Heard on the Hill: University of Virginia poaches two professors from KU; article profiles KU strength coach Andrea Hudy; KU researcher looks at why teens form violent flash mobs

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

• We’ll start today with an update from the always-active world of faculty poaching.

KU lost two of its faculty to the University of Virignia this week.

Craig Huneke, a distinguished professor of mathematics, and his wife, Edith Clowes, the director of the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian studies, will both join Virginia on Aug. 25.

This is not an insignificant loss for KU. In fact, Virginia was so excited about hiring both of them that the university sent out an extensive news release on the topic with a variety of university officials singing the praises of the new hires.

Both faculty members will receive distinguished professorships at Virginia funded by private donations.

The timing of this coincides nicely with KU asking the Kansas Board of Regents for more tuition dollars to spend on faculty and staff retention.

But they didn’t bring this bit of news up at the regents’ meeting Wednesday. It’s rare to hear universities get specific about which faculty members have departed, for a variety of reasons. But, fortunately for you, Heard on the Hill tipsters and I are free of such compunctions.

Here’s a great profile on one of those important behind-the-scenes folks at Kansas Athletics.

Strength coach Andrea Hudy often gets a lot of credit and accolades from coaches, players and commentators.

ESPN’s Jason King (a former KU sports beat writer) does a good job of telling the back story of how Hudy got here and why she’s succeeded.

I learned that basketball coach Bill Self was initially reluctant to hire her, concerned about having a woman as a strength coach. Few people have any such worries today, though the article said she is believed to be the only female strength coach in Division I basketball. Interesting stuff.

• Hyunjin Seo, assistant professor of journalism, contributed to a study that’s been getting some media attention in Kansas City and St. Louis these days.

It deals with the reasons young folks form so-called “flash mobs,” which have turned violent in Kansas City and St. Louis in recent years.

And, actually, the report says that most young people don’t really think of these kinds of violent events when they think about flash mobs. (Their minds may go more toward, say, older folks in a Target store.)

If communities want to stop these kinds of activities, the report suggests providing more entertainment options for youths.

Lots of other great stuff in the report, which you can find here.

• I’ll be off Friday (covering graduation on Sunday does have a few advantages after all), so this is it for Heard on the Hill until Monday. But, don’t worry, the tip line at ahyland@ljworld.com is always open.