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Fibromyalgia & sleep

Fibromyalgia leaves its sufferers with chronic pain that can make it hard to get a good nights sleep. Nancy Hamilton, associate professor of psychology, is working to find out if the malady is in fact a sleep disorder that leads to pain. Watch video »

KU people

Busby honored for public service

William H. Busby, associate scientist at the Kansas Biological Survey and courtesy associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, recently received the Imagination Place Environmental Award for a public servant, government employee. Busby was recognized for his long-term dedication to monitoring the grassland birds and endangered species of Kansas, providing data that can be used for important policy decisions concerning the Kansas environment.

Busby received a framed oil painting award by Lawrence artist Paul Hotvedt.

The I and P Environmental Award is designed to recognize Douglas County community members who have made a demonstrable and positive impact on the local, regional, and/or global environment.

Skrtic honored for work in disability studies

Tom Skrtic, professor of special education, was honored May 2, by Syracuse University’s School of Education for his pioneering work in disability studies.

Skrtic received two awards during the ninth annual Second City Conference on Disability Studies in Education: the Tolley Medal recognizing distinguished leadership in lifelong learning and the conference’s Senior Scholar Award.

Skrtic also gave the conference’s opening plenary address, titled “Rights, Capabilities and Disability Needs Politics: Institutional Barriers to Social Justice in School and Society.”

The Tolley Medal has been awarded only 12 times since it was established in 1966 to honor William Pearson Tolley, then chancellor of Syracuse and a nationally recognized leader in higher education.

Skrtic was nationally recognized in 2004 by the Encyclopedia of Educational Leadership as one of the two most influential figures in reconceptualizing the philosophy and practice of special education.

He has directed 30 federal grants and contracts; published seven books and more than 100 articles, chapters and research reports; and lectured and consulted on school organization and special education policy throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Russia.

Skrtic joined KU’s faculty in 1976 and has received numerous honors for his teaching, including the 2008 Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching from the School of Education. He also served as the 2005-06 Gene A. Budig Teaching Professor in Special Education. From 1996 to 2002, he was a senior scholar at the Glenda B. and Forrest C. Shaklee Institute for Improving Special Education in Wichita. He was named a Danforth Associate, for excellence in humanistic teaching, by the Danforth Foundation of St. Louis from 1978 to 1984.

Tolley Medal recipients are listed online.

Simpson named interim dean of CLAS

Greg Simpson, professor and chair of psychology, has been appointed interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. His appointment will begin July 1. He was appointed by Dean Joseph Steinmetz, who will serve as interim provost following the departure of Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Richard Lariviere.

Ruth Ann Atchley, associate professor of psychology, will serve as interim chair of the department during the same period.

Horn wins award for early childhood intervention

Eva Horn, professor of special education, received the Kansas Division of Early Childhood Award of Excellence at the 27th annual conference held in Wichita. The Award of Excellence honors an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of early intervention and early childhood education. The awards notice mentions that Horn has published books and articles, developed research grants, participated in many research projects and achieved many honors as professor of Special Education.

Horn was a driving force in the creation of the Early Childhood Unified License and has supported many Kansas projects including the development of the Kansas Early Learning Document and School Readiness work. She is known both nationally and at the state level for her work in the field of early education for infants, toddlers and young children at risk for developmental delays and those with identified disabilities.

KU School of Medicine-Wichita announces promotions

The KU School of Medicine-Wichita recently announced the following promotions: Timothy M. Scanlan, clinical associate professor of family and community medicine, was promoted to clinical professor. C. Maria Riva, assistant professor of pediatrics, was promoted to associate professor.Michael P. Brown, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, was promoted to clinical associate professor.Sanford Fitzig, clinical assistant professor of surgery, was promoted to clinical associate professor.Milton H. Landers, clinical assistant professor of anesthesiology, was promoted to clinical associate professor. J. Mark Melhorn, clinical assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery was promoted to clinical associate professor. Scott S. Johnson, clinical assistant professor of anesthesiology, was promoted to clinical associate professor.

Yoo named interim outreach director at Continuing Education

Jean Yoo has been appointed interim director of academic outreach and distance education for KU Continuing Education. Yoo succeeds Jean Redeker, assistant dean, who will join the Board of Regents as director of academic affairs. Yoo will oversee the Independent Study program and manage other program operations for the unit. While serving as interim, Yoo will continue to carry out her responsibilities as assistant director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, a position she has held since joining Continuing Education in February 2007.

Yoo has a bachelor’s in English and art history from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, a master’s from Georgia State University in applied linguistics, and a doctorate from Indiana University in language education. She has extensive experience in online course development, distance learning, and program assessment.

Redeker takes director position with Kansas Board of Regents

Jean Marie Redeker, assistant dean for KU Continuing Education, has accepted a position as director of academic affairs for the Kansas Board of Regents. The Kansas Board of Regents governs the six state universities, and supervises and coordinates 19 community colleges, five technical colleges, six technical schools and one municipal university. The Academic Affairs unit exercises strategic leadership for quality educational development to meet the diverse academic, workforce and lifelong learning needs of all Kansans.

Jean Marie Redeker

At the Board of Regents Redeker will work with all sectors represented in the KBOR system and provide collaborative leadership in the administration of academic policies, procedures, projects and proposals. Her primary responsibilities will include oversight of the institutional performance agreement process and the qualified admissions curriculum. She will also assist with the program review process and the review of new program proposals. She began her position with the board May 4. Redeker earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies, both from KU.

Visiting KU law professor named dean at University of Montana

Irma Russell, visiting professor of law and a KU alumna, has been named dean of the law school at the University of Montana.

She is the school’s first female dean.

In addition to being a KU visiting professor, Russell is a member of the University of Tulsa College of Law faculty, as an Energy-Environment Law and Policy Institute professor. She served as former director of the organization from 2006-2008.

Russell will take her new post July 1.

She received two undergraduate degrees, a master’s in English literature and a law degree, all from KU.

Drahozal testifies before U.S. House

Christopher Drahozal, the John M. Rounds Distinguished Professor of Law, testifed before a U.S. House subcommittee studying whether arbitration clauses in credit card contracts unfairly prevent customers from suing companies in court.

Drahozal testified May 5 at a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law on the “Federal Arbitration Act: Is the Credit Card Industry Using the Act to Slam Shut the Courthouse Door?”

Drahozal is chair of the Searle Civil Justice Institute’s Consumer Arbitration Task Force, which released a report in March detailing its study of consumer arbitrations administered by the American Arbitration Association. The use of arbitration clauses in credit cardholder agreements is widespread, and the practice of resolving credit card disputes through arbitration has been criticized as favoring businesses over consumers.

Arbitration, an alternative to litigation, involves submitting a dispute to one or more impartial persons for a final and binding decision. The Searle study found that measures to protect consumers’ rights are routinely enforced in American Arbitration Association consumer arbitrations and that outcomes are not biased in favor of businesses that arbitrate repeatedly.

Drahozal’s scholarly writing focuses on the law and economics of dispute resolution, particularly arbitration. He is the author of multiple books and numerous articles on commercial arbitration, and has taught and given presentations on the subject in Europe and the United States.


The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.