Heard on the Hill: High percentage of Lawrence residents enrolled in college; ‘Volunteer Fair’ set for Sept. 5; Kansas regents staffer still in running for Ala. chancellor job

Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• We’ll start with an interesting bit of analysis of U.S. Census data (I’m not quite as big of a Census nerd as Chad Lawhorn, but I still enjoy a good dose of numbers every now and then).

This one (courtesy of The Atlantic magazine) certainly struck me, though.

What the magazine found was that 31.1 percent of residents in the Lawrence area were enrolled in college or graduate school. That’s the fourth-highest percentage in all the country, trailing just Ames, Iowa (34.2 percent); Ithaca, N.Y. (32.8 percent); and State College, Pa. (31.8 percent).

That means that when the academic season starts, Lawrence feels it more than most college towns. For comparison purposes, even the last city in the top 10 (Gainesville, Fla.) had 26.8 percent of its population enrolled in college or graduate school.

Still, as the article goes on to point out, most college students today live in big metro areas. The top five metro areas with the most college students are home to 4 million students, nearly 18 percent of all the students in the country.

“These figures show that our perceptions of college towns — small main streets near liberal-arts schools with sprawling, ivy-covered grounds — are misnomers,” writes author Richard Florida. “In fact, the norm of U.S. college life is more filled with concrete sidewalks, taxi cabs, and late-night diners.”

• I reported awhile back on a part-time career fair at KU (which apparently went rather well, with more than 1,100 students participating).

Here’s another twist on the usual career fair idea, courtesy of the KU Career Center and the Center for Community Outreach.

It’s a Volunteer Fair, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 5 in the fourth-floor lobby of the Kansas Union.

The idea is to connect students interested in volunteering with organizations that match their interests.

They’ve got a pretty good list of folks signed up to participate, which you can see here.

• Blake Flanders, vice president of workforce development for the Kansas Board of Regents, has advanced to the finalist stage of interviews for the chancellor of the state of Alabama’s two-year college system, reports the Press-Enterprise newspaper in Southern California.

He will have another interview for the post in September. Flanders was one of eight finalists, and now he is up against just two people for the post: Riverside (Calif.) Community College District Chancellor Gregory Gray and Mark Heinrich, president of Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

• Even if you’re not enrolled in school, you can still send me a tip for Heard on the Hill at ahyland@ljworld.com.