Student-led Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk group issues diversity-related demands for KU; here’s some more context
A group of about a dozen, mostly black Kansas University students that carried signs onto the stage and temporarily took over Wednesday’s town hall forum on race read a list of 15 demands they had of KU.
I didn’t have much information on those demands in my story about the forum. They were only one scene in an event that lasted more than two hours and included many voices from students and faculty of all colors. (Also, the woman who read the demands on stage refused to give me her name or answer any questions about them afterward.)
Thursday, the group — which called itself by the hashtag it’s using on Twitter #rockchalkinvisiblehawk — published its demands in a tweet from @InvisibleHawks. Here's their list, word for word.
Below some of the demands involving issues I'm familiar with, I’ve added, in parenthesis, additional notes and links I think are helpful for context.
Demands for the University of Kansas Governing Bodies
1. Director of OMA hired by December
(Former Office of Multicultural Affairs director Blane Harding left KU in May. Precious Porras has been interim director since.)
2. Mandatory, intense “inclusion and belonging” training for all levels of students, staff, faculty, and administration
3. Issue Campus Climate Survey by February 2016
(The comprehensive survey aims to assess KU’s climate in the following areas: respect and collegiality; communication, collaboration and cooperation; overall work and academic environment; and diversity, equity and inclusion, according to KU’s Office of Diversity and Equity. KU has contracted with Rankin & Associates Consulting to conduct the survey, and it’s currently scheduled to be sent out in fall 2016.)
4. Train and rehire IOA staff and implement accountability measures
(KU’s Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access is charged with investigating reports of discrimination on campus — including sexual harassment and sexual violence — and recommending disciplinary action. Director Jane McQueeny resigned in October, and KU currently is searching for a replacement. The office still has four employees. )
5. Increase consistent hiring of diverse faculty and staff
(It’s not labeled as a diversity hiring program, but KU’s “Hiring for Excellence” initiative aims to get more candidates of color on campus and, ultimately, hired. I wrote about the effort earlier this year, and administrators said increasing faculty diversity is a challenging goal but credited the initiative with making some progress so far.)
6. Increase the percentage of underrepresented domestic and undocumented students
(KU’s overall enrollment went up this fall. Within the new freshman class, the number of Hispanic students went up 10 percent, the number of multiracial students stayed about the same, and the number of black freshmen went down 27 percent. The number of black students in the freshman class is still higher than it was several years ago. KU's most recent retention and graduation report is available on the Office of Institutional Research and Planning website.)
7. Immediate amendments to Senate election code
(Some students have complained that a Student Senate decision to raise the spending cap for elections prevents minority students from running for office.)
8. Increase aid and assistance to active military and veterans
(The number of vets at KU is going up. I just reported some numbers this week, along with plans to build a new Student Veterans Center inside Summerfield Hall once the business school moves out.)
9. Establish team of multicultural counselors to specifically address severe mental illnesses and the needs of students of color by Fall 2016
10. Ban concealed weapons from campus
(Under Kansas law, concealed weapons must be allowed on public university campuses beginning in July 2017. The Kansas Board of Regents currently is seeking input from KU and other universities to develop a policy covering how the new law will be implemented.)
11. Remove all professors who assault, sexually harass, or engage in abusive relationships with students. Apply this policy retroactively as well, specifically to Dr. [name redacted by the Journal-World]. Immediate expulsion of those that commit sexual assault.
(Several years ago a female student accused the professor listed by name of sexually harassing her, and she was unhappy with how KU handled her complaint. KU does not release information about individual investigations.)
12. Open investigation in Grant, Starling et al. case as hate crime beginning with IOA
(KU Black Student Union president Kynnedi Grant said during Wednesday’s forum that she and several black friends were physically assaulted and called a racial slur at an off-campus house party on Halloween. A police report was not filed, Grant said Wednesday. It’s unclear if the women filed a report with KU IOA, though Grant posted an account of the event on her Facebook page earlier this week. After the forum, Grant declined to answer my questions about the incident.)
13. Reopen investigation into the murder of Rick “Tiger” Dowdell
(Dowdell, a 19-year-old black Lawrence resident, was fatally shot during a gun battle with police near Ninth and Rhode Island streets in July 1970, a summer filled with race-fueled violence at KU and throughout the community. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation determined that Dowdell had exchanged fire with a Lawrence police officer and that a bullet from the officer’s gun killed Dowdell, according to previous Journal-World reports. A coroner’s inquest found that Dowdell’s death was justified. KU does not have jurisdiction over homicide investigations.)
14. Establish Multicultural Student Government independent of current University of Kansas Student Senate
15. Thorough plan of action from Administration by January 19, 2016
Big-time speakers often come with big-time pricetags, which had me and no doubt a lot of other people wondering how much Kansas University and Pittsburg State University might be shelling out to get former U.S. President Bill Clinton on their respective campuses later this month. Here's what I found out.
Clinton is not charging a speaking fee for his appearance at KU, though KU’s Dole Institute of Politics will pay his travel costs to get here, according to Dole Institute spokeswoman Makayla Hipke. She said the Dole Institute's endowment — which is privately funded — is covering part of Clinton's chartered plane to get here at a cost of about $30,000. The Dole Institute does not cover any Secret Service costs, she said.
Hipke said this is typical for almost all Dole Institute guests.
“We rarely, extremely rarely, pay our guests any type of an honorarium or speaker fee,” Hipke said. She added that the Dole Institute always covers guests’ travel costs except in special situations, such as governmental employees with stipulations on who can pay those costs.
Clinton is the winner of this year’s Dole Leadership Prize, bestowed annually by the Dole Institute, and will speak at 1 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Lied Center. Tickets to the event are free but limited, and were doled out within a few hours after becoming available to KU students and members of the public Monday morning.
A few hours after his KU appearance, at 4 p.m., Clinton will speak on the Pittsburg State campus in Pittsburg.
Kathleen Flannery, Pitt State’s vice president for university advancement, said the university was not able to confirm whether Clinton was charging a fee to speak there, or if there were a fee, how much it is. Flannery said travel and other costs for Clinton’s visit there would be covered with private dollars — no student fees, tuition or other public money.
“All of his expenses are going to be covered through the H. Lee Scott Speaker Series or through other private donors,” she said. Pitt State announced the new endowed speaker series — and that Clinton would be the inaugural speaker — on Nov. 3. The series is funded by a $2.076 million gift from alumnus and former Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott (brother to current Pitt State president Steve Scott) and his wife, Linda.
Pitt State is charging up to $50 for general admission tickets and $15 for students.
Flannery said Clinton would take “private air transportation” from Lawrence to Pittsburg. She said Pitt State had been in conversations with Clinton’s team before learning he was coming to Lawrence. Pitt State announced Clinton’s appearance there several days after KU announced he would be in Lawrence.
New map pictures where new Burge Union, science building will be constructed within KU’s Central District
Goodbye Stouffer Place and Burge Union. Hello integrated science building, parking garage and new Burge Union.
We’ve been reporting on Kansas University’s plans to majorly transform its Central District in the next couple years — including tearing down and rebuilding the Burge — but KU’s conceptual master plan has only vague, conceptual maps of where all that new construction might go.
KU has now shared a more specific map — albeit still tentative, as buildings have not yet been designed — showing how it envisions an integrated science building, the new union and a parking garage fitting between Anschutz Sports Pavilion and Irving Hill Road. The tract currently is home to the easternmost Stouffer Place apartment buildings, the Burge Union and parking lot 72.
KU is on tonight’s Lawrence City Commission agenda and is scheduled to update the Commission on its plans for the Central District, as well as discuss the possibility of a transit hub between Naismith Drive and the rec center, currently lot 90 (here’s city reporter Nikki Wentling’s writeup on that). The new map is part of the materials KU shared with the commission prior to the meeting.
Here's a slide of the map...
...and even better, a nifty before and after GIF by the Journal-World's digital editor Nick Gerik.
• Also, a quick note about something else happening tonight if you're not stuck in the City Commission meeting, or watching the Royals in Game 1 of the World Series. Rain Pryor, the daughter of famous comedian Richard Pryor, is on campus for a screening of “That Daughter’s Crazy,” set for 7 p.m. at Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union. During the event, which is free and open to the public, Pryor also will discuss the film, her life and career, according to KU. More information on Pryor and the film here.
This year’s Kansas University Homecoming football game is on Halloween, inspiring the spooky Homecoming week theme, “Ghosts of Jayhawks Past.” “An early kickoff Saturday against Oklahoma would get everyone home in time to trick or treat,” the KU Alumni Association says. “...after celebrating a KU victory, of course. Sooners, BEWARE! See you at Homecoming 2015!”
The Jayhawks kick off against Oklahoma University at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Courtesy of KUalumni.org, here’s a lineup of key festivities leading up to the big game.
• Homecoming Food Fest and Jayhawk Jingles skits — 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Adams Alumni Center. There will be free food and music.
• NPHC Fall Stroll Off — 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union. A new event for Homecoming, the stroll off — a tradition among historically black National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities and sororities — is a competition featuring organization members showing off their signature moves and calls in line formation.
• Haunted Hotcakes Pancake Feed — 9 to 11 p.m. Thursday in the Adams Alumni Center parking lot. Cost is $5 per person.
• Replant Mount Oread — 10:30 a.m. through early afternoon Friday in front of Joseph R. Pearson and Carruth O’Leary halls, West Campus Road. Anyone is invited to drop in and help plant new trees and shrubs. Learn more about the Replant effort, make a donation to support the project, or sign up to volunteer at replant.ku.edu.
• Homecoming Parade — 6 p.m. Friday starting at South Park, traveling down Massachusetts Street and ending at Eighth and New Hampshire streets. This year’s parade grand marshal is Catherine Carmichael, the reigning Miss Kansas World and a 2014 KU graduate and former KU volleyball player. Read more about her here.
• Homecoming Pep Rally — 7 p.m., or immediately following the parade, at Eighth and New Hampshire streets. Football Coach David Beaty, the Marching Jayhawks, KU spirit squad, Big Jay and Little Jay will be on hand to support the football team.
Visit kualumni.org for a full schedule of events planned the rest of the week. Or stop by the Homecoming table on the Watson Library lawn from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily through Friday.
The annual KU Homecoming sign competition entries were on display Monday on campus — love this one where some Ghost(buster)s of Jayhawks past are decimating a Stay Puft version of the Sooner mascot with their proton packs. See all the entries in this online photo gallery from Journal-World photographer Mike Yoder.
Contact me, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 832-7187 or on Twitter @saramarieshep.
We heard last week that ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ might be coming to the Kansas University campus on Monday. Immediately I pictured Degeneres walking down Jayhawk Boulevard in super-hip sneakers and posing for group selfies with students in front of the campanile.
Degeneres confirmed Saturday via Twitter that the show is, in fact, coming to campus Monday.
But my vision was a little bit off. Though DeGeneres herself won’t be in Lawrence Monday (she’ll be in California), the show’s social media arm is hosting a “Twitter event” at KU, university spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Peterson told the Journal-World.
What exactly will that entail? The show is supposed to be sending out tweets as it reveals details. (No updates as of mid-afternoon Sunday, though.)
When we know more, naturally your best bet for finding out fastest is via our KU Twitter handle, @LJW_KU, and my own handle, @saramarieshep. Follow along Monday, and we’ll all see what ‘The Ellen Degeneres Show’ has in store for Jayhawk territory.
Have a tip for this blog or a KU news story? Contact me by email at email@example.com, by phone at 832-7187 or on Twitter @saramarieshep.
KU Parking director talks about challenges prior to next week’s open forum; library dean candidates on campus; students create green beehives
Kansas University Parking and Transit’s annual fall open forum is never well-attended, parking director Donna Hultine said. Will next week’s forum be different?
Hultine talked parking with the University Senate Executive Committee on Tuesday afternoon, after the committee — prompted by complaints from students to professors emeritus over newly restricted parking — asked for more information on the situation and what might be done to improve it in the future.
KU students and employees usually have plenty of complaints about parking, many sent via email, Hultine said, though this year several unpopular parking changes have created a “perfect storm.”
For one, KU Parking — which is a self-funded unit — is addressing a $15 million backlog of deferred maintenance in parking lots, which required a rate increase to pay for, Hultine said. She said past university administrations had been reluctant to raise parking rates but that this one realized, “if we don’t fix it now we’ll lose the parking that we do have.” Rates have gone up in the past two years.
Second, Hultine said, “at the same time we’ve lost a lot of parking to construction.” New buildings including the recently completed Oswald/Self residence halls on Daisy Hill and the recently started EEEC adjacent to Lindley Hall are gobbling up areas previously used for parking. Also parallel parking was removed from Jayhawk Boulevard as part of the reconstruction and beautification of the campus’s main drag, and all spaces behind Strong and Bailey halls now are reserved, among other changes (see a complete rundown of lot color reassignments and rate changes here).
“The price increase is not related to the crowding, but at the same time it feels like, ‘They’re charging me more money and my parking is worse,’” Hultine said.
New parking lots are in the process of being created, including one behind the Lied Center and one planned after McCollum Hall is razed in November, Hultine said. She also added that although many students were frustrated about crowding in popular Lot 90 (near the rec center), there were usually hundreds of open spots in other yellow lots across campus “that are at least as close as Lot 90 would be to the top of the hill.”
As for technology-enabled improvements, the new automated license plate readers and related software should make data collection easier and more reliable, Hultine said. And that creates possibilities — there are no plans yet but such data could even translate into something like “real time” parking updates that would show drivers which lots were full and which had spaces available.
The University Senate Executive Committee also talked about times that Park and Ride buses run, the possibility of someday switching to assigned parking lots rather than color zones, and the effect upcoming Central District construction will have on parking. As for that, Hultine said, expect “growing pains.”
KU Parking's fall open forum is set for 3:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Big 12 Room in the Kansas Union, 1301 Jayhawk Blvd.
• Southern problems in store for KU provost?: We reported Monday that KU Provost Jeff Vitter has been tapped to become the next chancellor at Ole Miss (thanks to fellow reporter Karen Dillon for picking up that story while I was out of the office). It’s still not clear when Vitter would take over there presuming he’s officially voted in next week as expected, but according to The Clarion-Ledger, one issue that “will demand attention immediately” is a flag dispute. Students at Ole Miss have rallied to have the Mississippi state flag — which contains the Confederate symbol — removed from the campus and were scheduled to vote this week on a resolution.
• Library dean candidates on campus: At KU, a search for the next dean of libraries is underway, with four finalists coming to campus in the next few weeks. They’ll present on the topic: “Vision and Aspirations for the Role of Libraries in the Next Ten Years at a Flagship State University Such as KU.” KU Libraries is the largest library system in Kansas, with more than 4.2 million print volumes in seven campus facilities, according to KU. KU Libraries employs 50 faculty, 100 staff and 175 student employees. Former dean Lorraine Haricombe left almost a year ago to become vice provost and director of University of Texas Libraries.
Candidate 1 is Paul Bracke, associate dean for research and assessment and associate professor of library science at Purdue University Libraries. He was scheduled to give a presentation Tuesday afternoon. Candidate 2 will visit Oct. 26-27, Candidate 3 on Oct. 28-29 and Candidate 4 on Nov. 2-3.
• Former business dean dies: L. Joseph Bauman, a former KU School of Business dean, died earlier this month. Bauman spent most of his career — before and after his time as business dean in the early 1990s — working in business rather than academia, according to his obituary. He was 75.
• Sustainable sculpture en plein air: I came across this outdoor class Tuesday afternoon, asked what they were doing and snapped a picture. I also noticed there were bees floating around the sculptors while they worked (presumably from the Dyche Hall colony) — probably a good sign if the hives-in-progress seem approachable to them.
• Conference for pharmaceutical chem prof: Wednesday kicks off a three-day tribute — academia style — to recently retired distinguished pharmaceutical chemistry professor Ron Borchardt (we had this profile on Borchardt right after he taught his last class in May). “A Tribute to Ronald T. Borchardt – Teacher, Mentor, Scientist, Colleague, Leader and Friend” is expected to draw hundreds of people from around the country, according to organizers. Following registration, events begin at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the School of Pharmacy building with opening remarks and a keynote lecture by John Martin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gilead Sciences Inc., “Three Decades of Advances in Nucleotide Antivirals: From Research to Expanding Access.” Lectures by scientists from KU and other universities, talks by industry representatives, poster sessions and a panel discussion are planned all day Thursday and Friday at Theatre Lawrence.
• Haunting lecture: “Goat Bones in the Basement: A Case of Race, Gender and Haunting in Old Savannah” is the title of an upcoming presentation by University of Michigan Professor Tiya Miles, who is this year’s Bill Tuttle Distinguished Lecturer in American Studies at KU. Her talk will address slavery and “dark tourism,” or visiting sites known for morbid events. It’s set for 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, in Woodruff Auditorium of the Kansas Union, 1301 Jayhawk Blvd. Miles is also doing a reading and book signing at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Raven Book Store, 6 E. Seventh St. More on Miles and her work here.
By email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 832-7187 or on Twitter @saramarieshep.
I got to check out the inside of Kansas University’s McCarthy Hall this week, and afterward talked to basketball player Perry Ellis about his team’s new home. When I asked Ellis what he thought, he started by saying: “Words can’t describe it.”
Pictures definitely are better.
Journal-World photographer Mike Yoder shot really nice ones that are posted online with my full story about the palatial, Jayhawk-laden on-campus apartment building, which the KU men’s basketball team and about 20 other students just moved into on Oct. 8. Here are some video clips I took on my phone.
Sorry it’s no personal walk-through with Coach Self, but you get the idea. Let the tour begin!
Have KU news tips or story ideas? Let me know by email at email@example.com, by phone at 832-7187 or on Twitter @saramarieshep.
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.