, shady and offers a view of Marvin Grove.

It’s also one of the sketchiest. Jumping a curb to park, no lines between parallel parking spaces, dubiously paved — I once saw a vehicle that apparently overshot the parking slab on a muddy day and slid a car-width down the hill.

Memorial Drive is getting a facelift that will make it significantly less, ah, rustic. The road closes and work begins Monday — the morning after KU Commencement — and will continue over the next two or three summers.

The Memorial Drive reconstruction project calls for slope stabilization, drainage improvements, waterline replacement, improved parking, new pavement and sidewalks and improved lighting, according to KU spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Peterson. It also includes adding pavilions for additional future memorials.

The total project cost is estimated at $6 million, paid for by state repair and rehabilitation funds, KU parking funds and some funds from the city of Lawrence (work on West Campus Road at the end of Memorial Drive is included in the project), Barcomb-Peterson said. She said the Phase 1 portion of that cost, the phase happening this summer, is $3.1 million.

I feared the project would take away spaces on Memorial Drive (based on the sketchy edge-of-the-hill situation, and the fact that the recent Jayhawk Boulevard reconstruction project removed all the on-street parking from that thoroughfare). But actually, Barcomb-Peterson said work will add a few, bringing total spaces from 139 to 142. An additional ADA spot and two limited mobility spots account for the increase.

Barcomb-Peterson did say the current parking count of 139 isn’t precise but rather a best-estimate, explaining “the existing parallel spots now have no lines, so it depends on the size of the cars.”

And, I would add, how well they park.

Here is a rundown of Memorial Drive and other summer road closures to know about, according to KU Design and Construction Management:

• Memorial Drive, from the campanile to West Campus Road — Closed Monday until Aug. 21 for street reconstruction. The good news: Jayhawk Boulevard traffic gates will be open during the summer, which should help compensate.

• Intersection of 19th Street and Ousdahl Road — Closed Monday until sometime in August, for intersection improvements by the city.

• Irving Hill Road, from Burdick Drive (by Green Hall) to Engel Road (on Daisy Hill) — Closed Monday until Aug. 14, for Central District construction.

• Mississippi and 11th Streets, next to the HERE Kansas apartment project — Occasional closures Monday through Aug. 12, for street improvements by the city and developer.

• Sunflower Road, from Wescoe Hall Drive to Sunnyside Avenue — Occasional closures and lane restrictions Monday to July 30 for waterline improvements by the city.

Also, while most people have no reason to drive over there, all of the roads that used to lead from 19th Street to the now-razed Stouffer Place apartments are being affected. Ellis Drive is open only to Hilltop Child Development Center Traffic through August. Hopefully you already said your goodbyes to Bagley Road and Anna Drive; both will be permanently closed to the public and are slated to be removed altogether to make way for Central District construction.

Map of summer 2016 street construction on and around campus, via KU Design and Construction Management.

Map of summer 2016 street construction on and around campus, via KU Design and Construction Management. by Sara Shepherd


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage at KUToday.com. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

Reply 1 comment from Kevin Kelly

KU adding new position in CLAS, associate dean of diversity and inclusion; honor for McCollum ‘Implosion Team’

I noticed last week that Kansas University is creating a new administrative position for diversity and inclusion, an associate dean of diversity and inclusion. Here’s some more information about that job.

The associate dean of diversity and inclusion will report to and advise the dean of KU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, according to a KU job listing. The search is — or was, as applications are no longer being accepted — internal and open only to CLAS faculty members with a rank of associate or full professor. The selected candidate will spend either three-fourths or half of his or her time on the administrative role of “addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion” and the remainder on faculty duties.

KU spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Peterson didn’t give me a specific dollar figure for salary. She said the job will pay the faculty member’s academic-year salary, four pay periods of summer salary plus an administrative supplement as determined by the dean. July 1 is the anticipated start date.

She did explain some about how the position came to be, noting that CLAS is the largest school at KU.

“One of the first actions Dean Carl Lejuez took was to create a working group to identify opportunities to improve diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the College,” Barcomb-Peterson said. “One of the group’s recommendations was to create an associate dean position dedicated to addressing those issues. The new position will focus both on what can be done within the College and how to partner in efforts from the offices of the chancellor and the provost to effect change across the university.”

Carl Lejuez

Carl Lejuez

Flashback to September, when Lejuez interviewed for the CLAS dean job. In covering his public presentation at KU, I reported that he addressed diversity in the school and said both data evaluation and “creativity” were needed to improve it. During his first semester here, in a move some would probably describe as creative (though he clarified the offer was not limited to student activists or otherwise diverse students), Lejuez gave a pardon of sorts to CLAS students who were on the brink of failing out. Those who agreed to participate in a new faculty mentoring program aimed at helping them improve grades were allowed to stay for a second chance.

I know of two candidates for the new job, though there may be others. The Office of Multicultural Affairs recently hosted informal meet-and-greets for candidates professor Jennifer Hamer and associate professor Shannon Portillo.

• 'Implosion Team' gets award: A lot of things had to come together in some pretty precise ways to pull off the November 2015 spectacle that was the McCollum Hall implosion. Looks like some of the people working behind the scenes got some recognition this month. Last week KU had its annual Employees of the Year awards ceremony, and the 2015-16 Team Award went to the McCollum Hall "Implosion Team." This KU news release names the individuals and talks more about what they did, which included everything from getting used furniture to charities to getting road barriers up to protect the public on demolition day.

KU's McCollum Hall comes crashing down during a planned demolition on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015.

KU's McCollum Hall comes crashing down during a planned demolition on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. by Richard Gwin


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage at KUToday.com. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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KU rape lawsuit moves to federal court; UDK case appears headed for settlement

The case of Daisy Tackett v. Kansas University — filed by a former KU rower who said a football player raped her at Jayhawker Towers — has been reassigned from Douglas County District Court to federal court.

KU asked for the case to be moved because its allegations fall under the Constitution or laws of the United States, according to the notice of removal KU filed in Douglas County court. “Specifically, plaintiff asserts a cause of action pursuant to Title IX … alleging deliberate indifference to sexual harassment and retaliation,” the document says. (Title IX is the federal law that prohibits gender-based discrimination in education. It’s the law that requires universities to investigate and take measures to prevent sexual harassment, including sexual violence, on their campuses.)

Daisy Tackett

Daisy Tackett

The case is now active in U.S. District Court, District of Kansas (in Kansas City), as of April 25. KU has yet to file a response to the allegations Tackett outlined in the lawsuit.

Tackett’s suit, first filed March 21 in Douglas County (story here), said the football player raped her in Jayhawker Towers in fall 2014, and that KU failed to properly investigate and protect her from retaliation by the player and her rowing coaches. She withdrew from KU early this semester and now lives in Florida, where her parents are.

Two other separate but related lawsuits are still pending in Douglas County court. A fellow rowing team member — named in the lawsuit only as Jane Doe 7 — sued KU April 18, alleging the same football player also raped her in Jayhawker Towers in August 2015 and that KU failed to properly investigate and protect her from intimidation by the man and retaliation by her rowing coach. (Click here for the full story on that case.) Tackett’s parents sued KU March 11 under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act, accusing the university of misleading the public by representing campus housing as safe. (Here’s the full story on the parents’ case.)

James Tackett, left, takes questions from reporters on behalf of his daughter Daisy Tackett at a press conference Monday, March 21, 2016, in Kansas City, Mo. Daisy Tackett, who did not appear at the press conference, said she was raped in fall 2014 at Jayhawker Towers and filed a lawsuit against Kansas University alleging KU violated federal Title IX law by creating a hostile environment on campus. Also pictured is Kansas City attorney Tony LaCroix, who is representing Tackett in a separate but related lawsuit against KU.

James Tackett, left, takes questions from reporters on behalf of his daughter Daisy Tackett at a press conference Monday, March 21, 2016, in Kansas City, Mo. Daisy Tackett, who did not appear at the press conference, said she was raped in fall 2014 at Jayhawker Towers and filed a lawsuit against Kansas University alleging KU violated federal Title IX law by creating a hostile environment on campus. Also pictured is Kansas City attorney Tony LaCroix, who is representing Tackett in a separate but related lawsuit against KU. by Sara Shepherd

Just a few weeks ago, two Kansas State University students who said they were raped at fraternities in Manhattan filed Title IX lawsuits against K-State — both in federal court.

• UDK lawsuit headed for settlement? I’ve also been checking on The University Daily Kansan’s lawsuit against KU. The latest news there is that attorneys representing both sides “have reached a tentative resolution of the case and are working to finalize and fully document their agreement,” according to the most recently filed document in the case, pending in federal court.

Such an agreement should resolve the matter and bring “finality” to the case, the document says. Stay tuned for more when it’s available.

In February the student newspaper, spring 2016 editor in chief Vicky Díaz-Camacho and former editor in chief Katie Kutsko sued KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and vice provost for student affairs Tammara Durham. The Kansan complained that KU Student Senate cut the newspaper’s student fee funding in half for the 2015-2016 school year — from about $90,000 to about $45,000 — based on its content, which they said violated the student newspaper’s constitutional press freedoms under the First Amendment. The suit names the two administrators because the chancellor or designee must ultimately sign off on student fee usage decisions made by the Senate.


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage at KUToday.com. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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What the chancellor’s veto of Multicultural Student Government funding means for 2016-17 required student fees

So Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little has vetoed Student Senate’s decision to fund the Multicultural Student Government for the upcoming year. What happens to the $90,000 the group would have gotten for executive stipends and other expenses?

Nothing. Incoming students will simply pay $2 less per semester in required campus fees, so the Senate won’t have that extra $90,000 to allocate.

The chancellor did not veto any other part of the Senate’s required campus fee package for 2016-17, nor did she shift that money elsewhere, according to university spokesman Joe Monaco. He said the fee package will be presented to the Kansas Board of Regents, minus the $2 fee previously allotted to Multicultural Student Government.

The Senate’s next move regarding Multicultural Student Government remains to be seen, but whatever it is, it’s not going to happen this semester.

Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little speaks to the Kansas University Student Senate at the start of the Senate's March 9, 2016, meeting at the Kansas Union. Gray-Little was the invited guest speaker and gave a general update on university issues.

Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little speaks to the Kansas University Student Senate at the start of the Senate's March 9, 2016, meeting at the Kansas Union. Gray-Little was the invited guest speaker and gave a general update on university issues. by John Young

Thursday — the day after Gray-Little notified Senate leaders she was vetoing the fee — was the last day of spring classes. The Senate held its last business meeting of the year more than a month ago, on March 30. New student body leaders and representatives for 2016-17 were elected in mid-April and formally took office April 27.

When funding for the Multicultural Student Government was first added into the Senate’s fee package, the timing already was well into the fee allocation process.

The fee package had already been sent back to committee once, and during that committee meeting on March 2 the $2 fee for Multicultural Student Government was added in and a previously recommended $2 fee for The University Daily Kansan was reduced to $1 (there may have been other small edits, but those were the only ones anyone was talking about). The full Senate approved the changes March 9. And on March 30 the Senate voted to give Multicultural Student Government some other powers: allocating the approximately $90,000 Multicultural Education Fund and obtaining equal — 12 — seats on the Senate’s campus fee review subcommittee.

Multicultural Student Government will not have those powers next year, either, according to Senate Communications Director Connor Birzer. Both actions were contingent on the group being formally recognized by the University Governance system.

That has not happened — the main reason Gray-Little cited for vetoing the fee for the group — and may never. I reported more thoroughly on the procedural reasons for that in this April 22 story: "KU Multicultural Student Government faces complex path to transform from student club into equal governing body."

Multicultural Student Government posted an online petition protesting the chancellor’s veto, saying: “The Multicultural Student Government has worked tirelessly to navigate the steps to codify this government and assure the government's future success … This government is a vital resource that marginalized students are requesting due to not being included or served by the current Student Senate.”

Jameelah Jones, center, and Katherine Rainey, right, speak to the Kansas University Student Senate about a proposed Multicultural Student Government fee during the Student Senate meeting Wednesday evening March 9, 2016, at the Kansas Union.

Jameelah Jones, center, and Katherine Rainey, right, speak to the Kansas University Student Senate about a proposed Multicultural Student Government fee during the Student Senate meeting Wednesday evening March 9, 2016, at the Kansas Union. by John Young

The current Senate has a paid director of diversity and inclusion, a standing committee on multicultural affairs and, in addition to seats decided by open elections, a number of appointed seats reserved for representatives from minority clubs on campus. Outgoing and incoming Senate execs, the Multicultural Student Government leaders and the newly released Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Group report have all said that’s not enough, however, and the Senate needs to do better.

“We remain committed to fostering a student government that is open, accessible, and inclusive to all students,” Birzer said, in a statement on behalf of the incoming Senate.

Senate leaders, Multicultural Student Government leaders and university administrators all have said they expect to be talking over the summer about next steps for their respective groups.


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage at KUToday.com. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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Faculty ponder: Do suggested policy changes give KU too much control over employees’ inventions?

Kansas University administration is proposing some revisions to the university’s intellectual property policy, and to the “Employee Invention Assignment Agreement” that goes along with it, which faculty are supposed to sign. Some faculty leaders, however, think the policy gives KU too much control over things its employees invent, or might invent.

Administrators asked KU’s Faculty Senate Executive Committee to review proposed changes and give feedback by last week, but committee members agreed Tuesday they need more time. Incoming Faculty Senate President Pam Keller, professor of law, and incoming University Senate President Joseph Harrington, professor of English, agreed to give it a closer look over the summer.

A notable muddy area is whether KU faculty are considered employees for nine or 12 months of the year, faculty members said. One reason that matters is because some faculty spend summers working or consulting for other companies or even the government.

Faculty Senate representative Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, professor of aerospace engineering, said he and numerous other engineering faculty fall into that category. “They’re laying claim to basically 12 months of intellectual property and they’re only paying nine,” he said, adding that a professor working with a private company on a federal contract, for example, could result in federal and state government “fighting over intellectual property.”

To give you a taste of what they’re talking about, here’s one of the key passages in the suggested revised version of the agreement:

Employee agrees to assign, and hereby does assign, to University all right, title and interest and, where applicable, waives moral rights in and to said Inventions and to any Invention Protection that is filed, issued or maintained thereon, that (a) Employee develops using the University’s equipment, supplies, facilities, time, personnel or trade secrets, or (b) result from work he/she performs for the University, or (c) relate to the University’s actual or demonstrably anticipated research and/or development.

And another passage:

Employee acknowledges that he/she may enter into a consulting agreement that assigns rights to an Invention developed under a private consulting arrangement when such an Invention to be assigned is (a) developed entirely on Employee's own time, (b) makes no use of University equipment, supplies, facility or trade secret information (c) is made in compliance with University polices on intellectual property and consulting, (d) is not based on, improve upon or, to be practiced, does not require the use of an Invention owned by the University (e) arises out of a specific scope of work defined in a written agreement between the Employee and the organization, and (f) if such Inventions are within the specific subject area of Employee’s current and ongoing University research activities, such Employee has received the prior written approval from his/her department chair, school dean, unit director or similar administrative officer to engage in such external research activity and written notice of such approval has been provided to University’s technology transfer office.

Keller said a previous committee researched the issued and determined that such agreements were common at top universities but also that KU’s policy was too broad, and perhaps not clear enough.

“Have they reached the right balance?” she said. “I have some concerns about what they’ve done because it doesn’t seem to follow the committee recommendations from two years ago.”


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage at KUToday.com. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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KU’s DeBruce Center now open, temporarily without rules of ‘Basket Ball’

Guess where I had lunch today? Kansas University’s brand new DeBruce Center. It wasn’t a special media sneak-preview this time — on Monday the building opened to all.

DeBruce is still missing its pièce de résistance. James Naismith’s original rules of “Basket Ball” are not yet on display, and the “Rules Gallery” where they’ll be installed — a passageway connecting DeBruce and Allen Fieldhouse — is not yet complete. It’s roped off, with crews still hard at work inside.

Officials with KU Memorial Unions, the entity running the DeBruce Center, have stressed Monday was a “soft opening” and the $4.3 million rules won’t be installed until everything surrounding them is in place, probably several more weeks. (As DeBruce Center director Curtis Marsh put it in my last story about the building, “We are not messing around with those rules.”)

Aside from some landscaping and finishing touches on exterior metalwork, pretty much everything else is in place. A few highlights:

• Protective covering was removed on Friday, and the bronze sculpture of James Naismith is now on view outside the building. It was designed by the late KU professor Elden Tefft and completed after his death by his son, Kim Tefft.

• Custom metalwork is everywhere at DeBruce, inside and out. The exterior of the “Rules Galley” is particularly showy. The tunnel, connecting Allen Fieldhouse and DeBruce, is encased on both sides with steel covered in what looks like oversize, laser-cut lettering spelling out sections of the rules. Crews are still completing a large metal wall with a waving wheat motif outside the building.

• The “Rules Concourse” is just one of the ramps that zig-zag across the interior of this almost completely open-air building. The concourse features a display of KU basketball history, including oversize photographs of some of its most famous players.

• The Original Rules Gift Shop is heavy on KU basketball memorabilia, specifically original rules of “Basket Ball” memorabilia.

• Inside the Courtside Cafe, I immediately ordered a crunchy chicken cheddar wrap, of course. But then en route to the register I noticed I could have gotten a gyro, a banh mi sandwich or even barbecue at the other stations inside the cafeteria. Maybe next time, probably when I go back for my first look at those rules.

Outside KU's DeBruce Center is this bronze sculpture of James Naismith designed by the late KU professor Elden Tefft and completed after his death by his son, Kim Tefft.

Outside KU's DeBruce Center is this bronze sculpture of James Naismith designed by the late KU professor Elden Tefft and completed after his death by his son, Kim Tefft. by Sara Shepherd

Work is ongoing on the "Rules Gallery" inside KU's DeBruce Center, where James Naismith's original rules of "Basket Ball" will be displayed. The gallery connects DeBruce with Allen Fieldhouse.

Work is ongoing on the "Rules Gallery" inside KU's DeBruce Center, where James Naismith's original rules of "Basket Ball" will be displayed. The gallery connects DeBruce with Allen Fieldhouse. by Sara Shepherd

The "Rules Concourse" leading to the "Rules Gallery" inside KU's DeBruce Center. The big man on the right is KU basketball legend Clyde Lovellette, one of several famous KU figures featured in the historical display.

The "Rules Concourse" leading to the "Rules Gallery" inside KU's DeBruce Center. The big man on the right is KU basketball legend Clyde Lovellette, one of several famous KU figures featured in the historical display. by Sara Shepherd

The Original Rules Gift Shop inside KU's DeBruce Center features KU memorabilia, particularly original rules memorabilia.

The Original Rules Gift Shop inside KU's DeBruce Center features KU memorabilia, particularly original rules memorabilia. by Sara Shepherd

Just inside the main entrance of KU's DeBruce Center is a coffee shop (right). Open seating is pictured at left.

Just inside the main entrance of KU's DeBruce Center is a coffee shop (right). Open seating is pictured at left. by Sara Shepherd

The exterior of the "Rules Gallery" connecting KU's DeBruce Center (right) with Allen Fieldhouse.

The exterior of the "Rules Gallery" connecting KU's DeBruce Center (right) with Allen Fieldhouse. by Sara Shepherd

The Courtside Cafe on the lower level of KU's DeBruce Center.

The Courtside Cafe on the lower level of KU's DeBruce Center. by Sara Shepherd

The Nutrition Kitchen for student athletes on the top level of KU's DeBruce Center.

The Nutrition Kitchen for student athletes on the top level of KU's DeBruce Center. by Sara Shepherd

KU's DeBruce Center is open Monday through Saturday.

KU's DeBruce Center is open Monday through Saturday. by Sara Shepherd


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage at KUToday.com. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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Start brainstorming: KU Alumni Association announces theme for Homecoming 2016; new book tells history of women of Watkins and Miller Halls

The Kansas University Alumni Association announced the theme for Homecoming 2016 on Friday, along with some other key information. Last year, with KU Homecoming on Halloween, the theme was a fitting “Ghosts of Jayhawks Past.” This year’s Oct. 22 homecoming has a more open-ended one: “Rock Chalk Super Hawk.”

Here’s some more Homecoming 2016 information to note, according to the Alumni Association:

Date: Oct. 22. The Saturday homecoming football game follows a week of homecoming festivities kicking off Oct. 16.

Opponent: KU will play the Oklahoma State University Cowboys at Memorial Stadium. Time TBA.

Parade: 6 p.m. Oct. 21 on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence, followed by a pep rally on Eighth Street between Massachusetts and New Hampshire streets.

More information: As other events and information is determined, the Alumni Association will post it online at homecoming.ku.edu, on Twitter @KU_Homecoming and on Facebook at facebook.com/KUHomecoming.

People in charge: The KU Alumni Association and the student-led Homecoming Steering Committee are teaming up to plan festivities. Student director of Homecoming 2016 is Katie Gerard, a junior from Hanover.

A float that looks like Campanile with Jayhawk bat wings makes its way down Massachusetts Street during the KU homecoming parade Friday Oct. 30, 2015.

A float that looks like Campanile with Jayhawk bat wings makes its way down Massachusetts Street during the KU homecoming parade Friday Oct. 30, 2015. by John Young

An entry from the annual KU Sign Competition interpreting the 2015 homecoming theme, "Ghosts of Jayhawks Past."

An entry from the annual KU Sign Competition interpreting the 2015 homecoming theme, "Ghosts of Jayhawks Past." by Mike Yoder


• Watkins and Miller history, in print: A smaller niche of KU alumnae had a celebration last weekend, the women of “Kitchen 8.” Members of this group of Watkins and Miller scholarship halls alumnae gathered for a reception to launch “Watkins and Miller Halls,” a new KU History book published by Historic Mount Oread Friends. The book, compiled by Watkins Hall alumna Norma Decker Hoagland of Leavenworth, covers varying experiences and activities of the women who lived in the halls from 1926 until the present, Hoagland said.

The option these halls have provided so many women has been invaluable, said Hoagland, who lived in Watkins from 1969 to 1971. “I couldn’t afford to go to school if I hadn’t had my Watkins Hall scholarship.”

The cover of the KU history book, “Watkins and Miller Halls." Contributed image.

The cover of the KU history book, “Watkins and Miller Halls." Contributed image. by Sara Shepherd

The book is available for purchase on the University Press of Kansas website, kuecprd.ku.edu. In case you were wondering about the group name, “Kitchen 8,” Hoagland explains: “Watkins and Miller Scholarship Halls each have seven kitchens, where we cook for each other in a family-type atmosphere. When you graduate or leave the halls, you become a member of Kitchen 8."


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage at KUToday.com. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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Wheels are turning to create new University Senate standing committee on diversity

Kansas University has an active diversity task force, the "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Group" created in November by the Office of the Provost. But there are two main problems with it, said University Senate President Mike Williams, who is a representative on the group.

One, it’s finite. Two, it’s not autonomous from university administration.

Williams wants the University Senate to establish a permanent and separate standing committee to address diversity, he said at this week's University Senate Executive Committee meeting.

He said he’s working on a proposal and hopes to bring it to the full University Senate for a vote before the end of the school year. He said the proposal may be to create an ad hoc committee first, which under University Senate rules could be populated and begin work immediately, with the idea it would lead to a permanent committee later, which would take more time to formalize.

Williams said “many” other universities have such committees for diversity and that he was surprised KU did not.

“I think it’s more than just an appropriate gesture,” Williams said. “It’s overdue. I think it’s a chance for governance to become very visible in their support of improving the climate of the university.”

Students hold signs in the back of Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union during a town hall forum on race on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. The group later took the stage and read a list of diversity and inclusion related demands for the KU campus. KU scheduled the forum in the wake of problems at the University of Missouri, where the system president and chancellor resigned under pressure from students who said the school failed to properly respond to racial problems there.

Students hold signs in the back of Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union during a town hall forum on race on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. The group later took the stage and read a list of diversity and inclusion related demands for the KU campus. KU scheduled the forum in the wake of problems at the University of Missouri, where the system president and chancellor resigned under pressure from students who said the school failed to properly respond to racial problems there. by Mike Yoder

KU’s Student Senate already has a Multicultural Affairs Committee, one of that body’s four standing committees (the others are Finance, Student Rights and University Affairs). The University Senate (composed of students, faculty and staff) currently has nine standing committees: Academic Computing and Electronic Communications, Academic Policies and Procedures, Athletic, Calendar, International Affairs, Libraries, Organization and Administration, Planning and Resources, and Retirees Rights and Benefits.

Williams said fellow Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Group members and others have said that KU should have a body “beyond administrative reach” that can hear concerns from across campus and make recommendations for how the university can do better.

From the Provost's website, this is the charge of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Group: "The DEI Advisory Group will discover and inform our campus community of patterns of discrimination, including lack of respect, inclusion, and equity in our educational and research environments and social communities. The group will consider on an ongoing basis the degree to which we provide inclusive educational, research, and social environments for all students, staff, and faculty."

• University governance turnover: KU’s various governing bodies are amid their respective changing of the guards this time of year. Student Senate elections are today (Wednesday) and Thursday, and newly elected incoming leaders will meet jointly with outgoing representatives April 27. (If you're interested, The University Daily Kansan covered the presidential and vice presidential candidates' debate here, and published a guide outlining each of the two coalitions' platforms here.)

Faculty Senate, Staff Senate and University Senate also are in the process of naming new leaders and will hold their last meetings of the year in coming weeks.


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage at KUToday.com. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

Reply 2 comments from Clara Westphal Nathan Anderson

Lilac tradition makes return to campus; update on KU leader in running for president’s position

Despite most of the old overgrown lilac bushes being torn out and replaced last summer, Kansas University’s iconic Lilac Lane won’t go a spring without blooms.

New bushes planted in September are in bloom their first season in the ground, as university landscapers had hoped when I talked to them last fall. The new bushes are small — on top of being young, the more than six dozen planted along the sidewalk are a dwarf variety. But between those and a handful of large, old bushes remaining closer to Fraser Hall, there are enough flowers that the scent of lilacs wafts through the air along the sidewalk.

A Kansas University student walks next to new lilac bushes in bloom behind Fraser Hall on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. While some old bushes near the building remain, the lilacs along Lilac Lane were torn out and replanted with dwarf varieties in fall 2015.

A Kansas University student walks next to new lilac bushes in bloom behind Fraser Hall on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. While some old bushes near the building remain, the lilacs along Lilac Lane were torn out and replanted with dwarf varieties in fall 2015. by Sara Shepherd

It’s fantastic, and definitely worth taking a walk in the next week or so while the bushes are still in bloom.

Considering the nearly 150-year history of Lilac Lane, it’s fun to think about how many generations of students, faculty and even chancellors — The Outlook, home to KU chancellors since 1939, lies at the end of Lilac Lane — have done the same thing this time of year.

Information on Lilac Lane in the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for the KU Historic District.

Information on Lilac Lane in the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for the KU Historic District. by Sara Shepherd

A few more recent campus updates to know about:

• Vice chancellor not hired at GSU: KU vice chancellor for public affairs Tim Caboni was a finalist to become president of Georgia Southern University, but it looks like he won’t be headed there. The University System of Georgia announced Wednesday that Jaimie Hebert of Sam Houston State University would be Georgia Southern’s new president.

• Ecology and evolutionary biology professor dies: A KU professor known for his work in aquatic ecology, biofuels and the ecology of infectious diseases died last week. Val Smith, 65, a professor in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology, died April 2 at his home in Lawrence, according to KU.

“I join the University of Kansas community in mourning the death of Professor Val Smith, whose teaching and research contributed significantly to his field and helped elevate the reputation of the university and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,” KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said in a statement from the university.

Visitation is planned for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th St., according to Smith's obituary.


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

Reply 1 comment from Clara Westphal