Wheat State Whirlwind Tour to hit the road again

Five-day trip returns after one-year hiatus

The Wheat State Whirlwind Tour will hit the road again in 2010, following a one-year hiatus. Officials decided recently to reinstate the five-day tour of Kansas, after the 2009 tour was cancelled because of budget constraints.

Don Steeples, senior vice provost, said the tour will be similar to those held in previous years.

“Since last year’s tour got cancelled, we’re planning at this moment to resurrect what we were going to do last year,” Steeples said.

The annual tour takes approximately 50 new faculty and staff members on a five-day, roughly 1,500-mile trip around Kansas. Along the way, participants learn more about Kansas history, landscape and culture and gain familiarity with the hometowns of many KU students. The tour is also a way for KU employees to meet colleagues they might not otherwise have the chance to collaborate with and to share their expertise with residents of Kansas.

The tour annually hits the road on the Monday after commencement and returns to Lawrence five days later. In 2010, the dates will be May 17 through 21. Participants were chosen for the 2009 iteration before the decision was made to cancel the tour. Steeples said participants who were chosen will be given the opportunity to take part in the next tour. Spots made available by those who will be unable to take part will be re-opened, with priority given to new faculty.

Steeples consulted Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, who decided to reinstate the tour. It has not been determined whether the tour will continue after 2010. Private funds will pay for this year’s trip.

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Bill Steele, program assistant, Office of Professional Military and Graduate Education
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