Monday, August 15, 2011

KU faculty line up seats for basketball games


Audio clip

KU faculty pick basketball seats


Kansas University faculty await the opening of Sunday's annual seat picking process at Allen Fieldhouse. Which order faculty pick seats is based entirely on seniority.


Kansas University faculty await the opening of Sunday's annual seat picking process at Allen Fieldhouse. Which order faculty pick seats is based entirely on seniority.

Allan Hanson, a Kansas University anthropology professor, now knows exactly how long he’s worked for KU: 45.205479452 years, according to his seating sheet.

At the KU men’s basketball “select-a-seat” event for faculty, every billionth of a second counts.

Hanson, the 11th-most tenured faculty at the event, was joined by his son, George, and grandson, Jack, who will share the two seats in the faculty section of Allen Fieldhouse throughout the year.

The family has been picking seats for about five years, and Jack said Grandpa got it right.

“They’re in a great place,” Jack said.

Based entirely on years of service, faculty hopped up one at a time for their chance to pick seats for the coming basketball season.

The mostly gray-haired crowd strategized while waiting for their names to be called.

“Walk in and drop your butt in the first seat,” said one seat-selector who likes to keep it simple. Unfortunately, renovations for the fieldhouse kept the seat-selectors from actually seeing their seat, and they were left to choose from printed out seat section guides.

And everyone kept a close eye to make sure the process was fair.

When a rather large, muscular man shot to the booth after a “Mary” was called up, the man quickly assured onlookers he was picking up seats for a family member, which is allowed.

David Crisp was happy to help out and pick seats for his sister, who was busy at church. Crisp made sure his sister, with 42 years of service behind her, had a good spot.

The perfect seat? In the corner by the KU team, Crisp said.

“You don’t have people blocking you,” said Crisp, who’s been choosing seats for years.

He smiled when asked whether he’ll benefit from all the years his sister has worked at KU.

“I’ll probably get the Missouri tickets,” Crisp said.


Tony Bandle 6 years, 2 months ago

I pity the fan that gets a seat behind the guy in the picture above, much less the seats on either side!! :)

Martin Rosenblum 6 years, 2 months ago

Actually, the seat directly behind him would be ideal. He probably is not one to keep standing up and sitting down on each possession. The seats on either side would be bad since it would be hard to stand and sit with him protruding into your space. Now, I don't have much room to talk, but, at least I fit into a seat without encroaching onto another fan's territory.

Orangedog87 6 years, 2 months ago

Gotta love those government benefits!!!!!!

Gary McCullough 6 years, 2 months ago

The faculty and staff at KU work hard and are the backbone of the University. Long hours and short pay are only partly compensated by the opportunity for some to get basketball tickets ahead of the masses. Don't begrudge these "true and faithful servants" a small token of appreciation. OR I'LL GO BACK INTO THE RECORDS, CHANGE ALL YOUR GRADES TO FAILING, AND REVOKE YOUR DEGREE!

Keith Kienzle 6 years, 2 months ago

The rest of the compensation comes in the form of living in Academia, a Neverland of soft deadlines, unflinching job security, and daily discussions with a court of idealists over while you Lord. Tough, man, tough!

Keith Kienzle 6 years, 2 months ago

*over which you Lord.

Half-joking, btw. The grass is greener in Academia than Corporate America.

omng392 6 years, 2 months ago

Hey my dream retirement will be to land at KU, teach Computer Science, Computer Engineering etc... and live in Lawerence until the day I die...

Purposive 6 years, 2 months ago

Sounds like you know almost nothing about academia.

Keith Kienzle 6 years, 2 months ago

Sweet! Guess I was right about something!

Jayhawk444 6 years, 2 months ago

I won't disagree with anything you said here DrJHawk. Faculty is the backbone of the University. They work long hours for short pay. I personally don't care if they enjoy a perk like special seating arrangements. Plus I took your last remarks as a joke - as I believe you intended. But I will point out that I hope you don't think the faculty are any more special or deserving than anybody else. EVERYBODY works long hours for short pay...or so they think. And if I took 10 random Average Joes out of the workforce and offered Mr 45+ Years Faculty Guy the opportunity to swap jobs immediately with any one of them, I bet he wouldn't take the offer.

Frankenhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

I guess the $100K salaries, top of the line pension, and summers off aren't enough. Yes, government workers deserve more!

Purposive 6 years, 2 months ago

a) $100k salaries following an average of TEN YEARS of post-secondary education. This pales in comparison to the salaries of equivalently educated professionals.

b) Summers off from what? Teaching only makes up about 30% of the workload of the average tenured KU professor.

So you also sound like you know nothing about academia.

Orangedog87 6 years, 2 months ago

Gotta love a govt employee!!! They never get angry or threaten to abuse their power. And best of all, it looks like they are keeping the food and beveage industry in business.

bhol 6 years, 2 months ago

Love Dr. Hanson! My favorite professor during my time at KU.

BewareOfThePhogOnTheWater 6 years, 2 months ago

Staff and faculty members pay for their tickets. The only "perk" is that they don't have to contribute to the WEF. Their service is their "contribution," as it should be. Further, they pay the same price for those tickets everyone else pays. Before espousing vile and hatred, get the facts. Otherwise, if you don't have something nice to say, it is better to say nothing at all. Incidentally, I am NOT a staff or faculty member. I am a WEF member.

Orangedog87 6 years, 2 months ago

That is actually the point. Everyone else who buys season tickets is expected or maybe it is a requirement for them to contribute to the Williams Ed Fund (WEF). Why are KU govt employees excused from this? What it the reason? KUBB tickets are a valuable limited resource. It would make sense to get as much money from them as possible.

Not buying your comment that their service is their "contribution" tuition could my considered my "contribution". My contributions to KU foundation (non WEF) could be considered my "contribution".

Why is it that only KU govt employees have their actions/behavior considered as their "contribution"?

Everyone else...payup!!!!! And dont let person number XXX who cant get season tickets because they are the last man out know that others have tickets that were cheaper ( no WEF contribution) than what he would have paid.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 2 months ago


My wife is a third grade teacher in a public school with a classroon full of kids whose mental and emotional problems will never let them get near a college professor. I suggest that every college professor go back and teach a semester of third grade in a public school and then thank their lucky stars that is not what they have to do for a living.

And you sound like you know nothing about reality!!

Purposive 6 years, 2 months ago

I don't understand your argument. College professors should be forced to teach third grade because it's harder than teaching college and graduate-level classes, creating original research, writing grants, advising students, and performing professional service for their universities? So by that logic, shouldn't all third grade teachers be forced to work as underwater welders for oil rigs in the North Sea...? Don't get me wrong: your wife deserves respect for doing a difficult job and playing an important part in our educational system, but I don't understand what that has to do with the price of tea in China.

The only reason I spoke up was to dispel the idea that professors have somehow "lucked out" and fallen into the easiest jobs on the planet. These days, acquiring a tenured professorship in the US typically requires at least 4 years of college, 5 years of graduate school, 2-3 years on the temporary job market (postdoctoral positions, teaching positions, etc.), and then 5-6 years as an assistant professor working toward tenure. If you do the math, that means the aspiring professor has nothing even resembling a "career" -- to say nothing of job security -- until around age 35 (!). Name another career path with those statistics. Even once a professor receives tenure, he'll still be making well under $100k at most universities until he's put in around 10 years of service.

Sorry if this is all more than you cared to read about, but there are clearly a lot of misconceptions about what professors do and what they've been through to get there. I'm about halfway through the process I described above, so I know what I'm talking about. I've been working 80-100 hrs/week for the last 4 years straight in the lowest possible income tax bracket, so I don't want to hear anyone say that (aspiring) professors have it easy.

ahpersecoachingexperience 6 years, 2 months ago

What! I have to meet a guy wearing a trench coat in a dark alley to get my tickets.

LAJayhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

It's fun to attend, support and spend money with a public institution, then complain about the people that work for them. That's not antithetical at all!

jaybate 6 years, 2 months ago

Well, reading Americans bashing Americans over profs salaries and benefits, while the owners of the central bank jack hundreds of trillions of dollars and eventually jack the public lands for themselves too is just appalling.

Keith Kienzle 6 years, 2 months ago

I like to rib academia. My wife is a postdoc and I've been close enough to it for the better part of a decade to feel I've got the right to joke about it and its archetypes. I meant no evil, but I guess my comment was probably a little harsh.

kckmedic 6 years, 2 months ago

I don't have a problem with the faculty basketball seating but I want to make two points regarding DrJHawk, Purposive, and others' comments. A report was released when I was at KU that showed that a large number of KU professors do not work for short pay compared to the rest of the work force. And while the majority of my professors were great, academia will never get the respect for which it begs until they allow the evaluation process to eliminate the handful of horrible professors that are protected by tenure. There were a few that I had that were worthless way before I got there but students knew that their evaluations were pointless. But I guess academia doesn't mind protecting bad professors. They're more important than the students who are paying $20k or more a year to go to school.

Rob Wempe 6 years, 2 months ago

I couldn't agree more! The only thing I want to add is, I think as a whole teachers are underpaid! I am talking more about K-12 than at KU but I think what I am going to explain will work for University faculty as well. I think we need to put the public education dollars to work paying educators like professionals. The best of the best deserve it. As for educators that the parents, students and administration knows are not the best of the best, they should not be protected by tenure. We all knew teachers when we were growing up that had to get a summer job just to make ends meet. That is wrong. We also know great teachers that got out of the profession due to the fact they could make more money elsewhere. I just think the unions have become too strong and it is hurting the education of our children!

Purposive 6 years, 2 months ago

I see what you're saying -- tenure is a controversial topic, even among professors.

But again, teaching is just a small part of a tenured professor's job! Most tenured professors at big schools like KU (as well as the privates) are only expected to spend about 33% of their time teaching. Big universities care MUCH more about their professors producing original research (and especially winning grants, because that means $$$ for the university). So, if you're a strong researcher and you pull in grant money for your university, the university really doesn't care about your teaching evaluations. As far as they see it, getting high teaching evals really isn't a major part of your job.

(FYI, most tenured faculty pay raises are tied directly to teaching evaluations. Obviously that's not as significant as having them tied to job security, but it's a pretty decent motivator for many profs. You can wonder about the ethics of teaching toward high evaluations so you can get a pay raise, though...)

FoCoCoHawk 6 years, 2 months ago

If only we could get as excited about the recruitment of new academicians into the KU programs as we do when speculating about 16 year olds with killer jumpshots.

bangaranggerg 6 years, 2 months ago

I'd rather they just pay the faculty more rather then just giving them the best seats just so they can ebay or scalp in order to suplement their income. Or are they still doing the faculty tickets tied to faculty identification? Strange that the athletics department had so much control in place to keep that in check during the same few years that they were sneaking millions of dollars in tickets out the back door. Sorry, I'm just upset about how many more seats were spoken for by my selection time this morning then last year, where did they go!

tauck 6 years, 2 months ago

Tell me that guy isn't Mark Mangino!!!!

Jayhawk91 6 years, 1 month ago

That guy isn't Mark Mangino. And Rock Chalk Jayhawk, even faculty.

Jayhawk91 6 years, 1 month ago

That guy isn't Mark Mangino. And Rock Chalk Jayhawk, even faculty.

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