University of Kansas

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As incidents of sexual violence on college campuses draw greater scrutiny, a lawsuit filed against KU is taking a novel legal approach.

Most civil lawsuits filed by sexual assault victims allege violations of the federal sex discrimination law. This one, however, was brought by an alleged victim’s parents. It claims KU violated the Kansas Consumer Protection law by misrepresenting its dorms as safe and secure.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran brought the nation’s top health leader on aging to Kansas today for an overview on the latest medical research on Alzheimer’s disease.

Moran and Dr. Richard Hodes, the director of the National Institute on Aging, visited Kansas City-area laboratories focused on aging research. Their stops included tours of the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center (ADC) and the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center.

The senator also hosted a forum on the state of Alzheimer’s Disease Research with KU faculty, students, researchers and Alzheimer’s advocates.

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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, Kansas Republicans will pick presidential candidates in the March 5 caucus.

In a statement, Brownback called Rubio a “true conservative who can unite the party.”

Stephen Koranda / KPR

The University of Kansas is embarking on a major construction project on the Lawrence campus. The Central District plan includes educational facilities, housing and a new student union. KU says it’s a needed update, but lawmakers are raising concerns about the project and have taken steps that could punish KU.

In the heart of the KU campus in Lawrence, excavators are digging through piles of concrete and twisted metal. This rubble used to be old student apartment housing, but a new science facility is planned for this spot.

Jim McClean / Heartland Health Monitor

A bill that would prohibit minors from using commercial tanning beds that was stopped two years ago appears to be on its way to passing out of a Kansas House committee.

The bill appears to have the votes to pass out of the House Health and Human Services Committee despite testimony against it from Joseph Levy.

Levy is a lobbyist for the tanning industry. He says the American Cancer Society and other supporters of the bill are overstating the dangers of indoor tanning.

“The case that’s been made goes well beyond the facts," Levy says.

jphilipg, flickr Creative Commons

An earlier version of this story ran Feb. 9 during All Things Considered.

Officials from the University of Kansas are defending their decision to seek bonds outside of the state for a construction project. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, KU officials appeared before both Senate and House committees yesterday.

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little told legislators that the new housing and science facilities are badly needed. She says they sought out the public-private partnership as a way to complete the project without Kansas tax dollars.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

A state Senate committee has voted to put a major construction project at the University of Kansas on hold, at least temporarily. Some lawmakers are unhappy with how KU financed the plan to construct new buildings on the Lawrence campus. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, more than $300 million in bonds were issued.

Republican Sen. Tom Arpke says KU officials didn’t give them enough information, so his amendment is aimed at blocking payments for the project from state funding or student tuition.

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The full Kansas House could debate a budget bill this week, which includes a provision aimed at punishing the University of Kansas. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, some lawmakers are unhappy with how KU funded a $300 million building project.

KU formed a public-private partnership to issue bonds, and they did it in a way that didn’t require the approval of Kansas lawmakers. That angered some legislators, like Republican Rep. Marc Rhoades. He offered an amendment to the budget that would restrict how KU spends some of its money.

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The University of Kansas will host three meetings next month with candidates to lead the department that investigates allegations of sexual assault and discrimination.

The three candidates, who have not yet been named, will make public appearances on the KU campus and speak about their experience.

University of Kansas

The Office of Multicultural Affairs at the University of Kansas has named a permanent director after student protests last month.

Precious Porras has been interim director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs since May and will become its new director on Jan. 4. She joined the office in 2005 and was named its program coordinator of diversity education the next year.

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