Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Board of Regents votes to name new baseball facility after Lawrence businessman, appoints members to First Generation Task Force


The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday voted unanimously to name a new University of Kansas baseball facility in honor of longtime KU supporter Rich Jantz.

“It is my pleasure to request approval to name the newly constructed (facility) adjacent to Hoglund Ballpark in honor of Rich Jantz,” KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little told the board during its monthly meeting in Topeka. “The baseball outdoor hitting facility was completed last October and is available almost year-round for KU student athletes to hone their hitting and pitching skills.”


Contributed photo from Kansas Athletics/Jeff Jacobsen

The Rich Jantz Player Development Center, an outdoor baseball hitting and pitching facility adjacent to Hoglund Ballpark at the University of Kansas, was completed in October 2016.

Completed at a cost of $481,000, the roughly 5,000-square-foot structure is equipped with dropdown nets that create hitting tunnels and built-in mounds for pitching activities, according to the Board of Regents agenda. It will now be known as the Rich Jantz Player Development Center.

Jantz, a Cimarron native and Southwestern College alum, is the founder of Millard Management, a crop insurance agency based in Lawrence. Gray-Little described him Wednesday as a “longtime supporter of the University of Kansas and KU baseball.”

In other business, the Board of Regents also appointed members to and approved the charge for its new First Generation Task Force. Regents created the group last month in an effort to “better serve first-generation college students from diverse backgrounds,” including rural, urban, native-born and immigrant students.

With the ultimate goal of reaching, enrolling and retaining these students, the task force will determine what barriers and supports exist for first-generation college students, identify factors that contribute to their successes and pinpoint areas where additional efforts may be needed.

“Systemwide solutions may exist,” the charge reads, “but effective strategies may include tailoring points to meet the needs of diverse and unique Kansas communities.”

The Board of Regents voted to appoint the following individuals to the First Generation Task Force: Stephonn Alcorn, KU Student Body President; Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students at Kansas State University; Marché Fleming-Randle, senior assistant dean for the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (and assistant to the president for diversity) at Wichita State University; Allison Garrett, president of Emporia State University; Jim Genandt, president of Manhattan Area Technical College; Baudilio Hernandez, academic advisor for Central Kansas Upward Bound and sponsor of Barton Community College’s Hispanic American Leadership Organization; Ken Trzaska, president of Seward County Community College; and Cherilee Walker, interim vice president for academic services at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

Board of Regents president and CEO Blake Flanders, along with Regents Ann Brandau-Murguia and Shane Bangerter, have also agreed to serve on the task force.


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