WEB EDITORS MEETING SCHEDULED FOR FEB. 1
The Web Services team invites all departmental Web editors to join them for an open monthly meeting 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Feb. 1 in the Leadership Studies Building, Room 201. The meeting will address what's happening online at K-State. The possibilities are growing through a new content management system, evolving Web templates and expanding Web 2.0 technologies. Seating is limited, so people interested in attending should register at http://www.k-state.edu/webservices/meeting or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
K-STATE'S WEB ACCESSIBILITY BETTER THAN ANALYSIS SUGGESTS
On Dec. 12, 2010, the Chronicle of Higher Education released some statistics on the "Best and Worst College Websites for Blind Students" based on data compiled by Jon Gunderson from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. K-State was ranked 106 out of 183 institutions analyzed with a total average score of 51.9 percent.
However, in analyzing the data, it seems that K-State's website may not be as inaccessible as the article's data suggests. First, the headers in the Chronicle are different than the headers in the original data, which could be misleading. For example, one of the categories is labeled as "Online Applications" in the Chronicle's printed data. K-State only scored a 0.7 percent in the category, suggesting that the online admission application is not accessible. However, in the original data, the category was "Forms," and the forms were not analyzed with a text reader to check their accessibility, instead the HTML code was analyzed by an automated tool for details that are not necessary to remain compliant with state, federal and World Wide Web Commission (W3C) guidelines. K-State's online application has been tested rigorously with a text reader to ensure accessibility.
Second, it is worth noting that many of the accessibility tests that each website was put through were not used to compile the final score for each institution; only a small fraction of the scored categories were used. For example, in the "Website Name" (or "Titling") category, K-State scored over 90 percent in every category except one, a category in which institutions were graded on whether the text of the largest headline matched the title of the Web page, a benchmark that is not required by W3C or any federal or state accessibility guidelines. However, because only two of the seven categories were used in compiling the final score -- including the one K-State did poorly in -- K-State's score was less than 50 percent.
K-State is compliant with the accessibility guidelines laid out by the W3C, the federal government and the state. However, the data published by the Chronicle will be used internally to scrutinize the K-State website carefully and improve Web accessibility in every way possible.
PRESIDENT KIRK SCHULZ ANNOUNCES NEW CONTRACT FOR ATHLETICS DIRECTOR JOHN CURRIE
President Kirk Schulz announced Monday that John Currie, K-State athletics director, has accepted a new contract, a move that recognizes Currie for his outstanding leadership and allows K-State Athletics to continue the stability and momentum provided since his appointment 18 months ago.
The agreement, retroactive to July 1, 2010, replaces the original contract signed in 2009 and secures Currie's services through June 30, 2016. Schulz said that Currie's annual salary of $350,000 remains unchanged but features an enhanced incentive structure. Upon successful completion of the last two years of the agreement, Currie will also receive a single lump sum payment of $150,000.
In addition, Currie can earn compensation -- capped at 75 percent of his base salary -- in performance-based bonuses related to the on-field successes of K-State's 16 intercollegiate sports.
"Since John joined the K-State family, he's been a tremendous partner," Schulz said. "When Nebraska and Colorado announced their plans to leave the Big 12, John worked hard on behalf of K-State and the conference. Under his leadership our student-athletes have continued to excel in the classroom, including once again earning the No. 1 all-sport graduation rate in the Big 12 for the fourth straight year. I expect even bigger and better things from John in the years to come."
"Mary Lawrence and I are very privileged to be a part of the K-State family and Manhattan community," Currie said. "President Schulz has a tremendous vision for this university with K-State 2025, and we appreciate his confidence and trust in us as we work to achieve our vision of a model intercollegiate athletics program. We have great campus and athletics leadership teams that have really come together to help build some momentum these first 18 months. It's a wonderful time to be a K-Stater -- we have terrific coaches, dedicated student-athletes and the best fans in the country, and we're excited about what the future holds for our athletic program."
When Currie joined K-State in 2009 one of his first accomplishments was to emphasize transparency and accountability in K-State's athletics program. A month after he arrived he launched the K-State Pledge, a series of financial accountability measures and core values.
"John has done a great job of rebuilding confidence and trust in the athletic department," said John Vanier, a member of the Ahearn Fund's National Leadership Circle. "His transparency and willingness to discuss budgets, the financial conditions and his visionary plan have been very refreshing and have done a lot to restore confidence among our fan base."
K-State fans have also responded during Currie's tenure, setting ticket and attendance records in football, men's basketball, baseball and volleyball. Deb Patterson, women's basketball coach, said Currie has reinvigorated enthusiasm and commitment on the part of K-State's passionate fan base, including a push to build a basketball practice facility that will help student-athletes, coaches and programs.
"His positive attitude and his can-do expectation and energy are contagious to our staff and student-athletes alike," Patterson said.
Currie extends his enthusiasm beyond his offices in Bramlage Coliseum by reaching out to the rest of the K-State campus. He visits regularly with student organizations and college deans and serves on Schulz's cabinet.
"The support he has built within his department staff -- along with the credibility he has developed with the campus community and transparency with the fan base -- is a winning combination for K-State," said Rand Berney, Ahearn Fund and National Leadership Circle member.
Under Currie's leadership K-State achieved a record total for annual Ahearn Fund cash gifts in 2009-2010 at $14.47 million, announced plans for the construction of a new basketball training facility and secured new contracts for coaches Bill Snyder, Frank Martin, Brad Hill, Cliff Rovelto and Patterson.
"John's leadership has been beneficial to the success and development of our basketball program the past two years, and I appreciate his confidence in my staff and me to build this program into one of the best in the Big 12," Martin said. "I'm happy for John and his family that he was able to earn this extension of his contract. I look forward to working with him in the future as we continue to elevate our athletics program into one of the very best in the country."
PARTNERSHIP WITH ARGENTINEAN UNIVERSITY KICKS OFF
Two K-State professors recently traveled to Argentina to kick off an international institutional cooperation between K-State and the University of Lanus, or UNLa, in Buenos Aires.
The institutional agreement was developed last summer after Gabriela Diaz de Sabates, instructor of women's studies, and Marcelo Sabates, associate professor and head of the philosophy department, presented the idea to authorities at the University of Lanus. Their trip was supported by a grant from K-State's office of international programs.
To begin the partnership, Diaz de Sabates and Sabates lectured at UNLa in November on the concept and current mission of a land-grant university.
"The UNLa is an innovative, public university that is developing a concept that follows, in part, our land-grant model," Sabates said. "As such, the institutional receptivity is in place for a variety of initiatives."
Diaz de Sabates said, "We were very impressed by their institutional involvement with the agreement. After our talk, Ana María Jaramillo, UNLa's president, held a reception for us where main administrators and many faculty were present."
The collaboration allows for the possibility of research collaboration between various K-State departments and different UNLa programs, such as the university's Center for Human Rights, Center for Research in Ethics and Center for the Study of Resiliency. A permanent study abroad option every summer in Buenos Aires, including visits to rural communities in northern Argentina, is also one of the main components of the partnership.
"UNLa is working to include future research and seminars done in collaboration with K-State within the framework of a project to internationalize Argentinean college education, " said Nerio Neirotti, UNLa's academic vice president.
K-STATE PROJECT PUTTING IPADS IN LOCAL MATH CLASSROOMS
The department of curriculum and instruction is using a $70,000 grant enhancement to purchase iPads for mathematics teachers in local school districts.
The iPads will be used as a technological resource to enhance math lessons and instruction in the classroom.
The grant enhancement is additional financial support for a three-year, $300,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Education for a project focusing on teacher retention and increasing effective math teaching.
"The original grant is designed to deepen and broaden the content knowledge of math teachers in Kansas -- in particular, the ones in K-State's professional development schools and partnership districts," said David Allen, associate professor of curriculum and instruction and one of the grant's project directors.
The grant focuses primarily on teachers of grades 5-8 in the Junction City, Manhattan and Wamego school districts. The funding supports a two-week training program for the teachers every summer, with a different math area focus each year. The program has 33 participants and is helping to train them to become teacher-leaders in their districts, Allen said.
"We're taking our knowledge and disseminating it to these 33 teachers who have been working with us," he said. "They'll go back to their schools and do the same thing so that we reach more teachers."
Allen said the grant enhancement funding for iPad technology could benefit teachers and their students in several ways.
When teaching geometry, he said, it's important for students to understand that there are certain properties that are consistent, such as the sum of a triangle's angles always equaling 180 degrees.
"Using certain software programs you can draw a triangle on an iPad, and you can manipulate the vertices," Allen said. "What that does is change the angles on the triangle. So as kids touch the iPad, they can move the triangle into different configurations. They can then see the angles changing, but the sum of the angles always stays at 180 degrees."
Technical issues for using the iPads in the classroom are still being developed.
Allen said the project is just one of the many ways K-State is helping teachers in the community.
"That's what a university should do," he said. "Rather than recognize we're an ivory tower where professors dictate what true knowledge is, we believe that we need to leave our offices, get into the schools and work with teachers where the rubber meets the road, and just say, 'what can we do to help?'"
In addition to Allen, directors of the project at K-State include Andrew Bennett, professor of mathematics; Melisa Hancock, instructor of curriculum and instruction; and Xuan Hien Nguyen, visiting assistant professor in mathematics.
Their research provides insight into ways of reducing crop losses or developing new avenues for medicinal research.
Frank White, professor of plant pathology, and Ginny Antony, postdoctoral fellow in plant pathology, are co-authors, in partnership with researchers at three other institutions, of an article in a recent issue of the journal Nature. The article, "Sugar transporters for intercellular exchange and nutrition of pathogens," was led by Li-Qing Chen from the department of plant biology in the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University.
The project involves the identification of a family of sugar transporters, called SWEETS, which transport glucose between plant cells. These transporters are also important because they are targeted by pathogens trying to obtain plant sugar for nutrition.
"It's remarkable," White said. "These bacteria are able to regulate the plant genes directly by inserting proteins into the plant cells. The proteins take over the transcription of the SWEET gene, and the plant, as a consequence, becomes susceptible to bacterial disease."
White and Antony focused specifically on rice bacterial disease and tried to understand what makes rice susceptible and what makes it resistant to specific pathogens. The K-State researchers discovered three resistance genes in rice that can be mutated in order to build the resistance of the rice against a pathogen. One of these resistance genes -- Xa13 -- is included in the Nature article and was discovered by White's lab in 2006.
"We've identified the genes that bacteria can induce to cause the plant to be susceptible," White said. "We've identified them as critical for disease from a pathogen standpoint. For the plant, these genes are involved in normal development. However, once the pathogen takes control of expression, it makes the plant susceptible."
White and Antony also have an article appearing in the December issue of the journal The Plant Cell. They collaborated with researchers from Iowa State University to investigate a second susceptibility gene and its role in the spread of disease.
White's laboratory has been working on such rice research for 15 years, but started collaborating with the Stanford researchers earlier this year.
"We have been trying to understand what the pathogen wants from the host, how the pathogen gets it, and how the host tries to defend itself," Antony said.
Although the research is important in the field of plant genetics, it has broader applications as well. Because researchers have a better understanding of how to control pathogen food supplies, they can use this research to reduce crop diseases and subsequent losses. The plant research may also apply the findings to humans or animals because both use similar sugar transporter genes to transfer glucose, leading to new possibilities for medicine and diabetes research.
White and Antony are in the midst of a three-year, $3-million National Science Foundation grant, and have also been funded in their research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Research Initiative program through the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service.
PROFESSORS USING USDA GRANT FOR VETERINARY EDUCATION ENHANCEMENT PROJECT
Three faculty members from the College of Veterinary Medicine have received a grant for developing a new method of teaching veterinarians involved with food safety.
David Anderson, Robert Larson and Brad White, all from the department of clinical sciences, are receiving part of a Higher Education Challenge Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for their project, "Food Systems Veterinary Medicine for the 21st Century."
The project is part of a multi-institutional grant headed by Scott Hurd at Iowa State University and that involves K-State and the University of Arkansas. The overall grant is for $331,000; K-State's portion is $99,000.
The K-Staters are coming up with a new method of teaching concepts of food animal medicine and food safety by changing the framework, curriculum and delivery mechanism of that information.
The new method will transform the mindset and skill set for veterinarians who are tasked with safely feeding the world, according to Anderson.
"The U.S. has a continuing and serious shortage of veterinarians needed to ensure a constant supply of safe and wholesome food that is produced in a humane manner," said Anderson, professor and section head of agricultural practices in the College of Veterinary Medicine. "This creates a great need for experts to work in complex farming, food production and processing systems, and to help with sustainability, respond to societal changes and maintain consumer confidence."
Higher Education Challenge grants are administered through the USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service. The grant program encourages innovative teaching enhancement projects with the potential for regional or national impact and for serving as models for other institutions. While research and extension activities may be included in a funded project, the primary focus must be to improve teaching within a degree-granting program.
"Adding new learning objectives to the veterinary curriculum education is difficult because students are currently overloaded with information," said Larson, professor of production medicine. "Students don't have time for more courses, labs or rotations. To provide new content without increasing course load requires innovative methods, including modifying existing food animal topics to provide the current content while imparting the systems methodology, and applying systems engineering teaching and learning principles to veterinary students through a partnership with the K-State College of Engineering."
"One focus of this project is developing materials that provide faculty with the tools necessary to implement systems teaching," said Brad White, associate professor of production medicine. "A trainer will be established at each collaborating university, and that trainer will work with selected faculty to modify some of their existing lectures. The revised lectures will include the original content while setting the information into systems-based examples."
Several College of Veterinary Medicine faculty members in food animal medicine will assist with the project, including Matt Miesner, Shelie Laflin, Michael Apley and Mike Sanderson.
DODDS CONTRIBUTES TO NEW NATIONAL STUDY ON NITROGEN WATER POLLUTION
Walter Dodds, university distinguished professor of biology, is part of a national research team that discovered that streams and rivers produce three times more greenhouse gas emissions than estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Through his work on the Konza Prairie Biological Station and other local streams, Dodds helped demonstrate that nitrous oxide emissions from rivers and streams make up at least 10 percent of human-caused nitrous oxide emissions -- three times greater than current estimates by the climate change panel.
"This research deals with two important issues," Dodds said. "First, nitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas. Second, nitrous oxide also destroys ozone in the upper atmosphere, exposing us to more ultraviolet radiation."
The research, "Nitrous oxide emission from denitrification in stream and river networks," appeared in Online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
For the article, researchers from 23 institutions -- including K-State -- measured nitrous oxide production in 72 streams that drain native, urban or agricultural lands. Nine of those streams were in the Manhattan area, with three at Konza.
The level of nitrous oxide in streams and rivers is related to human activities that can release nitrogen into the environment, such as sewage runoff or crop fertilization. When this nitrogen reaches rivers and streams, it undergoes denitrification, a microbial process that converts nitrogren to nitrous oxide gas, called N2O, and an inert gas called dinitrogen, or N2.
As a greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide has global warming potential that is 300-fold greater than carbon dioxide. In the past century, concentration of atmospheric nitrous oxide has increased 20 percent, making it a strong contributor to climate change and ozone destruction.
"We show that river networks play an important role in how human nitrogen additions for crops influence the global environment," Dodds said.
The findings can lead to more effective mitigation strategies, Dodds said. Researchers suggest that nitrous oxide emissions can be reduced from river networks by changing agricultural and urban land-use practices, such as better management practices for fertilizers. By decreasing nitrogen input to watersheds, the production of nitrous oxide also diminishes.
Jake Beaulieu of the Environmental Protection Agency is the lead author of the paper, produced as part of a project headed by Patrick Mulholland of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. From 2005 to 2007 the team received $3 million from the National Science Foundation to investigate nitrogen pollution in streams. K-State received $320,000 of the grant.
PROFESSOR EDITS NEW BOOK ABOUT SOVIET UNION IN WORLD WAR II
David Stone, the Pickett Professor of Military History and director of the Institute for Military History and 20th Century Studies, is editor of the new volume "The Soviet Union at War 1941-1945."
The book is published by British publishing company Pen and Sword Books; Casemate Publishing will distribute it in the U.S.
Stone specializes in Russia and the Soviet Union, South Asia, and military history.
"I was discussing possible projects with the publisher, and we agreed that there was an enormous amount of new research on the Soviet side of World War II that had never been put together into a coherent whole for students and general readers," Stone said. "A lot of that new material was in Russian or in scholarly journals that the general public doesn't have access to. The idea was to give people a sense of how our picture of the history of World War II's Eastern Front has changed with access to new sources available since the fall of the Soviet Union."
Stone, who also wrote some sections of the book, brought together a group of preeminent World War II scholars to contribute to the collection.
"The challenge was putting together a team of top experts on particular fields," Stone said. "I had responsibility for writing the introduction, the conclusion and the Soviet military section, as well as coordinating the work of the authors of the other chapters."
The publisher describes the 256-page book as a penetrating reassessment of the Soviet war effort and economy, with the scholars offering a telling insight into the way in which enormous obstacles were overcome, and sacrifices made, to achieve an overwhelming victory that changed the shape of Europe.
Stone said the process of editing the book certainly was different than that of writing an entire book himself. But he is satisfied with the final product.
"I'm delighted with how the book turned out," he said. "We have a terrific line-up of contributors, and the result is a comprehensive picture of the Soviet war effort. World War II was decided by the conflict between Germany and the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front, and I hope that this book will give readers a better sense of what happened."
In the book Bailey shares her ideas, tips and anecdotes about making theater accessible to children and adults with disabilities.
"If you do theater, but know nothing about disabilities, you'll learn about them," Bailey said. "If you know about disabilities, but not about how to facilitate drama, you'll learn about that. I wanted to give all the building blocks so that people can take what they need. If you have no building blocks, with this book you have a whole kit."
Bailey was first exposed to drama therapy and learned about accommodating people with disabilities when she worked for various arts programs in Washington, D.C. After becoming a registered drama therapist, she used her skills while working with recovering drug addicts at the rehabilitation facility Second Genesis, and with people with disabilities at Imagination Stage, a nonprofit arts center.
She moved to Manhattan to head up K-State's drama therapy master's program in 1999. She also is the director of the Manhattan Parks and Recreation's barrier-free theater.
"By chance, one of the families whose children I had worked with in the D.C. area had moved to Manhattan and had talked the parks and rec department into creating a barrier-free program," Bailey said. "They believed it was so important that every town should have one."
Bailey's new book was nearly a decade in the making. She said publishers could not understand who the audience was, but she knows that since 20 percent of people have some kind of disability, the audience is definitely there.
"Drama can really level the playing field and allow many different people to work together," Bailey said. "In the theater all people can express themselves and be creative as equals. Drama can be a part of more people's lives if directors and teachers know how to include everyone."
THE ECOSYSTEM ENGINEER: RESEARCH LOOKS AT BEAVERS' ROLE IN RIVER RESTORATION
When engineers restore rivers, one K-State professor hopes they'll keep a smaller engineer in mind: the North American beaver.
Beavers are often called ecosystem engineers because they can radically alter stream or valley bottom ecosystems, said Melinda Daniels, an associate professor of geography who recently studied the connection between beavers and river restoration. Beaver dams create diverse river landscapes, she said, and can turn a single-thread channel stream into a meadow, pond or multichannel, free-flowing stream.
"Our argument is that the restoration target for streams with forested riparian zones has to acknowledge the diversity brought to river systems by active beaver populations," Daniels said.
Daniels and three researchers from the University of Connecticut co-authored "The River Discontinuum: Applying Beaver Modifications to Baseline Conditions for Restoration of Forested Headwaters." The article, led by Denise Burchsted at the University of Connecticut, appears in a recent issue of BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences.
While the research involves observations of several watersheds in northeastern Connecticut, the results are applicable to any forested streams, which typically have large beaver populations. Beaver populations have rebounded in recent years, Daniels said, after coming close to extinction in the early 19th century by hunters for their fur.
The ultimate goal of the research, Daniels said, is to help restore rivers in an efficient way that acknowledges ecosystem diversity and doesn't destroy it.
"A lot of rivers are in trouble and need work and restoration, but it's amazing how little we know about the systems we're trying to fix," she said. "We know they're broken, but we don't exactly know what they should look like because we know so little about how many of our river systems function."
Current restoration projects often don't consider the role of beavers as ecosystem engineers, and instead focus on creating continuous free-flowing streams, Daniels said. Such restoration can be expensive because it usually involves completely tearing down small 19th-century milldams and re-engineering an entire valley bottom.
Rather than tear down the whole milldam and radically change the surrounding ecosystem, the researchers recommend river restorers only remove part of it. This allows some ponded water to remain and mimics the role of beavers. Daniels said that in many cases if an old dam breaks and forms a gap, beavers may build their own dam to patch the gap and recreate the ecosystem that previously existed.
The researchers plan to continue river observations and collect more data to provide river restorers with insight for maintaining river ecosystem diversity.
"You can use these natural analogs to produce an ecosystem that looks a lot more like the one that was there before the colonists arrived," Daniels said. "We can restore rivers in a way that mimics the naturally diverse beaver streams, and we can save a lot of money in the process."
Incidents like 2010's salmonella-in-eggs outbreak sickened more than 1,900 across the U.S. and led to the recall of 500 million eggs.
A new study by Doug Powell, associate professor of food safety at K-State, and colleagues finds how the culture of food safety is practiced within an organization can be a significant risk factor in foodborne illness.
Powell said how businesses and organizations operate above and beyond minimal food safety regulations and inspections, or their food safety culture, is often overlooked.
"You'd think making customers sick is bad for business, yet some firms go out of their way to ignore food safety," Powell said. "Some places are motivated by money and efficiencies. The amount of regulation, inspection and audits just doesn’t seem to matter. And those 'Employees Must Wash Hands' signs don't really work."
Powell and his colleagues examined three food safety failures: an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Wales in 2005 that sickened 157 and killed one; a listeria outbreak in Canada in 2008 that sickened 57 and killed 23; and a salmonella outbreak in the U.S. in 2009 linked to peanut paste that killed nine and sickened 691.
Their study "Enhancing Food Safety Culture to Reduce Rates of Foodborne Illness" is being published by the journal Food Control and is available in advance online at http://bit.ly/hDh9EE.
"Creating a culture of food safety requires application of the best science with the best management and communication systems," Chapman said. "Operators should know the risks associated with their products, how to manage them, and most important, how to communicate with and compel their staff to employ good practices -- it's a package deal."
According to the researchers, individuals focusing on food safety risks within an organization with a good food safety culture do the following:
* Know the risks associated with the foods they handle and how those should be managed;
* Dedicate resources to evaluate supplier practices;
* Stay up-to-date on emerging food safety issues;
* Foster a value system within the organization that focuses on avoiding illnesses;
* Communicate compelling and relevant messages about risk reduction activities, and empower others to put them into practice;
* Promote effective food safety systems before an incident occurs; and
* Don't blame customers, including commercial buyers and consumers, when illnesses are linked to their products.
The free Day-On Open House is 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Jan. 17. The event, funded by a Community Giving Program Grant from Target, celebrates the holiday as a day on, not a day off.
Activities are organized around the museum's exhibition "Big Shots: Andy Warhol Photography from the '70s & '80s." Participants can learn more about the artist's pop art while contributing to the community. Activities include creating photo self-portraits in Warhol's signature style to celebrate individuality and helping with the Martin Luther King community paint-by-numbers project.
"One of Warhol's most recognized pieces is 'Campbell's Soup,'" said Kathrine Schlageck, senior educator at the Beach Museum. "We are encouraging attendees to bring a can of soup to benefit the Flint Hills Breadbasket."
To continue the soup can theme, Beach Buddies and family members have been invited to create original soup can labels that will be on display at the museum Jan. 17-23. Cans of soup for the Breadbasket will be accepted throughout the week at the museum.
Reservations are not necessary, but children must be accompanied by an adult. The event is free; however, there is a suggested donation of one can of soup per person.
The Community Giving Program is part of ongoing efforts by Target to strengthen families and communities throughout the country. Since opening its doors in 1962, Target has given 5 percent of its income to communities. Today that giving equals more than $3 million every week.
For more information, contact Martha Scott at the Beach Museum of Art at 785-532-7718 or drop by the museum on the southeast corner of the K-State campus at 14th Street and Anderson Avenue. Free visitor parking is available next to the building. Normal museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM DECEMBER FACULTY SENATE MEETING
Faculty Senate minutes for the Nov. 9 meeting have been posted at http://www.k-state.edu/facsen/facsenate/2011/minutes.htm.
At the Dec. 14, 2010, meeting:
* Dan Richardson and John Pascarella gave a presentation to senators about the K-State Olathe campus. They provided information regarding the buildings there so far, organizational structure and plans for the site.
* An election for president-elect took place. Tom Vontz is the new president-elect.
* The academic calendar for fall 2013 through summer 2016 was approved and was sent to the provost for submission to the Board of Regents. However, it should be noted that changes will be made to the calendar prior to the fall 2013 semester in order to adjust for grade submission that semester.
Standing committee reports:
* Academic Affairs: The Honorary Degree Procedures were passed by Faculty Senate. Various course and curriculum changes were approved, including a new degree program in aeronautical technology, from K-State Salina, and a new minor in aerospace studies, from the College of Arts and Sciences, which will be sent to the Board of Regents for approval. Also a new minor in hotel and restaurant management was approved, and because it is already within a board-approved degree program, it is ready for implementation.
* Faculty Affairs: Revisions to Appendix G in the University Handbook and the university policy flowchart are still in progress. Several other items are being worked on by the committee as well.
* FSCOT: The committee is working on various items. No action items at this time though. Ken Stafford, vice provost of information technology services, will be meeting with FSCOT in January.
* FSCOUP: Met on Nov. 4 and Dec. 2 to discuss additional recommendations regarding K-State 2025 subgroups and other matters. Another memo was sent to President Schulz from FSCOUP regarding selection of the subgroups and their charge. Jeffery Morris, vice president of communications and marketing, was present on Dec. 2 and showed committee members a brief video clip on "What Purple Means to Me." He also showed the committee various mock-ups of "Kansas State University" logos as well as proposed navigational web pages within the Kansas State University website.
* Student Senate: Announced city/university funds recommendations and also reported that work on the tuition strategy is in process.
* There will be no January Faculty Senate meeting.
For the good of the university:
* Senator Bonnie Lynn-Sherow made an announcement regarding the Take Charge Energy Challenge and introduced the point person, Simon Sylvester-Chaudhuri.
K-STATE ALREADY ON THE MOVE IN 2011: PROVOST MASON VISITS CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE
On Jan. 5, Provost April Mason and Wei Wu, Chinese program director and special assistant on China affairs, visited the Confucius Institute at the University of Kansas Edwards campus. The visit was a further step in the investigation process to evaluate if a Confucius Institute could be established at K-State. The idea was proposed by the Chinese program and the East Asian Studies program as a way to strengthen Chinese language and culture teaching at K-State. As the first step of the investigation process, Mason and Wu visited the headquarters of the Confucius Institute in Beijing in July 2010.
Chinese language has been designated as one of the five critical languages for the United States by the Department of State in 2008. The newly released study, "Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education," conducted by the Modern Languages Association, representing 99 percent of all higher education institutions offering language courses in the United States, showed that the study of Chinese registered the second largest percentage growth at U.S. colleges and universities since 2006.
The Chinese program at K-state was established in 2005, and students have shown great enthusiasm for learning the Chinese language since then. Now with more than 800 Chinese students on K-State's campus, the interest in learning about Chinese language and culture is even greater.
Confucius Institutes are Chinese government projects that aim to promote Chinese language and culture and financially support Chinese language teaching internationally. The headquarters is in Beijing and is under the Office of Chinese Language Council. Sixty-four Confucius Institutes have been established at various universities in 37 states in the U.S. since 2005. As of July 2010 there were 316 Confucius Institutes and 337 Confucius Classrooms in 94 countries and regions.
Michael Wesch, associate professor in cultural anthropology and expert in the effects of new media on society and culture, discusses leadership and social media at the Coffman Institute Retreat, Jan. 5. The next Coffman Leadership Institute will be in 2012, with nominations opening in January that year. More information about the institute, visit http://www.k-state.edu/leadership/coffmanLeadershipInstitute.html?section=na&selected=na.