KU

A memorial service for former University of Kansas chancellor Robert Hemenway is set for next Sunday at the Dole Institute of Politics.

Hemenway died Friday, he was 73.

Among his other achievements at KU, athletics reached a high point under his leadership in 2008.

That year, the Kansas Jayhawks became the fourth in major college history to win a BCS bowl game and play in the Final Four the same year. In January of 2008, the Jayhawks won the Orange Bowl.

KU Libraries Exhibits / University of Kansas

As a teenager, Laird Wilcox was fascinated by extremists, radicals and fringe movements, regardless of their views and objectives. He started collecting materials and attending political events, collecting leaflets, fliers, and newsletters from as many causes as he could.

Interactive toy maker Sphero has challenged University of Kansas design and engineering students to create its next generation of products — robots that can be  companions and have emotional value to a person. On this edition of Up To Date we talk about the potential social significance of robotics and what the future looks like in the field. 

Guests: 

Greg Echlin / KCUR

The city of Omaha made a lot of money over the weekend on college basketball fans who followed the Kansas Jayhawks and Wichita State Shockers to their NCAA matchup.

The most devout fans did anything they could to get their hands on seeing a game that, until Sunday, hadn’t been seen in a long time — it has some wondering if the two teams would play each other again soon.

When it was apparent that Wichita State was going to advance from Friday’s game against Indiana, Shocker alum Tony Townsend knew he had to find a way from his home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Omaha. He looked for tickets online.

Greg Echlin / KCUR

Though the Kansas Jayhawks won their 11th straight regular season title, they didn’t look like a championship team in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals. But they beat TCU, 64-59, to advance to the semis.

Already without Cliff Alexander for their fourth straight game with an NCAA eligibility issue, the ninth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks also played without their leading scorer, Perry Ellis, who has a knee injury. But KU coach Bill Self doesn’t want to go down the same road as last year when he lost his starting center, Joel Embiid, at the end of the season with an injury.

University of Kansas

Elden C. Tefft, best known for his iconic bronze sculptures on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence, died Tuesday. He was 95.

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said the campus is privileged to have Tefft’s work.

“Elden’s pieces are such an integral part of Mount Oread — pieces such as ‘Moses’ and ‘Academic Jay’ — that it’s nearly impossible to imagine our campus without them,” said Gray-Little.

It may seem counterintuitive, but officials at the University of Kansas say they’re pleased they saw an increase in the number of discrimination complaints in 2014.

The office that handles allegations of discrimination received 169 complaints last year. In 2013, that number was 85.

Jane McQueeny, director of the KU Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, says most of the complaints are under the category of Title IX violations. That's the federal law regulating sexual harassment and violence on campuses.

About a third of the complaint were rape allegations.

File photo

 

State officials have sold the former Rainbow Mental Health Facility building in Kansas City, Kan., to the University of Kansas Endowment Association.

The 11-acre property at 2205 W. 36th Ave. is a short distance from KU Medical Center.

“The transaction has occurred,” said Natalie Lutz, director of communications at the medical center. “The KU Endowment Association has purchased the building and will be meeting with the university to determine what the actual purpose of the property is going to be.”

gamma-o.org

University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little moved quickly to place Kappa Sigma fraternity on interim suspension after allegations of a sexual assault at the house over the weekend.

Lawrence police say the alleged crime was reported early Monday morning. According to the university, Gray-Little authorized the interim suspension letter Tuesday. That letter was hand delivered to the Kappa Sigma house. The action and police investigation were announced Wednesday.

The university's Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access is also investigating.

President Obama on Thursday issued an executive order directing the federal government to step up the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

It’s a fight with enormous consequences, according to Rebecca Horvat, who oversees infectious disease testing at the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan. Horvat is well familiar with bacteria that are impervious to front-line antibiotics.

(Courtesy of Digital Ally)

The University of  Kansas Police Department began the new school year with eight body-mounted cameras that its officers are wearing on all patrols.

The department ordered the cameras last spring – well before the protests in Ferguson, Mo., when a police officer killed an unarmed 18-year-old black man. Since then, many have called for using the body-mounted cameras to keep police accountable.

The KU Police Department has used dashboard cameras for 20 years, said Capt. James Anguiano said. But those video cameras have limited use, for those officers in vehicles, he said.

KU Gunn Center For The Study Of Science Fiction

Every year at the University of Kansas, the faithful and talented gather at the intersection of reality and imagination. What brings the most outstanding in their field to Lawrence? The study and writing of science fiction. On Friday's Up To Date, guest host Suzanne Hogan looks at The Campbell Conference, a local conference which brings writers and fans together.

Dawn Fallik

It was a beautiful Wednesday morning at the University of Kansas and the chimes inside the school's Campanile rang out "Ode to Joy" across the lush campus.

And then they started clanking, an odd off-beat, minor clank. Students passing by looked at each other, a little worried.

"It is broken?" one asked.

No, just student Amanda Schultz, trying to make 53 bells do a blues slide on the carillon.

There are only handful of schools in the country to learn the carillon, a tall organ-like instrument that controls the bells in a bell tower, or campanile.

The credit rating agency Moody's has downgraded its bond rating for the University of Kansas. The rating fell one grade to AA2. The company cited what it calls "thin operating cash flow" and falling enrollment as the state faces budget challenges in the coming years.

KU's Joe Monaco says despite the downgrade, the rating is still the third-highest an institution can receive.

“An Aa2 rating is still a very strong rating that enables us to continue financing the projects and the operations we need to serve students and the state of Kansas,” Monaco says.

Former Republican Kansas Senator Bob Dole is in the midst of a tour through eastern Kansas to meet with friends and supporters.

Dole will wrap up the three-day trek Wednesday in Atchison and Leavenworth.

On Tuesday, the 90-year-old visited the University of Kansas campus and spoke at a facility named after him — the Dole Institute. He didn't shy away from serious topics.

Wichita State University / goshockers.com

 Since Wichita State’s first appearance in the NCAA men’s basketball Tournament 50 years ago, this is the first time that the Shockers, Kansas and Kansas State are at the same site — all three teams will be in action Friday at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. And fans who planned early are getting the most bang for their buck.

Since KU contended for a No. 1 seed before settling for a No. 2 seed, Jayhawks fans like Phillip Brown of Elm, Mo., gambled on St. Louis as KU’s destination. It paid off.

A Kansas Senate committee is considering a budget bill that would restore some funding to state universities that was cut last year. But the bill caused some heated words about whether lawmakers are targeting the University of Kansas.

The bill eliminates $2 million Gov. Sam Brownback had proposed for a program to help commercialize KU research. Only KU had a program proposal deleted from the governor's suggestions.

Sen. Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat, says the committee targeted KU.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

The Federal Reserve System was established by Congress 100 years ago. To honor the centennial, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is working with University of Kansas students to turn some of its own history - from name plates to modems - into a new art installation.

Shaping a range of objects, from mundane to archival, into art

The Kansas Board of Regents approved the construction for an apartment building that will serve as the housing for the men’s and women’s basketball players at the University of Kansas. It’s expected to be ready for the 2015-16 school year.

When completed, the $17.5 million apartment building will have 66 bedrooms, enough to mix in some students who don’t play for the Kansas Jayhawks, which is a NCAA requirement. The apartment will have a half-court for recreational basketball.

Funding will be private and through issued revenue bonds.

The Kansas Board of Regents Wednesday denied a faculty group’s request that it suspend a controversial social media policy that has received national criticism as harming free speech.

Emporia State Professor Sheryl Lidzy, representing the Council of Faculty Senate Presidents, asked for the suspension, saying the plan could harm the hiring of top quality faculty and continue to generate negative publicity.

KU Medical Center

The University of Kansas School of Medicine announced Tuesday afternoon that Dr. Robert Samari will become the school's new executive dean.

Samari comes from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he currently serves as vice chair of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and co-director of the Mayo Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences.

Simari grew up in Overland Park and graduated from Shawnee Mission West High School. He received his medical degree from KU in 1986.

Simari is also co-founder of Anexon, a biotech company based in Cambridge, Mass.

Mark Reaney / Department of Theatre, University of Kansas

When the University Theatre at the University of Kansas in Lawrence first staged the play The Adding Machine in 1995, it garnered national attention. American Theatre magazine was impressed by the way the production utilized cutting edge computer animation in its set design. This week, the department opens a musical version of the play with its scenic designer intact while the technology used is now much more advanced.

University leadership from around the state met with the Kansas Board of Regents today to discuss how to adjust to nearly $49 million in cuts from the state’s higher education budget.

The move was approved by lawmakers over the weekend, and include cuts to the state’s six universities in addition to community colleges, technical colleges and Washburn University. Cuts were also made to student financial assistance programs, the Board of Regents Office, and adult education programs Board Spokesperson Vanessa Lamoreaux said.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback visited the University of Kansas campus yesterday, where he met with school officials and student leaders as part of a tour promoting higher education in the state.

Brownback called KU a "great innovation institution" and highlighted its role in the Kansas economy.

“We’ve really got some momentum moving forward in job creation off of our universities, providing excellence in education, which is a primary issue for us, and we want to keep that momentum growing,” said Brownback.

It may be hard to remember, but the 2008 election broke racial and gender norms for politics. With President Obama, Sarah Palin and Hilary Clinton among the presidential and vice-presidential candidates in both major parties, the idea of race and gender was a common discussion. But what did that election mean to those who didn’t, and couldn’t vote?


KU Lobbies To Save Research Grants

Dec 17, 2012
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Amid negotiations in Washington to year end avoid budget cuts and tax hikes, universities are lobbying against grant reductions.

user AJC1 / Flickr

A University of Kansas researcher is partnering with a Harvard scientist on a $1.7 million study of a protein believed to play a role in Alzheimer's disease.

KU / flickr

Budget negotiations between President Obama and Congressional leaders continue, but if those talks fail, Kansas will see a series of funding cuts that will affect the future of higher education, research, and military bases in the state.

beggarstablechurch.com

The worlds of creative writing and visual art are woven together for an upcoming First Friday event in Kansas City's Crossroads Arts District.

Kansas Army Base Hosts Shariah Class

Oct 30, 2012
Alex Smith / KCUR

In Kansas, the Islamic code of laws called Shariah has drawn a lot of suspicion and debate during the past year.

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