Posts tagged with University Senate

University governance update: KU senates all name new presidents

The past month has brought the annual changing of the guard for the various university governance bodies at the University of Kansas.

As I’ve already reported, students in mid-April elected juniors Mady Womack and Mattie Carter as student body president and vice president, respectively. In that role, the pair represent the student body and also are at the helm of KU’s Student Senate.

Since then the University Senate, Faculty Senate and Staff Senate also have elected new leaders for the 2017-18 academic year. The presidents will be:

• University Senate President Suzanne Shontz, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

• Faculty Senate President Amalia Monroe-Gulick, associate librarian, social sciences and collection assessment librarian.

• Staff Senate President Brian Moss, reference services manager with KU Libraries.

University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little speaks to the University Senate on Oct. 6, 2016, in Green Hall.

University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little speaks to the University Senate on Oct. 6, 2016, in Green Hall. by Sara Shepherd

At Tuesday’s joint meeting of the University Senate and Faculty Senate executive committees, outgoing Faculty Senate President Pam Keller cited diversity and inclusion as one area university governance made strides in during 2016-17, in part through an ad hoc committee. She said making “structural changes” was important, even though it’s a slow process that governance will need to continue in the coming years.

“Making small changes or targeting something specific is actually, I think, more valuable than just talking about the issue broadly,” Keller said.

Keller said other areas she hoped future governance leaders would continue working on are combatting sexual assault and the implementation of campus concealed carry.

All university and faculty senate representatives will be updated later at governance.ku.edu. The Staff Senate website is staffsenate.ku.edu.


— 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.

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University Senate asks KU to post campus carry link on main websites; new name for vet center; police sweep popular student bars

After mulling ideas as detailed as demanding advertisements of certain sizes and placements in the student newspaper and door signs of certain colors and measurements, the University of Kansas University Senate agreed Thursday on how it wants KU to notify people about the state law allowing concealed handguns on campus beginning July 1.

The University Senate’s new request is now much simpler, and takes advantage of an already-constructed and highly detailed KU website explaining campus carry and related resources: “In particular, we urge the administration to link its Concealed Carry web page (concealedcarry.ku.edu) to the main KU page, the undergraduate and graduate admissions pages, and the human resources page. The link from those pages to the Concealed Carry page should contain the phrase “concealed firearms” and be made accessible to blind and low-vision users.”

No guns allowed signs are posted on doors leading into Wescoe Hall on the University of Kansas campus on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Jayhawk Boulevard and Strong Hall are reflected in the glass.

No guns allowed signs are posted on doors leading into Wescoe Hall on the University of Kansas campus on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Jayhawk Boulevard and Strong Hall are reflected in the glass. by Sara Shepherd

Another previous topic of campus carry-related discussion among University Senators: Would insurance for KU employees and students pay out for injuries, death or lost wages due to being shot on campus? The short answer: It depends.

KU human resources director Ola Faucher visited Thursday's University Senate meeting, providing a chart of various benefits for different KU constituents. She pointed out that KU cannot create new health insurance plans, because that’s in the hands of the state. The same goes for deciding whether workers’ compensation pays in the event of an injury to someone while performing job duties.

The state workers' compensation organization takes information and decides that, Faucher said. “They take into account the facts and circumstances on a case-by-case basis to determine what is covered.”


The KU office formerly known as the Student Veteran Center now has a new name honoring a KU veteran: the Lt. Gen. William K. Jones Military-Affiliated Student Center.

Jones graduated from KU in 1937, according to an announcement from the university. He was a highly decorated Marine Corps veteran, serving for 33 years including in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

The newly created center moved into its home at 345 Summerfield Hall at the beginning of this semester, and had a ribbon cutting Thursday. It has a lounge and several military-related offices and resources, and is open to discharged and retired veterans; active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members; spouses and dependents of veterans; ROTC cadets; and Gold Star family members.

Students gather in the lounge area of the new University of Kansas Student Veteran Center, which opened in early 2017 in 345 Summerfield Hall.

Students gather in the lounge area of the new University of Kansas Student Veteran Center, which opened in early 2017 in 345 Summerfield Hall. by Sara Shepherd


Once in a while, when our cops reporter is gone, I help out by reading through the list of the hundreds of calls Lawrence police went on the previous day. Today is one of those days.

Looks like the police worked their way through quite a few popular student watering holes last night, and filed a handful of reports for alcohol violations at those bars. According to the department’s list of calls from the past 24 hours, police conducted bar checks at the following locations, noting suspected alcohol violations. (I named specific bars in parenthesis for the blocks I know are home to only one bar.)

• 1300 block of Ohio Street (The Hawk), 10:55 p.m. Thursday: Five alcohol violation entries, with police reports filed for three.

• 500 block of West 14th Street (The Wheel), 11:35 p.m. Thursday: One alcohol violation entry, no report filed.

• 1300 block of Tennessee Street (Bullwinkles), 11:50 p.m. Thursday: One alcohol violation entry, for which a report was filed.

• 600 block of Florida Street (R Bar and Patio), 12:15 a.m. Friday: No alcohol violation entries.

• Two bars in the 1100 block of Massachusetts Street were checked about 12:45 a.m. Friday: No alcohol violation entries.


— 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.

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Campus carry: KU elected leaders wonder, would insurance pay if they were shot on campus?

Some University of Kansas Senate representatives have suggested that the body demand that KU provide employees and students with insurance that would pay for injury, long-term disability or death should they get shot on campus.

It’s possible that existing KU insurance already addresses workplace injury coverage including bullet wounds, but right now governance representatives aren’t sure. After discussions at Tuesday’s Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Thursday’s full University Senate meetings, the full Senate agreed to send the issue to a committee to figure out before making any formal recommendations.

Without knowing the status quo, the insurance question and proposal seem half-baked at this point (hence, the referral to committee). But the spirit is loud and clear.

As the calendar ticks down to campus carry — scheduled to become legal in four months — it’s another example of the types of fears, questions, discussions and suggestions university governance representatives are coming up with.

As covered last week in Heard on the Hill, governance also is talking about how much KU should be required to advertise concealed carry to the KU community and prospective students and employees. The full University Senate also talked about that on Thursday, and agreed that it, too, needs more review before a formal resolution goes to a vote. (Suggestions include everything from linking to concealedcarry.ku.edu from KU’s homepage to purchasing ads in The University Daily Kansan of a specific size, location and frequency.)

Faculty Senate representative Lynn Hancock, associate professor of molecular biosciences, said he’d just met with a prospective student and parent who, among other things, asked what was going on with the gun law. While the law could affect some students’ and employees’ decisions to come to KU, it did not seem to be a deal-breaker for this particular family.

“From their perspective they didn’t care,” Hancock said. “I think we have a lot of opinions that are going rampant, but I think the information needs to be available.”

In Faculty Senate, suggestions from faculty have even included considering unionizing to better lobby for employee safety and changing policies to allow faculty who want a weapons-free environment to conduct all their teaching and other duties remotely, at private or federal off-campus locations that prohibit guns.

For now, those too are just discussions. As far as formulating concerns into specific proposals and voting on them, Faculty Senate representative Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, professor of aerospace engineering, urged governance representatives to hurry.

“I think that given the sense of urgency we should move forward and press on,” he said. “I’m not sure that we should delay.”


Like music? Not busy next weekend? Here are two events worth noting.

• Rock Chalk Revue: KU’s greek community is performing Rock Chalk Revue — musicals written, choreographed and staged by participating chapters — next weekend at the Lied Center. Show times are 7 p.m. March 2, 3 and 4. This year’s theme is “It Takes Two to Tango.” Tickets are $20 to $25 and can be purchased at lied.ku.edu.

The campus variety show dates to 1949, and organizers say it’s one of the largest student-run philanthropies in the United States. Last year’s show raised $60,000 for charity. Find more information at rockchalkrevue.org.

• Anniversary jazz concerts: The KU School of Music is presenting its 40th Annual KU Jazz Festival concerts at 7:30 p.m. March 3 and March 4 in Woodruff Auditorium at the Kansas Union. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $10 with a KU ID, and can be purchased at the KU SUA office or by calling 785-864-7469. Following the main stage concerts, check out the After Hours Jazz Sessions from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at The Oread, 1200 Oread Ave.


— 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.

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Should KU be required to actively advertise that it’s a concealed carry campus? University Senate execs discuss

I should start by saying that this suggestion, brought forward by some University Senate Executive Committee members, failed to gain endorsement by the full committee. But it did elicit debate during Tuesday’s committee meeting and is on the agenda to be discussed by full University Senate next week.

How far should the University of Kansas go to spread the word that concealed carry is allowed on its campus, starting July 1? And how differently should this law be treated from other laws?

The proposed resolution demanded that the KU administration inform current and potential students, faculty and staff of the law’s provisions, in the following forms:

• Official emails to students (and legal guardians for those under 18), faculty and staff describing the law and legislative actions that are underway or pending.

• Notifications on all public doorways.

• Emails and fliers to prospective students and their families “highlighting the presence of guns in dorms.”

• Notifications by all campus tour guides hosting prospective students and their families.

• Notifications to all international students and employees that federal law bars them from carrying guns.

• Notification in all offers of employment, and university job ads.

• Notifications on KU’s home page, ku.edu, “at least half as large as the largest sports banner that has been posted.”

• Weekly ads in The University Daily Kansan near page 1 and measuring at least 3-by-3 inches.

Those who argued for the resolution said it would help prevent KU from trying to hide the fact that guns are allowed on campus from prospective students, parents and faculty hires. People shouldn't learn about it only after moving to campus, they said.

Committee members against it argued that the resolution was overreaching, its demands too specific. Student body vice-president Gabby Naylor, who is from Rhode Island, said anyone coming from out-of-state has a responsibility for knowing laws in their new homes.

“I think that that’s your responsibility to understand,” she said. “I don’t think that the school should have to tell you the law.”

No guns allowed signs are posted on doors leading into Wescoe Hall on the University of Kansas campus on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Jayhawk Boulevard and Strong Hall are reflected in the glass.

No guns allowed signs are posted on doors leading into Wescoe Hall on the University of Kansas campus on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Jayhawk Boulevard and Strong Hall are reflected in the glass. by Sara Shepherd

In late January, the university website concealedcarry.ku.edu went live. It’s home to a host of information and additional links about the law, KU’s policy and safety recommendations. As of this week, at least, I did not see a direct link to the site on KU’s online homepage. University Senate president Joe Harrington, professor of English, said he was still waiting to hear whether KU planned to add a link to its home and admissions pages. The webpage for KU’s Office of the Provost — which created the concealed carry page — does contain a direct link.

I do know two more places that will definitely contain notification of the law, because Kansas Board of Regents Policy requires it: housing contracts and tickets for certain events. For state universities to set up metal detectors and prohibit guns at athletic or other large ticketed events, tickets must state that concealed guns won’t be allowed in.

University Senate Executive Committee wasn’t the only place people were talking about campus carry this week. It’s also come up:

• At the Regents meeting: Now, faculty senates at five of the six state universities have passed resolutions opposing campus carry, KU Faculty Senate president Pam Keller, clinical professor of law, told the board during its meeting Wednesday in Topeka. She said the sixth, Pittsburg State, is considering a similar resolution.

• At Budig Hall: About 150 people attended a campus carry informational meeting Wednesday, organized by the Office of the Provost. Questions were asked, answers were given — and not necessarily the answers all attendees wanted to hear. (See related story here.)

• At the statehouse: A Kansas House committee narrowly voted not to advance a bill that would have exempted the University of Kansas hospital complex (not the same as an academic campus, but currently affected by the same law) from the upcoming requirement to allow people to carry concealed firearms. (See related story here.)

Clarification: An earlier version of this post said the proposed notification resolution died in University Senate Executive Committee. What actually got voted down was a motion for the committee to endorse the resolution. It'll be heard by the full Senate anyway, sans the endorsement.


— 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 4 comments from Bob Smith Bonnie Uffman John Middleton Thesychophant

University Senate at KU opposes campus carry in ‘strongest possible terms’; Regents expected to approve policies Wednesday

Elected representatives of faculty, staff and students at the University of Kansas are now formally on the record opposing campus carry. KU’s full University Senate this month approved a resolution, first crafted by the University Senate executive committee, stating that the body opposes “in the strongest possible terms” allowing concealed weapons on the KU campus.

State university campuses currently prohibit guns, but Kansas law requires them to allow lawful concealed carry beginning July 1, 2017. KU and the other universities have been prepping for that date by crafting policies for implementing the new concealed carry law. The Kansas Board of Regents is expected to approve draft policies from KU and the other schools on Wednesday.

Understanding that at this point the Board of Regents and individual universities are not in charge of the law but rather drafting policies to comply with a law that others made, the University Senate’s statement directly addresses the state Legislature. It says:

The University Senate of the University of Kansas is composed of the elected representatives of staff, students and faculty at the University and is charged with acting in behalf of the staff, students, and faculty.

Eighty-two percent of the KU staff, students, and faculty who participated in the January 2016 Docking Institute survey expressed opposition to allowing concealed weapons on campus.

Moreover, current research indicates that the net effect of campus carry on the safety of college students, faculty, and staff is likely to be more death, more nonfatal gunshot wounds, and more threats with a firearm that are traumatizing to victims.

Therefore, the University Senate wishes to express its opposition, in the strongest possible terms, to allowing concealed weapons on the University of Kansas campus.

On behalf of our constituencies, we urge the Kansas State Legislature (1.) to respect local control by continuing the exemption to the Personal and Family Protection Act and (2.) to allow our campus communities to choose whether or not weapons are allowed on our KU campuses.

In true academic fashion, faculty members from the six state universities are already discussing possibilities for studying effects of the law — whether they want it to become reality or not.

The Regents Council of Faculty Senate Presidents is working on a survey to measure university faculty, staff and students’ anxiety about campus carry, according to a report at last month’s Board of Regents meeting. The idea is to establish a baseline by surveying people before implementation and then again after implementation. The group is also checking with other U.S. campuses with similar laws to see what data they collected before and after implementation.

No guns allowed signs are posted on doors leading into Wescoe Hall on the University of Kansas campus on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Jayhawk Boulevard and Strong Hall are reflected in the glass.

No guns allowed signs are posted on doors leading into Wescoe Hall on the University of Kansas campus on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Jayhawk Boulevard and Strong Hall are reflected in the glass. by Sara Shepherd


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 6 comments from Spencer Bird Rfellows Charles L. Bloss, Jr.

University governance taking stance on campus carry; Multicultural Student Government plans new request

University of Kansas administration continues working on weapons policy updates with the assumption that beginning July 1, 2017, the university must allow legally carried concealed guns on its campus — as current law dictates. The latest step forward was Wednesday, when a Kansas Board of Regents recommended KU’s proposed weapons policy for approval by the full board, along with similar proposed policies from the other five state universities.

However, there are still individuals and groups pulling for state legislators to change the law so KU would not need that policy after all. At least tentatively, add KU’s University Senate to that list.

This week the University Senate Executive Committee agreed on the following statement, which the full University Senate is scheduled to consider Dec. 1. Based on previous observations of university governance talks on guns, I would be surprised if the full Senate does not overwhelmingly approve taking this stance.

The University Senate of the University of Kansas is composed of the elected representatives of staff, students and faculty at the University and is charged with acting in behalf of the staff, students, and faculty.

Eighty-two percent of the KU staff, students, and faculty who participated in the January 2016 Docking Institute survey expressed opposition to allowing concealed weapons on campus.

Moreover, current research indicates that the net effect of campus carry on the safety of college students, faculty, and staff is likely to be more death, more nonfatal gunshot wounds, and more threats with a firearm that are traumatizing to victims.

Therefore, the University Senate wishes to express its opposition, in the strongest possible terms, to allowing concealed weapons on the University of Kansas campus.

On behalf of our constituencies, we urge the Kansas State Legislature (1.) to respect local control by continuing the exemption to the Personal and Family Protection Act and (2.) to allow our campus communities to choose whether or not weapons are allowed on our KU campuses.

Is that realistic? I’ll leave speculation to others about what our state legislators may or may not do. Meanwhile, I can confidently say KU will keep working on its policy and I will keep writing updates as they’re warranted.

No guns allowed signs are posted on doors leading into Wescoe Hall on the University of Kansas campus on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Jayhawk Boulevard and Strong Hall are reflected in the glass.

No guns allowed signs are posted on doors leading into Wescoe Hall on the University of Kansas campus on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Jayhawk Boulevard and Strong Hall are reflected in the glass. by Sara Shepherd

• Multicultural Student Government wants seats on University Senate, not a committee: Also on Dec. 1, the University Senate will probably receive a new proposal from Multicultural Student Government. Leaders of the new student organization attended the full University Senate meeting earlier this month and asked the body to establish a committee exploring how to implement MSG as a separate governing body within University Senate (currently composed of representatives from KU’s Faculty, Staff and Student senates). That request was tabled.

MSG board president Trinity Carpenter, a senior from Richmond, and five other group members were at this week’s University Senate Executive Committee meeting. They said they wanted to scrap the committee request and go straight to a request for actual seats on University Senate — specifically, a number equal to Student Senate.

“What we want is University Senate representation at this point, and equal representation that Student Senate already has,” Carpenter said. She said her goal is to change policy to create bicameral student governance instead of operating within the existing Student Senate. “If we felt that Student Senate was meeting our needs there would be no need for this.”

Student Senate currently has 13 seats in University Senate. Rather than double the number of students — and shifting the balance of power in University Senate — some University Senate Executive Committee Members said they’d be more open to allowing existing student seats to be allocated differently. We will see exactly what MSG suggests next month.


— 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.

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KU’s Multicultural Student Government proposing new path to governing-body status

The University of Kansas student organization that calls itself Multicultural Student Government is still active this semester, and is now trying a new path in hopes of becoming a separate governing body with standing equal to KU’s existing Student Senate.

On Thursday, MSG leaders asked the University Senate to establish an ad hoc committee to explore the feasibility of an actual Multicultural Student Government and, if deemed appropriate, change University Senate code to include it. Per University Senate code — which allows just one governing body per each university constituency — the current University Senate comprises representatives from Student Senate, Faculty Senate and Staff Senate.

University Senate voted to table the question until its December meeting.

Sophie Wang, a Student Senate representative on the University Senate, formally proposed the MSG committee at the end of Thursday’s meeting, during the new business portion of the agenda. The item was not on the meeting agenda, and University Senate members did not receive information about MSG or their proposal in advance. University Senate members said they wanted more time to look at the group’s information and discuss it before deciding whether to create a committee.

Wang was joined by three of MSG’s top leaders, who spoke on behalf of the proposal.

MSG has fashioned its leadership positions after those of a governing body, with a board instead of typical club officer positions, said Omaha senior Alex Kinkead, vice chair of the MSG board. Other board members present were Emporia senior Mercedes Bounthapanya, board treasurer, and Wichita senior Christian Roberson, board secretary. Student Trinity Carpenter, who wasn't present Thursday, is the MSG board chair and also a School of Social Welfare representative on Student Senate.

“We’re coming to University Senate because we’d like to work with you in tandem and have conversations,” Kinkead said. “We are a legit entity, and we are functioning as a student government. The only thing we are not is functioning within the University Senate.”

Kinkead said a separate governing body is needed because the current university governance system inherently oppresses students from marginalized backgrounds who don’t “access spaces” the same way other students do.

“We have significantly less barriers and hoops that multicultural students have to jump through,” Kinkead said of MSG. “We’re centering marginalized identities and multicultural groups.”

In spring 2016, Student Senate voted to allocate about $180,000 in required student fees — $90,000 to pay officers and fund other operations, plus another $90,000 to disseminate to other multicultural student groups — to establish and empower MSG, which had just registered as a student club. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little vetoed that funding because MSG was not actually a recognized governing body. She added, in a letter explaining the veto, that she did not think MSG was “an optimal way to achieve the goals we have for diversity and inclusion at the university and, indeed, may lead to greater divisiveness.”

Speaking to the Kansas University Student Senate, Jameelah Jones is joined by dozens of students and supporters of the Multicultural Student Government initiative during the Student Senate's meeting Wednesday evening March 9, 2016, at the Kansas Union.

Speaking to the Kansas University Student Senate, Jameelah Jones is joined by dozens of students and supporters of the Multicultural Student Government initiative during the Student Senate's meeting Wednesday evening March 9, 2016, at the Kansas Union. by John Young


— 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 Reid Hollander

University Governance leaders mull KU ‘policy on policies’; two more showings of ‘Cowboy Song,’ KU Theatre play exploring sexuality

I’ve long suspected the University of Kansas has a Department of Departments somewhere, I just haven’t found it yet. Maybe budget cuts have forced the department to leave its public affairs position unfilled, so there’s no one to contact me with news tips or press releases about what they are doing?

That was a joke — I think.

It turns out KU does actually have a policy on policies. At least that’s what university faculty and staff leaders are calling the University Policy Program, a policy of the KU Policy Office. The policy’s stated purpose is “to align operations and set expectations across the institution regarding the development and promulgation of policies.”

Professor of history and Faculty Senate representative Jonathan Clark voiced concerns at a recent University Senate meeting about the 2014 policy, which was updated earlier this month. Clark called it “a totally top-down” effort and “another example” of major policy not going through University Governance. “I have no confidence in this system working,” he said.

University Senate Executive Committee members last week did discuss asking that the University Senate president be advised of any universitywide policy prior to its enactment, but decided that could become too overwhelming. For now the committee isn’t taking action regarding the policy on policies; they tabled the discussion for a future meeting.

• Cowboy ‘love triangle’ on stage: Almost certainly more gripping than policies about higher education policy is a play running right now at KU — specifically, according to a KU School of the Arts communications coordinator, “a dark comedy centered around a love triangle that is complicated by standards of gender and sex, as well as expectations of heterosexual marriage roles.”

The last two performances of “Late, A Cowboy Song,” by playwright Sarah Rule, are set for 7:30 p.m. today (Wednesday) and Thursday  in the William Inge Memorial Theatre at Murphy Hall. For ticket information and more on the play, visit kutheatre.com/late-cowboy-song.

• Emmett Till expert in national spotlight: KU associate professor of communication studies Dave Tell, one of the leaders of the digital Emmett Till Memory Project, appeared in national news this week after social media sparked renewed interest in replacing at least one Emmett Till site marker in the Mississippi Delta, which has been riddled with bullet holes for years.

The New York Times, for one, interviewed Tell, who is writing a book about Emmett Till and helped develop an app to commemorate the circumstances surrounding the black teenager’s 1955 killing. Here’s a story we did last year about Tell’s work on the app.


— 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.

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University Senate execs demand more transparent process for choosing next chancellor

University Senate leaders at the University of Kansas are now on the record stating they don’t want a secretive search and interview process to determine their next chancellor. On Tuesday, the University Senate Executive Committee approved the following position statement to be shared with the Kansas Board of Regents, the body that directs the search process and hires state university CEOs. The Regents are meeting today at Fort Hays State University.

We, the members of the KU University Senate Executive Committee, feel it is essential for the new Chief Executive Officer of this institution to have the opportunity to interact with the people they will be serving and supervising. Accordingly, there must be open, public presentations and question-and-answer sessions for each finalist.

Moreover, we urge KBOR to include, in the search committee, elected representatives of the Staff, Student, and Faculty senates of the University of Kansas. Only in this way can we insure that all stakeholders on campus have a voice in the process. And it is crucial that the students, faculty and staff, as well as community leaders, play a vital role in selecting the next chancellor — especially in light of the challenges of weapons on campus, and achieving greater diversity, equity and inclusion.

We thank the members of KBOR for their consideration.

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little announced in September that she would step down after the 2016-17 school year. An article I wrote a few days after her announcement (click here to read it) talks more about the search process, which Regents representatives have indicated will almost certainly be “closed,” meaning no names will be shared publicly until the next chancellor accepts the job. Gray-Little was hired, in 2009, through a closed search process.

University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little speaks to the University Senate on Oct. 6, 2016, in Green Hall.

University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little speaks to the University Senate on Oct. 6, 2016, in Green Hall. by Sara Shepherd

• This week at KU — homecoming: It’s homecoming week at KU. In case you missed it, this Heard on the Hill post from Friday has the main event details. To help your homecoming spirit, here are photos I took of a few of this year’s sign competition entries.

The 2016 University of Kansas Homecoming theme is "Rock Chalk Super Hawk." Pictured is one of several sign competition entries displayed on Wescoe Beach on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

The 2016 University of Kansas Homecoming theme is "Rock Chalk Super Hawk." Pictured is one of several sign competition entries displayed on Wescoe Beach on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. by Sara Shepherd

The 2016 University of Kansas Homecoming theme is "Rock Chalk Super Hawk." Pictured is one of several sign competition entries displayed on Wescoe Beach on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

The 2016 University of Kansas Homecoming theme is "Rock Chalk Super Hawk." Pictured is one of several sign competition entries displayed on Wescoe Beach on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. by Sara Shepherd

The 2016 University of Kansas Homecoming theme is "Rock Chalk Super Hawk." Pictured is one of several sign competition entries displayed on Wescoe Beach on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

The 2016 University of Kansas Homecoming theme is "Rock Chalk Super Hawk." Pictured is one of several sign competition entries displayed on Wescoe Beach on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. by Sara Shepherd

The 2016 University of Kansas Homecoming theme is "Rock Chalk Super Hawk." Pictured is one of several sign competition entries displayed on Wescoe Beach on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

The 2016 University of Kansas Homecoming theme is "Rock Chalk Super Hawk." Pictured is one of several sign competition entries displayed on Wescoe Beach on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. by Sara Shepherd


— 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 Notwhatyouthink2

A.G. denies KU request to ban guns in sensitive areas; rocket fuel and guns likely to mix on campus

Pressurized gas cylinders, rocket fuel, other combustible materials — it appears unlikely the University of Kansas will be legally allowed to ban handguns from campus locations where those are stored.

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little told the University Senate on Thursday that there are high-security labs and other areas on campus where firing a gun would be “disastrous” but that the attorney general has told KU it can’t make those places exceptions to state law.

KU and other state universities are currently drafting policies to implement a state law that requires allowing concealed guns on campus beginning in July 2017, with the exception of buildings with adequate security measures to keep all guns out, such as metal detectors or security guards.

Proposed policies have not yet been made public. The Kansas Board of Regents is slated to consider them at its October and November meetings.

In the meantime, a small committee of representatives from KU’s Lawrence and Medical Center campuses has been working on KU’s draft policy.

“In making the policy there were some things that we tried to include that had to have a review by the attorney general,” Gray-Little said. “We have not been given the go-ahead to include that,” she said of an effort to designate restricted areas, which has been suggested by a number of faculty members over the course of the past year.

Those faculty members include aerospace engineering professor Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, who asked the chancellor about the issue during Thursday’s University Senate meeting. He said engineering labs, for one, are home to storage for a multitude of dangers including pressurized gas cylinders, rocket fuel and other fuels.

KU’s policy may, however, legally require people bringing concealed guns into buildings to have those guns in holsters, Gray-Little said, based on the attorney general’s opinion. “My information is that we can require that,” she said.

University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little speaks to the University Senate on Oct. 6, 2016, in Green Hall.

University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little speaks to the University Senate on Oct. 6, 2016, in Green Hall. by Sara Shepherd

No guns signs are posted on a side door of KU's Art and Design Building, as well as other buildings on campus, pictured in May 2015.

No guns signs are posted on a side door of KU's Art and Design Building, as well as other buildings on campus, pictured in May 2015. by Sara Shepherd


— 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.

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