Posts tagged with University Daily Kansan

KU announces interim business and social welfare deans; student newspaper hiring pro news adviser after year without

Two Kansas University schools now are searching for new deans, and today KU announced who will lead those schools in the meantime.

James Guthrie, associate dean of academic affairs for the School of Business, and Stephen Kapp, acting dean for the School of Social Welfare, will assume roles as interim deans of their respective units, according to a KU news release.

Guthrie will take over for School of Business Dean Neeli Bendapudi — who will be the one leading both dean searches as KU’s new provost and executive vice chancellor. Bendapudi, whose promotion KU announced last month, formally takes over as provost July 1.

Prior to being given the longer-term title of interim dean this week, Kapp was quickly named acting dean back in March, the day former School of Social Welfare dean Paul Smokowski resigned after a series of student diversity protests that targeted him personally. Smokowski, who came to KU from Arizona State University less than a year ago, planned to stay on at KU to teach and research as a faculty member.

Read more about Guthrie and Kapp and their academic records and research here.

Bendapudi will review and update position descriptions for both dean openings this summer, according to KU, and national searches for permanent replacements may begin this fall.

James Guthrie

James Guthrie

Stephen Kapp

Stephen Kapp


• Kansan hiring adviser: In another KU staffing item of interest, the University Daily Kansan is hiring an editorial adviser after spending the past school year without one. Editors said they couldn’t rehire the vacant position because of a Student Senate cut that left the newspaper with $45,000 in student fee revenue for the 2015-16 school year instead of the previous $90,000. As I recently reported, the Kansan will see its former level of student fee funding restored for the coming year.

KU’s job posting indicates they’re seeking a professional multimedia journalist who would be hired as a member of the university staff. Teaching journalism classes is not part of the job description.

According to the job posting, the advertised salary range is $45,000 to $55,000, and interested journalists should apply by June 19.

Students make the decisions at the Kansan. But as spring 2016 editor-in-chief Vicky Díaz-Camacho put it during a Student Senate meeting last semester, “We all need direction.”


— 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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Kansan lawsuit continues: Newspaper says suit should not be dismissed, especially in light of recent Student Senate action

The University Daily Kansan’s lawsuit against Kansas University has taken another step forward. The Kansan filed a memo last week opposing the university’s attempt to get the suit dismissed.

And in its latest filing, submitted April 8 in federal court, the Kansan adds that new Student Senate funding decisions made last month have made the Kansan’s situation even worse and, unless they're blocked, will continue to do so in the future.

Quick background if you’re not up to speed on this story: In February, the Kansan, current 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 violated the student newspaper’s constitutional press freedoms under the First Amendment and forced the newspaper to cut staff. The suit names the two administrators because the chancellor or designee must ultimately sign off on student fee usage decisions made by the Senate. KU responded, arguing that the court should dismiss the suit because the plaintiffs lack standing and the suit lacks merit.

“None of their blame-shifting diminishes the defendants’ role,” the Kansan wrote in its new filing. “This was more than just tacit approval in, or rubber stamping of, a sheet of paper that comes across a state administrator’s desk; this case involves the University’s official budget ... In recent years the university administration has unilaterally increased the mandatory student activity fee to fund KU athletics. Defendants had the opportunity to do the same here to avoid a constitutional violation.”

Since the lawsuit was filed, the Senate voted on required student fee allotments for the 2016-2017 school year — including keeping the Kansan’s allotment at $45,000 for the year instead of restoring it to what it was two years ago. (I’ve been checking with KU on this, but at last word the chancellor had yet to formally approve or veto the new fee package.)

The Kansan’s April 8 motion comments on that: “Without intervention ... the chilling effect on the Kansan’s newsroom will continue. Since this lawsuit was filed, this threat has moved closer to reality. The Kansan stands to suffer further retaliation because the proposed upcoming budget keeps the Kansan’s funding at only one-half of the previous amount.”

If you’re interested (like, really interested), here’s the full 32-page memo. I’ll keep an eye out for further case developments.

Note that Kutsko currently is employed as an intern for Sunflower Publishing, which, along with the Journal-World, is owned by The World Company.


— 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 media piling up the accolades

Maybe you aren't looking for one, but here's a reason to become a radio news fan: KU has a winning franchise.

Kansas Public Radio, based in Lawrence and licensed to Kansas University, took home its 15th station of the year award from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters.

The win came in the Medium Market Category, where KPR competed against both commercial and not-for-profit stations. This was the third year KPR took home the trophy for overall medium market. Before then, the station competed in the Non-Commercial Category and racked up 12 victories. That is a pretty big deal in the world of state-level radio broadcasting.

KPR programs also won individual awards. Among the first-place winners: Bryan Thompson for Complete News Feature/Enterprise stories, Stephen Koranda in the Spot News category and "Right Between the Ears," produced by Darrell Brogdon, in the Public Affairs Program category.

In other KU media news, the University Daily Kansan recently placed sixth on the Princeton Review's rankings of college newspapers, as reported by College Media Matters.

Preceding the Kansan in descending order were: the Cornell Daily Sun, the Yale Daily News, the North Carolina Daily Tar Heel, a tie between two University of Wisconsin-Madison papers, the Badger Herald and the Daily Cardinal, and the Penn State Daily Collegian.

As Dan Reimold of College Media Matters points out, the methodology of the newspaper rankings is at the least befuddling, at worst the statistical equivalent of throwing darts at a map. They're based on surveys that ask students how others perceive the popularity of their paper. So I offer the rankings with a grain of salt for the trusting and some beta-blockers to help with blood pressure for you methodology aficionados out there.

If you have media honors you need to unload, you can send all awards plus your KU news tips to bunglesbee@ljworld.com

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    @FakeJeffWithey reveals himself in Daily Kansan column

    The veil has been lifted on one of the most popular KU-related "fake" Twitter accounts: The man behind the @FakeJeffWithey account has revealed himself in a column in today's University Daily Kansan.

    His name is Ty Gardner, and he actually graduated from KU last spring. He talked with the Journal-World back in 2011 for a story about KU-related Twitter parody accounts, but he asked for his identity to remain secret. Since then, the PG-13-rated feed, which cast the 7-foot KU basketball player as some kind of raging party animal and made various KU basketball-related cracks, has exploded from about 1,800 followers to more than 32,000.

    But now that Withey's KU career is finished, Gardner says he's hanging up the keys to the @FakeJeffWithey account. The Kansan even got a photo of him posing next to Real Jeff Withey on the Allen Fieldhouse floor. (Withey has said he's a fan.)

    The front page of today's Daily Kansan, containing the big @FakeJeffWithey scoop.

    The front page of today's Daily Kansan, containing the big @FakeJeffWithey scoop. by Matt Erickson

    I'm curious how the reveal might help or hurt Gardner's career prospects, or how much he cares. But in the Kansan column, he writes about how the fake account became a big part of his life and thanks everyone for playing along.

    Perhaps you feel as though the end of @FakeJeffWithey will leave a void in your life, but now you've got a few extra seconds each day to send your KU news tips to merickson@ljworld.com, so no need to worry.

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    Skipping class costs KU students as much as $70 each time

    The University Daily Kansan published an interesting little math project today: How much tuition money are KU students throwing out the window if they skip class?

    The newspaper crunched some numbers to figure out how much students are paying per individual lecture or class meeting, and therefore how high the "cost" is for skipping a day's worth of class at a time when higher education has never been more expensive.

    A first-time freshman paying in-state tuition this year is throwing away about $18.30 if she skips a class that meets three times a week, the Kansan calculated, or about $27.40 if it's a class that meets twice a week. For out-of-state first-year freshmen this year, the cost is steeper: $47.60 per class session if it meets three times a week, or $71.40 if it meets twice a week.

    (Those numbers have to be specified for first-time freshmen because of KU's Four-Year Tuition Compact, which locks students in at a steady tuition rate set before their freshman year. For, say, a senior, the cost per class would be a bit lower, because students who started at KU in fall 2009 when tuition was lower are still paying a lower rate now.)

    Some KU schools, including business and journalism, charge higher tuition rates, making those courses more costly to skip.

    And, of course, tuition is far from the only college expense. Students are also paying for room and board, fees, books and more.

    You could probably have an interesting philosophical discussion about what students are really paying for when they pay tuition — are they paying for the time spent in class, or more for the knowledge and skills they gain from the whole experience, or really more for the credit they receive at the end, if they're a bit more cynical? But whatever the case, the math is interesting to think about.

    You know, something that definitely doesn't cost you anything is sending your KU news tips to us. Send them to merickson@ljworld.com, but not during class. (Unless your instructor has assigned you to do so, in which case: Bravo, instructor!)

    Reply 11 comments from Jonas_opines Notajayhawk Ken Lassman Yourworstnightmare Phillbert Thesychophant Parrothead8 Keith Richards Ku_cynic Question4u

    Fort Hays State student newspaper prints last issue; Daily Kansan editor says things going smoothly there

    Fort Hays State University finds itself without a student newspaper today for the first time in more than a century.

    The paper published its last print issue Thursday, as reported by the Hays Daily News, a university news release and the student paper itself, the University Leader.

    The paper has run out of money, editor-in-chief Molly Walter says. Advertising has declined, the editor told the Hays Daily News, and the paper's funding from the Fort Hays student government was cut by $12,500 for this school year.

    KU's student government threatened to cut its funding for the student paper, the University Daily Kansan, back in 2010. The Kansan cut its Friday print edition last semester, moving to four days per week.

    Hannah Wise, the Kansan's current editor, told me when I checked in that things are going smoothly there right now, though. She said the Monday-through-Thursday model is working well, and there are no plans to cut down on publication days further.The Kansan staff is especially focusing on the paper's website and social-media efforts, though.

    The Fort Hays release on the end of the University Leader says the university's president, Ed Hammond, declined a request to "bail out" the paper with funding that would keep it alive, and the university would work to plan a new multimedia news operation for students by the fall semester.

    The University Leader's own story said "a few staff members" will keep publishing stories online.

    I checked with the president of the Kansas Collegiate Media group for college publications, Mike Swan of Butler County Community College, and he said he wasn't aware of another Kansas college or university that had shut down its student paper in recent years.

    He said the paper's demise would be a shame, as a student newspaper is a valuable watchdog for a university.

    "Who else cares about Fort Hays State more than the student paper?" Swan said.

    You don't have to worry about the print edition of Heard on the Hill closing down, because there isn't one. But that doesn't mean we aren't keeping an eye on things, with your help, as long as you keep your KU news tips coming to merickson@ljworld.com.

    Reply 12 comments from Nikonman Fiddleback Juma Philchiles Jaime Baggett Thesychophant Riverdrifter Currahee

    KU grants more rights to students than some other public universities, Daily Kansan reports

    The University Daily Kansan has an interesting look today at how the rights granted to KU students by the university compare to those of students at other universities in the Midwest.

    The newspaper compared KU's Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities to policies at Kansas State University, the University of Missouri, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas. And according to a comparative chart (which didn't make it into the online version), KU appears to grant more rights to its students than any of the others.

    Two notable rights KU students have that the others don't are freedom of expression in the classroom ("subject only to the responsibility of the instructor to maintain order") and a protection against receiving an academic punishment for committing a crime off campus.

    Some other rights that KU grants that other universities don't: the right to challenge a grade, protection from censorship or unreasonable search and seizure in student housing, and the right to distribute written materials on campus without prior approval. (Edit: Things might be a bit more complicated. Check my comment below.)

    That Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities dates to 1970, when the Student Senate wrote it up and the chancellor approved it. Only KU and Oklahoma have such a document devoted to the rights of students, among the universities the Kansan looked at.

    You all, of course, have the right to ensure people know what's going on at KU by sending your KU news tips to merickson@ljworld.com.

    Reply 5 comments from Autie Bearded_gnome Matt Erickson Thesychophant Question4u

    71 years ago today at KU: UDK responds to Pearl Harbor

    As Finals Week dawns at KU this morning, the always-interesting KU History site lets us know what was going on at KU 71 years ago today, a few days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

    On Dec. 10, 1941, the Daily Kansan published a blistering editorial taking the form of an open letter to the Japanese emperor, writing that the United States was sure to emerge victorious from the ensuing conflict. It included the great line "You can paste that in your hat, Mr. Hirohito."

    The Kansan and other folks at KU did not even know yet that two of its alumni were among those who'd died in Hawaii on Dec. 7. They'd be the first of 276 KU alumni to give their lives during World War II.

    The KU History piece also notes an interesting coincidence — on Dec. 7, the Kansan had published an op-ed from a faculty member (not something you'll see in the Kansan much these days) warning against U.S. involvement in the war. Of course, this was before news of the Pearl Harbor attack had reached campus. But it shows how quickly the attack changed sentiments on the hill and elsewhere.

    Should you need a quick break this week, why not send a Heard on the Hill news tip to merickson@ljworld.com.

    Reply 1 comment from Boston_corbett