University of Kansas | KCUR

University of Kansas

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service

At least six female athletes at the University of Kansas reported they experienced unwanted touching from a massage therapist who was recently charged with a child sex crime, the school said Tuesday. 

Investigators also discovered that an athletic trainer knew of “unwarranted and unwanted touching” by Shawn O’Brien, but the school said in an email to staff and students that the trainer did not “appropriately report the conduct, as it is required by the university.”

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA, Kansas — The University of Kansas and Kansas State University have both delayed the start of classes until March 23, with online classes to follow and the possibility of continuing online-only for weeks after that due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Erica Hunzinger / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA, Kansas — If Kansas lawmakers pass a bill allowing student-athletes to make money off endorsements, you might see the next five-star KU or K-State basketball recruits selling cars, shoes or soda.

Dozens of states, including Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, are thinking about changing the rules since the NCAA said in October that it will eventually allow student-athletes to be paid for their name, image and likeness. These bills are stopgaps, aimed at putting rules in place should there be a period of time before national rules are approved by the NCAA or Congress.

Randy Brown

Randy Brown was barely talking yet when his father shipped out for Vietnam. To close the distance over the course of that deployment, Brown's parents made recordings for each other.

"The first time that he heard my tiny, little voice was probably on one of those little three-inch audio reels," says Brown, who is now retired from the Iowa Army National Guard.

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service

The University of Kansas said Thursday that it’s “deeply troubled” by an internal investigation into a massage therapist who was recently charged with sexually assaulting a child, and had worked with some women’s sports teams since 2015. 

File photo by Mike Sherry

The University of Kansas has settled an age discrimination suit brought by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last year after an employee was fired in retaliation for reporting on discriminatory hiring practices at the university’s medical center.

Under a consent decree filed last week, KU pledged not to discriminate against applicants or employees based on age and to pay Jeffrey Thomas, the employee who triggered the complaint, $144,000 in backpay and damages.

LAWRENCE, Kansas — A couple hundred million years ago, an ocean covering Kansas teemed with prehistoric life. Yet for millennia, Kansas has been a dry, sometimes even dusty, place.

The ocean is long gone, but traces of that long-ago aquatic life lie right below your feet captured for the ages in fossil form. Now, paleontologists from the University of Kansas have an app that they hope will help motivate people to go out and find it.

Segment 1: Is it time for voters to select Johnson County's election commissioner? 

In the four most populous counties in Kansas voters do not select their election commissioner. Johnson County is one of those where the position is filled by appointment by the secretary of state. County commissioners explained why that is, whether that process should continue and what some alternatives would look like.

Segment 1: A KU professor's book explores the sense of place created by our technology.

Where do you live? What is your neighborhood? Is it a physical place — or a digital one? "The Digital City: Media and the Social Production of Place" argues that smartphones are replacing cities. It also looks into how smart cities, like Kansas City, privilege people who already have a lot of resources.

Jeffrey Hall

Jeffrey Hall is worried about our well-being.

"I think this is a really serious social concern. I think there are a lot of reasons to believe that loneliness is on the rise," says Hall, a communications professor at the University of Kansas.

Segment 1: Will young voters hold their momentum in 2020?

The youth vote made a difference in the 2018 midterms in Kansas, as well as nationwide. Turnout was way up from 2014. As 2020 elections get closer, what are experts predicting now?

Segment 1: Some institutions of higher education use tracking software to assess prospective applicants.

Six players signed contracts, wore Jayhawk T-shirts and put on blue KU ballcaps.

But they won’t be running onto a basketball court or football field anytime soon. They are the University of Kansas’ first varsity esports team.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

The University of Kansas football team finished with a 3-9 record this year — the same record as its 2018 season, which cost head coach David Beaty his job.

But there’s a different feeling about the program this year after Beaty’s successor, Les Miles, completed his first season. 

Beaty was fired after four years as the head coach with a record of 6-42. In 2015, Beaty’s first season, the Jayhawks were one of two major college football teams in the country — the other was Central Florida — without a win.  

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

NEODESHA, Kansas — Three hundred middle and high schoolers filed into their school auditorium last week in the small, southeast Kansas town of Neodesha, uncertain why they’d been called there.

They left cheering and hugging. Some of the older students were teary-eyed.

College tuition and fees need no longer hold back graduates of this manufacturing community, about halfway between Wichita, Kansas, and Joplin, Missouri. A wealthy donor hoping to turn around the fortunes of his dwindling hometown — population 2,300 — will foot those costs for the next 25 years, and possibly decades beyond that.

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service

When Dan Hoyt started graduate school at the University of Kansas in 2016, he knew he had anxiety and depression. He worried about being able to find a job after graduation. And, sometimes, he couldn’t get through his assigned reading.

“When you have anxieties, that gets impossible,” he said. “I'll think about the same things over and over and over again.”

But when he reached out to KU’s counseling services, he was told he had to wait five months before he could get an appointment with a therapist at the Lawrence campus. And getting there from KU’s Overland Park campus, where he took classes, complicated things.

Segment 1: 2019 report shows black Kansas Citians are still separate and unequal.

By comparing things like poverty and homeownership rates by race, a report from the Urban League of Greater Kansas City found black people are only 73% as equal as whites in Kansas City. The report is released every few years, and is used to educate community members and elected oficials about progress in economics, education and social justice. 

For decades, a university education meant students had to load up on math, history and English courses. Now, Kansas universities are slashing those general education requirements so more students can graduate on time and have more room for classes in their major.

Segment 1: The former U.S. Senator from Missouri says, "traditional qualifications for president are on life support."

The Criterion Collection

The first time Rich Acciavatti saw “Carnival of Souls,” he was stuck in bed with the chicken pox. He couldn’t have been more than 8 years old the afternoon it came on TV in the early 1960s. He says he couldn’t sleep for a week.

“I was always talking about ‘Carnival of Souls,’ like through school, through high school, grammar school,” says Acciavatti, a New York-based musician who runs the film’s fan page on Facebook.

“I said, 'This is the scariest movie ever. I hope it comes back one of these days.’”

A KU Med School Hoped To Keep Grads In Rural Areas, But City Practices Beckoned

Oct 9, 2019
Aaron Patton / for Kaiser Health News

SALINA, Kansas — The University of Kansas School of Medicine-Salina opened in 2011 — a one-building campus in the heart of wheat country dedicated to producing the rural doctors the country needs.

Now, eight years later, the school’s first graduates are settling into their chosen practices — and locales. And those choices are cause for both hope and despair.

Segment 1: New research on how climate change coverage varies from country to country.

A KU journalism professor is at the forefront of research into how climate change stories are framed by journalists based on where on the globe they are working. The greatest divide occurs along the lines of relative wealth and economic development.

Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

LAWRENCE, Kansas — Faculty, students and alumni are pleading with the University of Kansas not to ax a teacher-training center slated to become the next victim of major budget cuts — or at least to extend its life a few more semesters.

KU announced earlier this month that the Center for STEM Learning will close in June. Students say they were blindsided, and that KU’s promise to create a more cost-effective path for math and science teachers doesn’t satisfy them.

Segment 1: A KU researcher's studies provide context for news from the Amazon.

As global leaders gather for a climate change summit, a KU researcher shares new satellite-based data on the impact of deforestation in the Amazon, with particular insights into where this year's fire (which is still raging) fits in, both environmentally and politically. 

Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

The Kansas Board of Regents voted Wednesday to change the benchmarks for in-state students to attend the state’s six public universities, and class-rank requirements are out.

The move is meant to increase the number of Kansas high schoolers who are eligible to attend Kansas State University, Emporia State University, Pittsburg State University, Fort Hays State University, Wichita State University and the University of Kansas. 

Segment 1: A new documentary explores the life of abstract expressionist painter Albert Bloch.

Albert Bloch lived the final decades of his life in Lawrence, Kansas. But at the height of his career, he was a member of a band of artists that helped create modernism in Europe.

Seg. 1: A KU professor is raising the bar for the standard of evidence in psychology.

A recent study reveals that a high percentage of treatments long believed to be supported by evidence don't measure up to today's standards for repeatability. What that means for the field of psychology, and why a KU professor is obsessed with learning more.

Segment 1: The way we remember Emmett Till is still rooted in race and geography.

A KU professor who thought he knew the Emmett Till story was shocked by what he learned when he traveled to the Mississippi Delta for himself. That sent him on a journey to try to sort through the tangled threads of this haunting history. 

Segment 2: Men and boys in ballet speak out.

Segment 1: Continuing developments still don't seal the deal for a merger of Sprint and T-Mobile

Last month the Justice Department gave final approval to the $26-billion deal between the communications companies. This week the Federal Communications Commission chair recommended going ahead with it. In the way is a lawsuit brought by 16 attorneys general looking to derail the proposed union. Learn what the success or failure of the merger could mean for Sprint and T-Mobile, urban and rural consumers and company employees.

KU Athletcis

The lawsuit filed against Kansas Athletics by former head football coach David Beaty can move forward, a federal district court judge ruled Thursday afternoon.

KU moved to have the suit dismissed, but it was apparent from the very start of the hearing in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kansas, that the judge was disinclined to agree with the university's arguments. "My questions will be pointed," Senior Judge Kathyrn Vratil said as soon as the KU lawyer stood up.

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