Aug. 25, 2004

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Contact: Victor Bailey, Hall Center, (785) 864-7822

KU's Hall Center for the Humanities sets Academic Fictions lecture series

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas' Hall Center for the Humanities will present a new lecture series that will examine the rhetoric, dreams and realities behind university policy and will look for ways to help bring all three together.

The Academic Fictions Faculty Colloquium Lunchtime Talk Series, organized by Michael Hoeflich, John H. and John M. Kane Distinguished Professor of law, comprises seven Friday lectures in the fall semester. They will be from11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Summerfield Room of the Adams Alumni Center. Faculty, students and the public are welcome.

The problem with deciding what a university should be is that many distinct groups of people are vying to make their ideal the reality, Hoeflich says. Professors have one plan, students and administrators have others. Even more confusing, Hoeflich says, is the disconnect between what each group says it wants and what it really would prefer.

Hoeflich will deliver the first series lecture, "Self Delusion, Satire and the Joys of Academic Life," on Aug. 27. This lecture will also introduce the concept of academic fictions and will focus on how academic life and universities are portrayed in the media and film.

The second lecture, "University Research," will be Sept.10. Leonard "Kris" Krishtalka, director of the KU Natural History Museum and professor of biological sciences, will speak.

Colin Howat, professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, and Janet Sharistanian, associate professor of English, will present the third lecture Sept. 24 on myths and ideals of undergraduate and graduate education and the difference between what students and faculty want from a university.

The fourth and fifth lectures will be presented by special guests. Julius Getman, Earl E. Sheffield Regents Chair at the University of Texas School of Law, will present "Academic Freedom" on Oct. 8. Getman, a specialist in labor law, will focus on faculty governance and freedoms.

Kenneth Shaw, chancellor emeritus of Syracuse University, will speak Oct. 15 on "The Idea of a Student-Centered University."

On Nov. 12, Don Green, Dean G. Ackers Distinguished Professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, will speak on "Intercollegiate Athletics." He will will address the benefits and detriments of athletics programs an how such programs fit into different groups˙ collegiate ideals.

Chancellor Robert Hemenway will present the final lecture Dec. 3. Hemenway˙s lecture, "Rankings," will examine the true importance and accuracy of such listings as "U.S. News" as well as how these rankings lead to change.

For more information, call (785) 864-4798. -30-

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