WRITER: Conner Mitchell

Lawrence attorney and KU adjunct a finalist for vacant slot on Kansas Court of Appeals

Carl Folsom III, a trial attorney with the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Topeka and an adjunct professor at the University of Kansas, is one of three finalists for an open seat on the Kansas Court of Appeals, Gov. Laura Kelly's office announced Wednesday. Folsom has been an adjunct faculty member at KU since 2018 in conjunction with serving in the Federal Public Defender's Office. Before that, he ...

A bus passes in front of Strong Hall on Nov. 16, 2015, on the University of Kansas campus. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

KU says China remains only travel-restricted country amid coronavirus outbreak

The University of Kansas on Wednesday said it had no active plans to update its list of restricted travel areas in light of growing concerns that the coronavirus could spread in the United States. On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a national media briefing that the likelihood of the respiratory virus — which originated in China — spreading in the United States had become ...

Douglas County health department says it's continuing to monitor coronavirus amid growing fears

Linda Craig, the Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health director of clinic services, said Wednesday the department is continuing to monitor global concerns about the spread of the coronavirus respiratory disease. It’s important for folks to be aware of the virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, as the potential health threat is high both globally and in the United States, Craig said. At the same time, she ...

Kansas House committee kills bill to lighten certain marijuana possession charges

TOPEKA — For the second year in a row, a Kansas House committee on Monday failed to pass legislation that would have reduced a swath of the state's marijuana possession charges from felonies to misdemeanors. Rep. Boog Highberger, D-Lawrence, introduced the bill on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union on Feb. 13. In its original text, the bill also called for people currently serving prison time on ...

Student leaders want KU to end secrecy about sexual assault on campus; Girod denies request for new task force

Nearly five years have passed since the University of Kansas last had a task force working to remedy issues of sexual misconduct on its campus. In light of the #MeToo movement and a growing discourse that advocates for calling out the systems that permit sexual violence to take place, a group of students in KU’s student government had called on Chancellor Douglas Girod to reinstate a dedicated sexual assault ...

Lawmakers signal they won't approve funds necessary to keep tuition flat at Kansas universities

TOPEKA — Following a week of testimony from leaders of Kansas’ higher education institutions, subcommittees in both chambers gave strong indications they wouldn’t approve the level of funding university leaders told them they would need to keep tuition rates flat. It wasn't immediately clear after Thursday's and Friday's legislative votes what type of tuition increases may be in store for the next ...

KU's annual one-day fundraising campaign sets new record with $1.7M in donations

The University of Kansas' annual one-day fundraising drive raised $1,771,135 on Thursday — a new record for the event. Thursday's total was by far the biggest of the "One Day. One KU" campaign's three-year run. The next most successful year was 2019, where donations totaled $1,084,062, according to a news release from KU. "Jayhawks everywhere have once again shown their tremendous generosity for One Day. One ...

KU police, security officers get salary bumps in new bargaining agreement

Police and security officers in the University of Kansas' Public Safety Office will see salary increases for the first time since 2016 as part of a new bargaining agreement approved Wednesday by the Kansas Board of Regents. Changes to the agreement between KU and the KU Police Officers Association will raise the starting pay for security officers just over 14%, from $26,309 to $30,000. Police officers will ...

KU eliminating 2 general degree programs in favor of more specialized options

The University of Kansas is eliminating one of its general biology degrees and its Edwards Campus' master’s program in global and international studies in favor of more specialized offerings. Last summer, KU started the process of examining whether certain degree programs were being used effectively. KU found that its bachelor of science degree in general biology and master’s of arts in global and ...

Faculty leaders say KU's proposed conduct guidelines are overly vague, were developed without employees' input

University of Kansas faculty leaders say a proposed set of employee conduct guidelines was developed without their input and is so vague that it could threaten their free expression rights. The guidelines seek to outline KU’s core institutional values for its employees — such as integrity, professional civility, and multicultural and intellectual diversity. They also provide a list of "unacceptable ...

Decision to close KU's Oliver Hall came down to enrollment trends, chancellor says

The decision not to reopen a decades-old residence hall at the University of Kansas was based on enrollment projections and current occupancy rates at the campus' other nine residence halls, KU Chancellor Douglas Girod said Monday. The university confirmed on Friday that the hall, which had been closed since the end of the 2018-2019 school year and was slated for renovations, would not be reopening. Girod ...

Girod testifies before Kansas Legislature on KU’s economic impact, need for funding increase

TOPEKA — KU Chancellor Douglas Girod used testimony before the Kansas House and Senate Higher Education Budget Committees on Monday to tout the impact the flagship university has on the Kansas economy in the hopes of spurring more funding in the state fiscal year 2021 budget. The committees are preparing to issue recommendations at the end of this week on how much funding to provide to the six Kansas Board ...

Local, state leaders hold panel at KU to dispel myths about coronavirus

Local and state officials held a public forum Friday at the University of Kansas hoping to dispel myths associated with the coronavirus disease that caused a scare in Lawrence recently. The virus, which can cause severe respiratory illness, has infected nearly 50,000 people and killed nearly 1,400 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. It hit home briefly at the end of January when ...

KU's Oliver Hall to close permanently

A University of Kansas residence hall that closed for renovations after the 2018-19 school year will not be reopened, a KU official said Friday. KU spokesperson Erinn Barcomb-Peterson confirmed Oliver Hall's permanent closure to the Lawrence Journal-World. She did not answer questions as to why the hall would not reopen. The building, located at 1815 Naismith Drive, is still listed on the university's ...

Kelly, Girod discuss efforts to bolster Kansas workforce amid budget concerns

University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod and Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday stressed the importance of a collaborative effort to improve the state’s workforce after what the two called a “lost decade.” During that decade, a majority of which was governed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, the state of Kansas fell off the map in a number of key economic categories. Now, agencies are struggling to catch ...