News in brief

Weight Management Program opening session for faculty, staff next month

The Weight Management Program is opening a session for faculty and staff next month dedicated to helping participants lose weight and maintain the loss over time. The comprehensive program focuses on the cornerstones of successful evidence-based weight maintenance through nutrition, physical activity and permanent changes in lifestyle and behavior.

There is a one-time $50 materials fee. Fees include an $80 class fee every four weeks plus weekly food costs, ranging from $80 to $90 per week.

The new weight loss class begins next month. There will be a mandatory informational meeting at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at 1501 Wakarusa, Building A, Lawrence. Participants should call to reserve a spot toll free at (866) 962-9288 or e-mail

Kobilka to present Smissman lecture Sept. 23

Brian Kobilka, professor of medicine and molecular cellular physiology at Stanford University, will present the 2010 Edward E. Smissman Memorial Lecture at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union. He will make his presentation, “G Protein Coupled Receptors — Complex Behavior and Challenges for Discovering Novel Drugs” then be presented the EE. Smissman Lectureship Medal.

Kobilka will also present scientific lectures while at KU, including “Crystal Structures of the B2-Adrenoceptor: How We Got There and What We Learned” at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 23 at the Big 12 Room in the Kansas Union; and “Dynamic Features of GPCR Activation: Insights from Flourescence and NMR Spectroscopy” at 10 a.m. Sept. 24 at Room 3020 in the School of Pharmacy building.

The lectures honor legendary KU faculty member Edward E. Smissman and his achievements in research and education. It is sponsored by the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and KU Endowment.

Latest Kansas Statistical Abstract available online

The Institute for Social and Policy Research has made the Kansas Statistical Abstract 2009, the 44th edition,available online.

The abstract contains the most up-to-date state, county and city data for Kansas, including population, health, employment, housing, education, crime, transportation, agriculture, natural resources and other categories. The abstract is available for free. Individual tables, maps and other data are available in PDF and Excel formats here.

KU Libraries encourages employees to support Open Access policy

Lorraine Harricombe, dean of libraries, is encouraging the campus community to support KU’s Open Access policy by inviting all departments to appoint a liaison to assist early adopters.

The policy was approved in April 2009 and an early adopters program was put in place to assist faculty and departments using the policy. Department liaisons are being sought to stay in contact with KU Libraries about concerns and needs specific to departments and disciplines in regard to the policy. Liaisons would work with the Center for Digital Scholarship to help encourage participation in the policy and assist those who wish to make their work available on an open access basis.

The Open Access team is able to work individually with faculty members, provide guidance to liaisons and make departmental presentations. To appoint a liaison, contact Ada Emmett or Marianne Reed in the Center for Digital Scholarship at or call 864-0330. Participation is voluntary, and more information is available at

KU joins effort to apply research benefits to area schools

Four universities in Kansas and Missouri have banded together to deploy their research strengths for the benefit of 32 school districts in the greater Kansas City area. They cemented the bi-state relationship recently with the appointment of a prominent local educator as executive director of the initiative.

Leigh Anne Taylor Knight, KU alumna and former assistant superintendent for 21st century learning with the North Kansas City Schools, will oversee the ongoing work of the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium. The group is composed of researchers at KU, the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Kansas State University.

KC-AERC received approximately $850,000 from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in 2009 to build infrastructure and cover startup costs. The program is modeled after a similar consortium in Chicago, except it involves more than one university and incorporates multiple school districts. These include urban and suburban, public and parochial, and charter and private schools on both sides of the state line. This diversity and broad scope are viewed as strengths of the new initiative.

Research projects under way at the participating universities are providing data that responds to important research questions identified by the school districts (located in Cass, Platte and Jackson counties in Missouri and Wyandotte and Johnson counties in Kansas). The consortium may eventually expand to include another nine counties and another 30-40 districts.

Knight says the goal of KC-AERC is to leverage the combined research expertise of the universities to have a positive impact on the future of education in the Kansas City metro area. The initiative began last fall with a conference in Kansas City. A governance structure involving schools and businesses is being established now, along with a business plan to ensure long-term sustainability.

More information about the consortium, its 2009 conference, and initial research projects is online at

Long-term care insurance seminars scheduled

The KU Teachers and Employees Association is sponsoring seminars by experts to help faculty and staff learn more about long-term care insurance. The insurance, which differs from disability insurance, covers the cost of care if an individual requires medical or personal assistance over an extended period of time, whether it is assistance to stay in the home or to receive care in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Four sessions are scheduled, and lunch will be provided.

Seminars will be held from 11 a.m. to noon and 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Sept. 28 at the English Room in the Kansas Union and at the same times Sept. 29 in the Courtside Room, Burge Union.

To make reservations, RSVP by Sept. 24 by calling Legacy Services at (800) 230 3398 ext. 101. Individual consultations will also be available between 9 and 11 a.m. and 2 and 4 p.m. on both days. RSVP to the same phone number to schedule an individual appointment.

Latin American theater collection added to KU Libraries

A unique collection of materials documenting Latin American theater will be added to the KU Libraries, thanks to a generous gift from a former dean of international studies.

George Woodyard, a member of the KU Libraries Board of Advocates, has donated more than 1,000 printed materials to KU Libraries’ Department for Spain, Portugal and Latin America.

The gift includes rare books on theater criticism as well as many plays.

Woodyard joined the Department of Spanish and Portuguese in 1966. In 1989, he was named KU’s first dean of international studies. He founded the Latin American Theatre Review in 1967, a journal published by KU’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese that was digitized and made freely available online by Scholar Services in 2009. He joined the KU Libraries Board of Advocates in 2009.

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Rafe Brown, herpetology, Natural History Museum curator
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