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Communicating our Research and Creative Endeavors

September 24, 2018

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 49 seconds

Dear faculty and staff:

Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Susan Williams talks about endeavors taking place in her alternative fuels lab. KU researchers and creators can work with communicators across campus to share their work with the general public.Every researcher and creator has stories waiting to be told. Beyond the scholarly journals, conferences and exhibitions that typically drive faculty and graduate student engagement, there are other audiences that need to absorb and be inspired by those stories.

The University of Kansas is fortunate to have several staff and faculty who excel at finding and distilling the captivating elements of our scholarship. Their work can transform observers into supporters and transport enthusiasts to be virtually at our sides, rooting for our success. 

Every day, communicators across campus put their enlightening work on display for all to enjoy and embrace. Their efforts – through articles and emails, podcasts and videos, blog posts and social media – help KU recruit top students, scholars, supporters and investors. The stories they share stretch beyond what our community of scholars does and get to the heart of why the work matters to individuals and, more largely, why it makes a difference for the region, our state, the nation and our world.

KU is bigger than the sum of its parts. Our talented team in Marketing Communications recently held KU Brand Day to ensure this institution continues to present itself in a consistent and professional manner across all communications platforms and to all audiences. And this is important work, even for those of us who possibly believe it is ancillary to research endeavors. A recognizable representation through images, voice, and style ensures KU is understood in its entirety and acknowledged for its broad excellence across disciplines.

This semester the Office of Research is rebuilding its support for communicating KU’s research strength through hiring a director of external affairs. In coordination with efforts in our Office of Public Affairs, this seasoned professional will apply the work outcomes of our scholars to enhance KU’s reputation among our peers and policymakers, and bolster efforts that promote technology commercialization and growth in corporate partnerships.

Later this week a number of KU researchers, campus leaders, and communicators will meet to talk about how we talk about research. The EAB-produced program, hosted by the Office of Research, will stretch past telling the story of what researchers do at a top scholarly institution toward how to present our best selves for the greatest impact. As collaborations grow in the Schools and College across Campus, our ability to showcase the great work happening at KU will only grow.

Some scholars are seemingly born with the knack for finding the right words. They easily convey their discoveries and creative endeavors to their peers and reach broadly to connect with others untrained in their fields. Other researchers find communicating their work to people outside their discipline to be more challenging. Luckily, at KU no one has to travel that path alone. We have an award-winning corps of communicators who ably craft stories that transform individuals into believers and transport followers to this extraordinary place we call KU.


Please join me in person or online for the Campus Budget Conversation this Wednesday. The conversation will be 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Sept. 26, in the Kansas Room of the Kansas Union. You are welcome to bring your lunch and attend in person or watch the livestream. Two additional sessions this semester are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17 (focusing on KU Athletics and KU Endowment funding), and 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5 (focusing on the new budget model).



News and Notes

The Spencer Museum of Art, Biodiversity Institute and KU Natural History Museum Backyard Bash is 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 30, in Marvin Grove. The free event features art and nature activities, demonstrations, and games for all ages, and will premiere the hip-hop performance, “Groove in the Grove.” 

KU TRIO SES and STEM will host its 15th annual Great Mug Giveaway for KU Homecoming week from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, Strong Hall, Room 7. All members of the KU community are invited to stop by, choose a mug (while supplies last), enjoy hot chocolate or cider and learn more about KU’s TRIO programs.

The KU United Way kickoff celebration will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, Oct. 1, on the lawns of Watson Library and Stauffer-Flint Hall. The nine-week campaign, chaired this year by Dean of KU Libraries Kevin Smith, has a goal of $222,222. Offices should know the university cannot approve public (beyond their internal group) bake sales and other homemade food fundraisers due to food safety concerns and regulations. Contact Melissa Rhodes with any UW campaign questions.

Hall Center for the Humanities will present the Humanities Lecture Series with award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25, at The Commons at Spooner Hall. Hinojosa, executive producer of NPR’s Latino USA and PBS’s America by the Numbers, will speak about her experiences covering immigration issues.

Watkins Health Services’ annual flu shot clinics on the Lawrence campus run September 26 through November 1. Visit the Watkins website for more detailed schedule information and to download forms.

KU will mark Indigenous Peoples’ Day with the program “Restoration over Retribution: Peacemaking as a Path Forward,” from noon to 1 p.m., Monday, Oct. 8, in the Big 12 Room of the Kansas Union. Clinical Associate Professor of Law Shawn Watts will lead the discussion.

The annual Crimson & Blue Day Open House will be Friday, Oct. 12 on the Lawrence campus. The Office of Admissions will coordinate tours, academic sessions and a student resource day for prospective students. Last year about a thousand prospective students attended, most of whom brought additional family members.

The Office of Diversity & Equity is sponsoring a brown-bag lunch discussion “Challenging Resurgent White Supremacy and Neo-fascism” from noon to 1:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 1, in the Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center Classroom. Dr. Jalane Schmidt, University of Virginia and Black Lives Matter – Charlottesville, will speak.

Professor of Speech-Language-Hearing and Associate Dean of Academic Innovation and Student Success Holly Storkel, GTA Krista Voelmle and lecturer Veronica Fierro received the 2017 Editor’s Award for the article of highest merit in Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools. They will receive the award in November at the 2018 ASHA Convention in Boston.

State Employee Health Plan enrollment runs from October 1-31, with changes going into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. The enrollment portal will be active on October 1. This is considered an “active enrollment” and all eligible employees who want coverage will need to make a selection even if they want to keep the same coverage plan.

The Offices of Diversity & Equity and Multicultural Affairs are offering a professional development workshop on supporting undocumented students for staff, faculty and others who work directly with KU students.  Four, 2-hour sessions will be offered through the academic year. Sign up through mytalent.ku.edu.


Provost's Message Signature: 


Carl Lejuez

Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Follow me on Twitter at @KUProvostCarl and the Provost Office at @KUProvost. Join the office on Facebook at /KUprovostoffice/. Join the office on Instagram at /KUprovost/.

This issue of Provost's Message as well as past messages from this office can be found on the Provost's Message web page25.

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