The University of Kansas An Official Employee Publication From the Office of University Relations



Sept. 19 , 2003
Vol. 28, No. 3

State health rates jump again
Open enrollment starts next month
Collage Concert to ring in Open House festivities
Party on the prairie
Convocation highlights achievements, focuses on future
Provost emphasizes tuition enhancement programs
Survey results help tailor proposal
Coke awards Native American scholarships
American Pride

Professors hit the road for Faculty Speakers Bureau
July employees honored
‘Big Brother’ gives time, money to United Way
Brown v. Board program debuts

Governor to present leadership lecture

AIDS crisis discussed in minicourse

KU First
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Professors hit the road for Faculty Speakers Bureau

KU faculty travel across the region to give free lectures on range of topics

By Jennifer Kepka

All the world may not be a stage, but thanks to the Faculty Speakers Bureau, all of Kansas is now a classroom.

Tom Mulinazzi, professor and chair of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, knows this firsthand. As part of the speakers bureau, Mulinazzi has lectured in 80 Kansas counties, giving him an insight into the communities from which his students hail.

“KU students appreciate it when you know something about their hometown or their part of the state,” Mulinazzi said.

Similarly, different parts of the state have appreciated KU professors’ knowledge on a range of topics. The speakers bureau, administered by the University Governance office and funded by the provost’s office, offers approximately 120 professors willing to speak — free of charge — on topics ranging from aerospace engineering to theatre and film.

“We get a lot of calls asking for it,” said Kathy Reed, the main contact for the speakers bureau.

Current events often drive interest in certain topics.

Last summer, when a KU expedition getting ready to travel to Antarctica to study polar ice sheets made the news, Reed fielded requests from several organizations for a speaker to discuss the group’s exploration — and recruited a professor to do just that.

“Sometimes other faculty recommend people or we recruit from other faculty,” Reed said.

So far, no request for a speaker has been turned down on account of not having an expert on the requested topic, though some requests are more specific than others.

“I went to Wamego and spoke to a Chamber of Commerce meeting last year,” Mulinazzi said. “My topic was ‘Crazy Traffic Signs.’”

Speakers have visited a wide range of groups, from middle-school classes to a manufacturing plant in Iola. One speaker even drove to McPherson to give a speech — an effort that was rewarded by a call from the McPherson College organizer to praise the service, Reed said.

“The evaluations are all very positive, and the speakers are very positive,” Reed said. “It fosters goodwill.”

Mulinazzi agreed. After his speech in Wamego, Mulinazzi said, he “was most pleased with the fact that I was representing KU in rural Kansas. It is important that people in Kansas be exposed to the faculty at the University of Kansas. It also helps our faculty to travel throughout the state of Kansas.”

For more information on Faculty Speakers Bureau visit


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