Colleges and Universities/University of Kansas

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The University of Kansas (often referred to as KU or just Kansas) is a public research university, and the largest university in the state of Kansas. KU Campuses are located in Lawrence, Kansas City, Kansas, and Overland Park, Kansas, with the main campus being located in Lawrence on Mount Oread the highest peak in Lawrence. The University was founded in 1866 by the citizens of Lawrence under a charter from the Kansas Legislature. It claims the title of flagship university of the state of Kansas (although Kansas State University was the first public university in the state).

The University's Medical Center and Hospital are located in Kansas City, Kansas. The Edwards Campus is in Overland Park, Kansas in the Kansas City, Missouri metro area. There are also educational/research sites in Parsons, Topeka and a branch of the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita.

The University of Kansas is the largest university in the state of Kansas with enrollment at the Lawrence and Edwards campuses at 26,826 students for the 2009–2010 academic year; an additional 3,178 students were enrolled at the KU Medical Center for a total enrollment of 30,004 students across the three campuses. The Lawrence campus and KU Medical Center combined employ 2,460 faculty members.

Along with 43 nationally recognized programs, U.S. News & World Report stated that the University of Kansas ranked as the 18th most popular University in the United States as of 2008. It also ranks 11th in the nation for study abroad involvement with nearly one-third of students participating.

KU is home to the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, the Beach Center on Disability, and radio station KJHK and KANU FM, 91.5. The university is host to several notable museums including the University of Kansas Natural History Museum, the KU Museum of Anthropology, and the Spencer Museum of Art.The libraries of the University include the Kenneth Spencer Research Library which commemorates the businessman Kenneth A. Spencer, an alumnus of the University. The University is one of 63 members of the Association of American Universities.

University of Kansas[edit]

  • Latin name: Universitatis Kansiensis
  • Motto: Videbo visionem hanc magnam quare non comburatur rubus (Latin)
  • Motto in English: I will see this great sight in which the bush does not burn (Exodus 3:3)
  • Established: 1863
  • Type: Public
  • Endowment: US $955 million
  • Chancellor: Burnadette Gray-Little
  • Provost: Jeffrey Vitter
  • President of the Board of Regents: Gary Sherrer
  • Academic staff: 2,460
  • Administrative staff: 10,727
  • Students: 30,004 (fall 2009)
  • Undergraduates: 21,006 (fall 2009)
  • Postgraduates: 8,938 (fall 2009)
  • Location: Lawrence, Kansas, USA
  • Campus: College Town; Urban; 1,100 acres
  • Colors: Crimson; Blue
  • Athletics: NCAA Division I; Big 12 Conference
  • Sports: 18 Varsity Teams
  • Nickname: Jayhawks
  • Mascot: Big Jay and Baby Jay
  • Affiliations: AAU; NASULGC; EDUCAUSE
  • Website:


On February 20, 1863, Kansas Governor Thomas Carney signed into law a bill creating the state university in Lawrence.

The law was conditioned upon a gift from Lawrence of a $15,000 endowment fund and a site for the university, in or near the town, of not less than forty acres (160,000 m²) of land. If Lawrence failed to meet these conditions, Emporia instead of Lawrence would get the university.

The site selected for the university was a hill known as Mount Oread, which was owned by former Kansas Governor Charles L. Robinson. Robinson and his wife Sara bestowed the 40-acre (160,000 m2) site to the State of Kansas in exchange for land elsewhere. The philanthropist Amos Adams Lawrence donated $10,000 of the necessary endowment fund, and the citizens of Lawrence raised the remaining cash by issuing notes backed by Governor Carney. On November 2, 1863, Governor Carney announced that Lawrence had met the conditions to get the state university, and the following year the university was officially organized.

Work on the first college building was begun in September 1865. The university opened for classes on September 12, 1866, and the first class graduated in 1873.

Academic organization[edit]

The University is a large, state-sponsored university. In addition to a large liberal arts college, it has schools of Allied Health, Architecture, Design, and Planning, Business, Education, Engineering, Arts, Music, Journalism and Mass Communication, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Social Welfare. (The study of academic sociology originated at the University in 1890.) The University also operates a selective Honors Program, with approximately 300 undergraduate students admitted each year, offering classes in many of these areas.

According to the journal DesignIntelligence, which annually publishes "America's Best Architecture and Design Schools," the School of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Kansas was named the best in the Midwest and ranked 6th among all undergraduate architecture programs in the U.S in 2007.

In 2007, the City Management and Urban Policy program at the University of Kansas was ranked 1st in the nation by U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Graduate Schools". The report also recognized several programs for ranking in the top 25 among public universities.

The most recent edition of Peterson's Guide to Competitive College calls KU "one of America's premier universities." For more than a decade, The Fiske Guide to Colleges has awarded KU a four-star rating for academics, social life, and overall quality of university life.

In its 2010 list, U.S. News & World Report ranked KU as tied for 104th place in its ranking of the Best National Universities and #349 in its ranking of the World's Best Colleges and Universities. In 2010, the Report ranked Kansas as tied for 47th place in Public Universities. The Report surveys over 1,400 institutions of higher education in the United States.

School of Business[edit]

The University of Kansas School of Business is a public business school located on the main campus of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. The KU School of Business was founded in 1924 and currently has more than 80 faculty members and approximately 1500 students.

Named one of the best business schools in the Midwest by Princeton Review, the KU School of Business has been continually accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) for both its undergraduate and graduate programs in business and accounting. KU is one of only three universities in the Kansas City region to offer an MBA degree with this highest and most prestigious level of accreditation.

School of Law[edit]

The University of Kansas School of Law, in Lawrence, Kansas, is the top law school in the state of Kansas according to the 2010 U.S. News & World Report. The magazine also ranked KU Law as a top-tier law school at 67th while only Brigham Young (42nd) and West Virginia (93rd) have lower out of state annual tuition than KU's $25,375 among the top tier group(top 100). Classes are held in Green Hall at W 15th St and Burdick Dr, which is named after former dean James Green.

School of Engineering[edit]

The KU School of Engineering is an ABET accredited, public engineering school located on the main campus. The School of Engineering was officially founded in 1891, although engineering degrees were awarded as early as 1873.

In the U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best Colleges, 2009 issue, KU’s School of Engineering was ranked 41st among public schools nationwide. National rankings for individual programs included Petroleum Engineering at ninth and Aerospace Engineering at 24th.

Notable alumni include: Alan Mulally (BS/MS), President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, Lou Montulli, co-founder of Netscape and author of the Lynx web browser, Brian McClendon (BSEE 1986), VP of Engineering at Google, Charles E. Spahr (1934), former CEO of Standard Oil of Ohio.

School of Journalism and Mass Communication[edit]

The KU School of Journalism and Mass Communication is recognized for its ability to prepare students to work in a variety of media when they graduate, including newspapers, magazines, and online. The School has a reputation that is highly respected. In 2008, the Fiske Guide to Colleges praised the KU J-School for its strength.

Medical Center[edit]

The University of Kansas Medical Center, in Kansas City, Kansas, treats over 19,000 patients per year. KU Med, as it is commonly known, consists of three basic schools: The School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and School of Allied Health. Furthermore, each of the three schools has its own programs of graduate study. As of the Fall 2010 semester, there were 3,196 students enrolled at KU Med. The Medical Center also offers third and fourth year students an opportunity to do rotations at the Wichita campus. The University of Kansas Medical Center is a campus of the University of Kansas and offers educational programs through its schools of Allied Health, Medicine, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. The campus is composed of academic units operating alongside the University of Kansas Hospital, which provides opportunities for clinical experience and residency positions. The KU Medical Center educates health care professionals to primarily serve the needs of Kansas as well as the region and the nation. High quality educational experiences are offered to a diverse student population through a full range of undergraduate, graduate, professional, postdoctoral, and continuing education programs.

Health Information Management: The University of Kansas Medical Center: School of Allied Health offers a Bachelor's degree in Health Information Management. This is a rigorous two-year program that requires the ability to apply management techniques and analytical tactics, knowledge of computers, and knowledge for protecting patient health information. The program is dedicated to the protection of health information (regardless of format: electronic or paper), and to ensure the patient receives the proper care.

Edwards Campus[edit]

KU's Edwards Campus is in Overland Park, Kansas. Established in 1993, its goal is to provide adults with the opportunity to complete college degrees. About 2,100 students attend the Edwards Campus, with an average age of 32. Programs available at the Edwards Campus include developmental psychology, public administration, social work, systems analysis, engineering management and design.

Tuition and costs[edit]

The University of Kansas is repeatedly listed as one of the best buys in higher education by such publications as Kiplinger’s, the Fiske Guide to Colleges, Kaplan’s and the Princeton Review. Tuition at KU is 13 percent below the national average, according to the College Board, and the University remains a best buy in the region. Its 2004–05 in-state tuition and fees of $4,737 were lower than the University of Nebraska, Iowa and most other public universities.

Beginning in the 2007–2008 academic year, first-time freshman at KU will pay a fixed tuition rate for 48 months according to the Four-Year Tuition Compact passed by the Kansas Board of Regents. According to the compact, for the 2010–2011 academic year, tuition will be $262.50 per credit hour for in-state freshman and $689.35 for out-of-state freshmen. For transfer students, who do not take part in the compact, current per-credit-hour tuition is $238.90 for in-state undergraduates and $605 for out-of-state undergraduates; these rates are subject to annual increases. The schools of architecture, business, engineering, fine arts, journalism, law, and pharmacy charge additional fees.

Computing innovations[edit]

KU's School of Business launched interdisciplinary management science graduate studies in operations research during Fall Semester 1965. This innovative program provided the foundation for decision science applications supporting NASA Project Apollo Command Capsule Recovery Operations.

KU's academic computing department was an active participant in setting up the Internet and is the developer of the seminal Lynx text based web browser. Lynx itself provided hypertext browsing and navigation prior to Tim Berners Lee's invention of HTTP and HTML.

Student Activities[edit]

Student Government[edit]

The University of Kansas Student Senate represents KU students to University administrators, and to the government locally, state-wide, and nationally. Senate oversees student services including the Student Recreation Fitness Center, Watkins Health Center, Safe Ride, and more.

Student Senate allocates a budget of more than $23 million each year paid for by required campus fees (each KU student enrolled in more than 6 credit hours pay around $430 per semester). It is up to the Student Senate to decide how to allocate this money based on how best to represent student needs.

The members of Student Senate are elected in Student Senate elections each April. In the elections, coalitions form plans on what student services they will focus on as well as propose new ideas they want to see happen at KU. The David A. Ambler Recreation Fitness Center (an initiative led by current US Congressman, and former Student Body President, Kevin Yoder) and the Multicultural Resource Center, for example, were Student Senate-initiated projects.

The 1983–1984 Student Senate election was marred by vote tampering on the part of the administration. Dennis "Boog" Highberger (running on the Costume Party ticket, was the Mayor of Lawrence in 2008) was only able to take office in January following a legal challenge.


The school's sports teams, wearing crimson and royal blue, are called the Kansas Jayhawks. They participate in the NCAA's Division I and in the Big 12 Conference. KU has won twelve National Championships: five in men's basketball (two Helms Foundation championships and three NCAA championships), three in men's indoor track and field, three in men's outdoor track and field, and one in men's cross country. The home course for KU Cross Country is Rim Rock Farm. Their most recent championship came on April 7, 2008 when they defeated Memphis 75-68 in overtime to win the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.

KU football dates from 1890, and has played in the Orange Bowl three times: 1948, 1968, and 2008. They are currently coached by Turner Gill, who was hired in 2009, and play in Memorial Stadium on Kivisto Field. In 2008, under the leadership of Mark Mangino, the #7 Jayhawks emerged victorious in their first BCS bowl game, the FedEx Orange Bowl, with a 24–21 victory over the #3 Virginia Tech Hokies. This capstone victory marked the end of the most successful season in school history, in which the Jayhawks went 12–1 (.923). The team plays at Memorial Stadium. Memorial Stadium is currently undergoing renovation, begun in the summer of 2007, to add a $30 million football practice faciltiy complete with indoor partial practice field and weight room along with improving the locker room facilities. Current NFL alumni include Moran Norris of the San Francisco 49ers, David McMillan of the Cleveland Browns, Charles Gordon of the Minnesota Vikings, Adrian Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs, Justin Hartwig of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Aqib Talib of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. NFL Hall of Fame alumni include Gale Sayers, John Riggins, and Mike McCormack

The KU men's basketball team has fielded a team every year since 1898. The Jayhawks are a perennial national contender currently coached by Bill Self. The team has won five national titles, including three NCAA tournament championships in 1952, 1988, and 2008. The basketball program is currently the second winningest program in college basketball history with an overall record of 2,002–795 through the 2009–10 season. The team plays at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas has counted among its coaches Dr. James Naismith (the inventor of basketball and only coach in Kansas history to have a losing record), Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Phog Allen ("the Father of basketball coaching"), Roy Williams of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and former NBA Champion Detroit Pistons coach Larry Brown. In addition, legendary University of Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp played for KU's 1922 and 1923 Helms National Championship teams. In addition, NCAA Hall of Fame University of North Carolina Coach Dean Smith played for KU's 1952 NCAA Championship team. Both Rupp and Smith played under Phog Allen. Allen also coached future hall of fame coaches Dutch Lonborg and Ralph Miller. Allen founded the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), which started what is now the NCAA Tournament. The Tournament began in 1939 under the NABC and the next year was handed off to the newly formed NCAA.

Lew Perkins, previously at Connecticut, replaced Al Bohl as the university's athletic director in 2003. Under Perkins's administration, the department's budget has increased from $27.2 million in 2003 (10th in the conference) to currently over $50 million thanks in large part to money raised from a new priority seating policy at Allen Fieldhouse, a new $26.67 million eight-year contract with Adidas replacing an existing contract with Nike, and a new $40.2 million seven-year contract with ESPN Regional Television. The additional funds have brought improvements to the university, including:

The Booth Family Hall of Athletics addition to Allen Fieldhouse; Brand new offices and lounges for the women's basketball program; Brand new scoreboard and batting facility for the baseball field; A new $35 million football facility adjacent to Memorial Stadium; The $8 million dollar 42,000-square-foot (3,900 m2) Anderson Family Strength Center


The University of Kansas has had more teams (70) compete in the National Debate Tournament than any other university. Kansas has won the tournament 5 times (1954, 1970, 1976, 1983, and 2009) and had 12 teams make it to the final four. Kansas trails only Northwestern (13), Dartmouth (6), and Harvard (6) for most tournaments won. Kansas also won the 1981–82 Copeland Award.


Notable among a number of songs commonly played and sung at various events such as commencement and convocation, and athletic games are: “I’m a Jayhawk", "Fighting Jayhawk”, "Crimson and Blue", "Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk, KU", and “Stand Up and Cheer.”


The school newspaper of the University of Kansas is University Daily Kansan, which placed first in the Intercollegiate Writing Competition of the prestigious William Randolph Hearst Writing Foundation competition, often called "The Pulitzers of College Journalism" in 2007. In Winter 2008, a group of students created KUpedia, a wiki about all things KU. They have received student funding for operations in 2008–09. The KU Department of English publishes the Coal City Review, an annual literary journal of prose, poetry, reviews and illustrations. The Review typically features the work of many writers, but periodically spotlights one author, as in the case of 2006 Nelson Poetry Book Award-winner Voyeur Poems by Matthew Porubsky.

The university houses the following public broadcasting stations: KJHK, a student-run campus radio station, KUJH-LP, an independent station that primarily broadcasts public affairs programs, and KANU, the NPR-affiliated radio station. Kansas Public Radio station KANU was one of the first public radio stations in the nation. KJHK, the campus radio has roots back to 1952 and is completely run by students.


University of Kansas Memorial Corporation[edit]

The first union was built on campus in 1926 as a campus community center. The unions are still the "living rooms" of campus today and include three locations – the Kansas Union and Burge Union at the Lawrence Campus and Jayhawk Central at the Edwards Campus. The KU Memorial Unions Corporation manages the KU Bookstore (with seven locations). The KU Bookstore is the official bookstore of KU. The Corporation also includes KU Dining Services, with more than 20 campus locations, including The Market (inside the Kansas Union) and The Underground (located in Wescoe Hall). The KU Bookstore and KU Dining Services are not-for-profit, with proceeds going back to support student programs, such as [[Student Union Activities]events.

KU Endowment[edit]

KU Endowment was established in 1891 as America’s first foundation for a public university. Its mission is "To build a greater university than the state alone can build, it is the mission of KU Endowment to solicit, receive and administer gifts and bequests for the support and advancement of the University of Kansas".

See Also[edit]