Sara Shepherd

KU reporter

Photo of Sara Shepherd

I'm the Journal-World's Kansas University and higher education reporter. Most of my time is (easily) spent covering all things newsworthy happening on KU's 25,000-student main campus here in Lawrence — from unusual or groundbreaking research, to multi-million dollar construction projects, to policies affecting student safety or academic success. I also cover the Kansas Board of Regents in Topeka, Haskell Indian Nations University (the sole four-year university run by the federal Bureau of Indian Education, attended by tribe members from across the United States) in Lawrence, plus highlights from the KU Medical Center and KU Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.

For KU news, find all the Journal-World's recent stories at, check out my Heard on the Hill blog, and follow @LJW_KU on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter @saramarieshep.

Previously, I was a crime and courts reporter for The Kansas City Star, where I covered untimely death or destruction most every day for a few years, everything from quadruple homicides to massive chemical fires. I’ve also covered suburban city government and schools for The Star and The Shawnee Dispatch, a weekly paper just up the road. My first beat at the Journal-World was features, covering food, arts and entertainment.

I'm originally from Emporia, but my family goes way back in Lawrence and at KU. I had ancestors living here when William Quantrill sacked the town in 1863 (they survived the massacre, probably thanks to being politically insignificant German immigrants). I’m also a fourth-generation KU grad, led by my great grandfather, who got his undergraduate and law degrees from KU. I majored in journalism, art history and French, and in case any of you fellow KU journos were wondering, my reporting beat on The University Daily Kansan was campus police. I'm occasionally asked whether covering the KU beat means I get in free to basketball games. It does not. My most covet-worthy power as KU reporter is a campus parking pass.

To reach me, call 785-832-7187 or send email to

Recent Stories

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KU alumnus' startup making inroads in sports tech industry

A year ago Austin Barone was catching his breath after a 21-hour semester, his last at the University of Kansas. Heading into this year’s industry sales season — Barone leaves Friday for the American Football Coaches Association convention — Just Play Sports Solutions has clients nationwide from high school to at least one pro team, a board of directors with semi-celebrity names, and an optimistic outlook.

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KU cheerleaders involved in ‘Kkk go trump’ Snapchat post are off the squad

Four University of Kansas cheerleaders linked to a Snapchat post bearing the message “Kkk go trump” are no longer on the squad.

Woman involved in Bragg incident released from jail; case remains under review

The alleged victim in the battery case against University of Kansas basketball player Carlton Bragg Jr. was released from jail over the weekend without being charged. Her case remains under review.

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KU basketball player Carlton Bragg accused of pushing woman down stairs, pleads not guilty; won't be allowed to play

University of Kansas basketball player Carlton Bragg Jr. was arrested and charged with battery on Friday, after reportedly striking a woman and pushing her down the stairs. He pleaded not guilty later the same day.

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First Amendment scholars question KU’s immediate discipline of cheerleaders connected to ‘Kkk go trump’ social media post

On Monday, the four spirit squad members remained suspended from performing with the squad

Constitutional law experts say the University of Kansas may have acted too quickly in publicly disciplining four cheerleaders linked to a social media post that some people interpreted as racist. “This is a classic example of ready, fire, aim — they punished these kids before they had any evidence."

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KU suspends cheerleaders from squad after ‘Kkk go trump’ social media post

Student denies that she posted the Snapchat photo

The University of Kansas has suspended four cheerleaders after a photo with the words “Kkk go trump” appeared on a cheerleader's Snapchat account.

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KU basketball shuttle bus no longer free and you still have to walk a little

Construction around Allen Fieldhouse has prompted other changes to game-day parking

A lot of University of Kansas men's basketball fans are walking a little farther and paying a little more to reach Allen Fieldhouse this season, prompted by ongoing construction and increasing demand for parking. The shuttle bus from park-and-ride lots to Allen Fieldhouse is no longer free, and it drops off riders farther away than previous years. Also, some Williams Fund donors' assigned lots are now farther away.

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How did player KU banished for alleged sexual assaults make it onto another D-1 team? New information reveals possibilities

Transfer school has since added safeguards; KU says student was allowed to withdraw in lieu of expulsion but that it’s not responsible for him joining new team

A University of Kansas football player who KU kicked off campus for allegedly sexually assaulting two women followed his former coach to another NCAA Division I football team. It appears that happened without the knowledge of the new school’s top athletics officials, though it’s unclear exactly what — if any — university policy lapses enabled it. In new court filings, KU says its actions aren’t to blame for the banished player’s ability to join the other school’s team. The school the player transferred to has since kicked him off the team, disciplined the coach and changed admission procedures to prevent something similar from happening again.

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Jane Doe 7, plaintiff in KU sexual assault lawsuit, comes forward in video

Student who said football player raped her shares name, claims university made her life a 'living nightmare'

A woman who sued Kansas University, anonymously, for failing to properly address her sexual assault report came forward on Thursday.

KU athletics budget going up to $90 million next year

Kansas University’s athletics budget is anticipated to go up about 5 percent next year, to a total of $90 million.

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