Chancellor to present national science advocacy award to U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, L'82

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

LAWRENCE — U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran will receive a national award for his support of science research at 9:30 a.m. Monday, April 14, at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas.

Sen. Moran will receive the Champion of Science Award from the Science Coalition, a nonprofit organization of more than 50 of the nation’s top research universities, including KU. The award recognizes members of Congress for their support of science research conducted at universities and national labs across the country.

The senator will be presented the award by KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little on behalf of the Science Coalition. The chancellor and senator will be joined by a special guest, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, who will deliver keynote remarks at the event.

"Senator Moran understands the importance of federal investment in research and development, and he has been a strong advocate for the value of university research and the benefits it has for science and the economy,” Gray-Little said. “He is deserving of this award, and we’re honored for the opportunity to present it to him here at KU.

“In addition, it’s a tremendous honor for us to welcome Dr. Collins,” she said. “The NIH is the largest biomedical research organization in the world and a strong supporter of KU research, so we’re delighted for the chance to host the director.”

Moran is the second Kansas lawmaker to receive the Champion of Science Award. Thirty-five current members of Congress have received the award. Examples of Moran’s support of scientific research are listed in his award nomination.

Moran is hosting Collins throughout the day to highlight biomedical and bioscience initiatives in Kansas. Prior to the award ceremony, the chancellor and Moran will host Collins at a presentation of Kansas’ NIH Institutional Development Award program, which is designed to broaden the geographic distribution of NIH support for biomedical research by fostering research in states that have historically been underrepresented in NIH research participation. Kansas universities that have been invited to participate in this presentation include KU, Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University, Haskell Indian Nations University, Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University, Wichita State University and Washburn University.

Following the award ceremony, Moran and Collins will travel to KU Medical Center to meet with various Medical Center officials.

The NIH is a major source of biomedical research funding at KU. In Fiscal Year 2013, there were 601 NIH-funded projects at KU, totaling $103 million in expenditures. The NIH is home to the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Aging, which have granted national designation to the KU Cancer Center and the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

PUBLIC ACCESS: The award ceremony is open to the public, but seating is limited, and RSVPs are required. RSVP with Emma Cornish at 785-864-7100 or ecornish@ku.edu.

MEDIA ACCESS: Media are invited to cover the award ceremony. Moran, Collins and Gray-Little will be available for interviews following the event at 10:45 a.m. For details, contact Joe Monaco at 785-864-7100 or jmonaco@ku.edu.

In addition, Moran and Collins will be available to media at 1:30 p.m. in the Hemenway Life Sciences Innovation Building at the KU Medical Center. For details, contact Donna Peck at 913-588-5956 or dpeck@kumc.edu.

Judge Julie Robinson, L'81, to receive 2014 Pioneer Woman award

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

LAWRENCE – The Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity at the University of Kansas will host the annual Women’s Recognition Banquet at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 10, in the Kansas Union Ballroom. The program, which recognizes outstanding women in the Kansas community, will induct six new members to the KU Women’s Hall of Fame and honor one KU graduate with the Pioneer Woman award.

In addition to the Hall of Fame inductees and the Pioneer Award recipient, 15 women will receive annual awards designed for students, staff, faculty, and alumnae who have enriched and improved the campus and community through their service, teaching for involvement.

The women’s recognition program is made possible not only by the Emily Taylor center, but also by the Commission of the Status of Women and the KU Office of Diversity & Equity.

Faculty and staff being honored include Outstanding Woman Educator Florence Reed, assistant professor of applied behavioral science and director of the Performance Management Laboratory; Outstanding Woman Staff Member Amy Long, associate director of the Student Involvement & Leadership Center; and Florence Boldridge, director of diversity and women’s engineering programs in the School of Engineering, who will receive the Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett Women Mentoring Women Award.

The 2014 Hall of Fame inductees include Dr. Kimberly Templeton, professor of orthopedic surgery; Barbara Timmermann, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry; the late Adele Hall, 2003 University of Kansas Honorary Alumna; Deborah Teeter, university director of the Office of Institutional Research and Planning; Neeli Bendapudi, dean of the KU School of Business; and Marily Harper Rhudy, principal, MHR consulting.

The 2014 Pioneer Woman award is received by the Honorable Julie Robinson, judge of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. A KU School of Law graduate, Robinson was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for 10 years before being appointed to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas. After serving eight years, President George W. Bush appointed Robinson as the first African-American woman to serve on the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. While serving as Assistant U.S. Attorney she taught trial practice courses to KU law students and later served on the KU School of Law Board of Governors. In addition to her service to the University, Robinson is a Kansas Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and has served on several committees of the Kansas Bar Association. Robinson’s colleagues agree that she “is a woman leader who has carried the banner of the crimson and blue with the humility and the highest standard of leadership.”

KU has inducted outstanding leaders into its Women’s Hall of Fame since 1970. The Women’s Hall of Fame is located at the fifth floor of the Kansas Memorial Union. Additional details about the KU Hall of Fame Inductees are as follows:

Dr. Kimberly Templeton, professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Kansas Medical Center: Following a fellowship in musculoskeletal oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Templeton began her professional career as an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at KU Medical Center. Templeton is the immediate past-president and was integral in the creation of the U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative Public Education Committee, which develops national education programs in areas of bone health and adolescent conditions. Templeton also worked with the Kansas Medical Society to create the Women Physicians Caucus, which provides a platform for women in medicine to learn from one another, network and grow in their profession. Templeton also is an at-large member for the National Board of Medical Practitioner and immediate past-president for the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts.

Barbara Timmermann, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, KU School of Pharmacy: In 1970, Timmermann received her bachelor's degree in biological sciences at the National University of Cordoba, Argentina. After moving to the United States, Timmerman completed her doctoral studies at the University of Texas-Austin in 1980. Timmermann joined the KU School of Pharmacy faculty as a distinguished professor and served as chair of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry from 2005 to 2012. She is currently the director of the NIH-funded Center for Cancer Experimental Therapeutics. She is internationally known and highly regarded for her research in bioprospecting and her commitment to social justice. Since coming to KU, Timmermann has brought in more than $20 million in research funding.

Adele Coryell Hall, philanthropist, 2003 Honorary Alumna. In 1977, after 24 years of committed service, Hall became the first woman president of the Heart of America United Way. Ten years later she created the Women’s Public Service Network with the help of community and business leaders to foster a forum for social issues affecting women. In 1999 she was one of 12 forward-thinking women who created The Central Exchange, a nonprofit organization for the personal and professional growth of women that fosters community service and business leadership by women. In 2003 she received the KU Distinguished Service Citation for her service to Kansas, her community and the university. Hall’s Family Foundation has donated millions of dollars to aid KU in the development of the Hall Center for the Humanities, KU Cancer Center and various campus buildings and programs.

Deborah Teeter, university director, KU Office of Institutional Research and Planning. Teeter graduated from KU in 1975 with a master's in business administration and soon after was named the director of the Office of Institutional Research and Planning. For the last 40 years Teeter has worked with university administrators to provide statistical tools for planning and educate about the usefulness of data in shaping departments. Her collaborative nature led to the growth of the Association of American Universities Data Exchange, a group that works to improve higher education through data and analysis. Mabel Rice, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing, said Teeter's contributions to the university “are out of sight of most people, but for those who have watched her in action, she is truly inspiring.”

Neeli Bendapudi, KU Dean and H.D. Price Professor of Business, School of Business: In 1987, Bendapudi received her master's of business administration and a bachelor's degree from Andhra University in India, then came to the United States to start her doctorate in marketing at KU. After teaching at Texas A&M and Ohio State University, Bendapudi returned to KU. In 2011, she was named the first female dean of the School of Business. Since 2011, Bendapudi raised more than $55 million for a new state-of-the-art business school, worked to instill social responsibility in business students by starting a program that pairs MBA students with Kansas nonprofit organizations and collaborated with university departments to increase the number of women in business. “The university is lucky to have such an articulate and enthusiastic representative,” said Ann Cudd, vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Marily Harper Rhudy, principal, MHR Consulting: After graduating in 1972 from the KU School of Pharmacy, Rhudy co-owned and operated three Topeka pharmacies for more than 20 years. She was the first female president of the Kansas Pharmacist Association and the first female chair of the American Pharmaceutical Association. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Rhudy as a Special White House Employee to serve as the pharmacist representative on the White House Health Professions Review Group, a part of the Clinton Health Care Reform. That same year she joined Wyeth Pharmaceuticals as director of Pharmacy Relations. Rhudy was soon named the first woman senior vice president for Global Corporate Affairs at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. In 2008, Rhudy left Wyeth and launched her own consulting practice. According to Gene Hotchkiss, senior associate dean of the School of Pharmacy, Rhudy has long been considered “the most influential woman in the pharmaceutical industry in the United States.”

Student honorees are as follows:

  • Megan Flanagan, Los Angeles, freshman, undecided major; Jameelah Jones, Conyers, Ga., graduate student in African and African-American studies; Sarah Maner, Lenexa, freshman in business marketing; and Hayley Tuggle, Topeka, freshman in biology; Alma Poehler Brook Memorial Award
  • Brianne Riley, Naperville, Ill., senior in community health, Outstanding Woman Student in Athletics
  • Hannah Sitz, Andover, senior in strategic communication and psychology, Outstanding Woman Student in Community Service
  • Leigh Loving, McPherson, junior in genetics, Outstanding Woman Student in Leadership
  • Kayla Sale, Olathe, junior in mathematics, Outstanding Woman Student in Partnership
  • Alyssa Ong, Penang, Malaysia, senior in finance and accounting, Outstanding International Woman Student
  • Ashlie Koehn, Burns, junior, environmental studies and Russian, East European and Eurasian studies, Outstanding Non-Traditional Woman Student
  • Jill Langlas, Wheaton, Ill., senior in mechanical engineering, Sally Mason Student in Science
  • Tina Woods, Galena, sophomore in secondary Spanish education and pre-law, Marlesa & Hannalesa Roney Student Success Mentor.

 

KU Law partners with India’s top law schools

Thursday, April 10, 2014

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Law recently added four prominent Indian law schools to its growing list of international partners. The National Academy of Legal Studies and Research in Hyderabad, the Government Law College in Mumbai, the Jindal Global Law School near New Delhi and the Indian Law Institute in New Delhi signed memoranda of understanding with KU Law, pledging to collaborate on research projects, scholarship opportunities and faculty and student exchanges.

Raj Bhala, associate dean for international and comparative law and Rice Distinguished Professor, signed the agreements on behalf of KU Law Dean Stephen Mazza during Bhala’s February-March lecture tour of India. Professors Balakista Reddy, Kishu Daswani, Sridhar Patnaik and Manoj Kumar Sinha at the four Indian law schools, respectively, were instrumental in establishing the partnerships.

“Simply put, KU Law is the first American law school with such an ambitious opening to India,” Bhala said, noting the institutions’ locations in India’s technology hub (Hyderabad), financial and Bollywood center (Bombay), and political capital (Delhi). “It would be like a non-American law school having arrangements with Stanford, NYU or Columbia, and Georgetown.”

The non-binding MOUs do not include financial obligations or administrative requirements, but they encourage interaction, program development and cross-marketing of degree programs, Bhala said. They also open up international career opportunities for graduates.

The Indian schools join KU Law’s existing partner universities in Australia, China, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, New Zealand and Turkey.

“KU is proud to have affiliations with law schools around the world,” Dean Stephen Mazza said. “I’m pleased that we now have affiliations with some of the finest law schools in India.”

The agreements bring new academic and clinical opportunities for KU Law faculty and students. For students, KU is developing an internship program with the Director General of Foreign Trade in Mumbai and the Mumbai Export Promotion Councils. The partnerships also build KU’s web of international legal contacts, a valuable networking tool for students and alumni.

“We look forward to welcoming law students from these institutions,” Mazza said. “They will bring a welcome perspective to the classroom. We hope these agreements will open up opportunities for KU students to practice in India.”

Already, faculty and students are engaging with India. Professor Jean Phillips is the first non-Indian appointed to the all-India Advisory Council of the Institute of Clinical Legal Education and Research. She will work with top-ranking Indian judges, lawyers and academics to shape clinical legal education in India. Professor Elizabeth Kronk Warner is collaborating with prospective Muslim female lawyers and activists to provide contributions for an upcoming journal symposium. Mazza serves on the advisory board of the first tax law LL.M. program in Asia, established by partner Jindal Global Law School. Two second-year law students, Madeline Heeren and Aqmar Rahman, will intern this summer in New Delhi at one of India’s largest law firms.

In addition to brokering the agreements, Bhala gave 18 lectures during his tour. Topics ranged from international trade law to women’s issues in Islamic Law. Bhala also met with WTO negotiators from Bhutan, toured the High Courts of Mumbai and Delhi, visited a factory manufacturing pulleys and engaged in international trade and saw the museums and memorials of Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

Bhala’s visit comes just before Indian elections, during which all 543 seats in the Indian Parliament and the office of Prime Minister are up for grabs. An unprecedented 814 million people are expected to vote.

“India is the world’s largest free-market democracy and soon to be the world’s most populous nation,” Bhala said, noting its strategic importance to KU’s International and Comparative Law Program. “The Indian market is opening up. The barriers to entry for Jayhawk lawyers are coming down. Our partnerships ensure that KU Law is a player in global legal markets.”

 

Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic part of team developing model to prevent human trafficking

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

LAWRENCE — The success of Oscar-winning film “12 Years a Slave” has brought wide attention to the pre-Civil War memoir of Solomon Northup, a freeborn man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., and sold into slavery for 12 years in Louisiana.

The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in 1865, but sadly pieces of Northup’s story still ring true today as human trafficking remains operating in a shadow of everyday life. A team of University of Kansas researchers is studying a myriad of issues surrounding trafficking and developing a prevention model with the goal it could one day apply both nationally and internationally.

“We’re working on an empirical model for assessing vulnerabilities within populations that can eventually lead to exploitation,” said Hannah Britton, director of ASHTI, the Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative. “We’re looking at risk and protective factors and communities that can help people avoid exploitation.”

ASHTI in March launched its website, which will include preliminary research findings, said Britton, who is an associate professor of political science and women, gender and sexuality studies as well as director of the Center for International Political Analysis at KU’s Institute for Policy & Social Research, which houses ASHTI.

The launch of the website comes one year after Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and KU hosted the Kansas Conference on Slavery and Human Trafficking on campus.

Britton said development of the preventive model is based on research the team is still gathering in the Kansas City metropolitan area through working with a wide variety of groups, including service providers, law enforcement, prosecutors, churches, organizations that work on immigration rights or migrant labor, and English-language learning classes.

Modern-day slavery and human trafficking manifests itself in various ways, including providing forced labor or sexual exploitation. Research estimates tens of thousands of people are living in the United States in some type of modern-day slavery.

So far, the ASHTI team’s research has identified several factors that can leave people vulnerable to human trafficking. People who have a limited knowledge of the English language are typically at risk because they often aren’t educated on the legal rights they have or because they have a more difficult time navigating the legal system. Poverty is also a significant factor, although other risk factors affect people from middle- or upper-class families as well.

Instability in one’s family structure or home life can create a major risk for someone to become a victim of exploitation.

Britton said the group is also looking at protective factors that can help victims of human trafficking safely free themselves.

“Either they had a fairly good education, or they knew that’s a pathway out of exploitation,” she said. “Education is very helpful.”

Often labor rights groups and educational programs provide assistance or enough awareness for certain victims to realize they are being exploited for work or otherwise, Britton said.

The research team considers a preventive model a key to combating human trafficking alongside prosecution. While there have been high-profile cases about trafficking rings, it’s still a lucrative business within the informal economy and an international issue.

For example, among the populations in the Kansas City research project, while most victims are from the United States, researchers have identified people from other countries, such as Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Moldova, Ukraine, the Philippines and many former Soviet republics.

“I think we all know that demand pushes trafficking. It’s interesting to me how much our participants in the study talked about that. If they could get rid of the demand, there would not be this recruitment and this cultivation of potential trafficked persons,” Britton said. “So dealing with the demand for sex trafficking, dealing with the demand for a poorly paid workforce, those types of things are driving this. And that’s really hard to address.”

In addition to research, ASHTI addresses teaching and advocacy. This includes supporting a Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic at the KU School of Law, which is seeking to create the first anti-human trafficking legal clinic based on such a partnership. In December, the MLP Clinic was selected as a finalist in the first round of the Partnership for Freedom, a national competition seeking innovative ideas to better care for survivors of modern-day slavery.

Britton hopes the broad approach of KU’s involvement and momentum such as from the 2013 conference can help the ASHTI project spread its preventive model on an international level and put modern-day slavery and trafficking even more in the public eye.

“People can be trafficked in plain sight — literally in plain sight,” she said. “If you’re aware of it, you start to look for it.”

Middle East expert to discuss implications of regional unrest at KU lecture

Monday, March 24, 2014

LAWRENCE – An Israeli former senior official on Arab affairs will discuss current and future implications of turbulence in the Middle East during the 2014 Diplomat’s Forum lecture this week at the University of Kansas School of Law.

Avi Melamed, the Rosenzwog Fellow of Intelligence and Middle East Affairs for the Eisenhower Institute in Washington, D.C., will deliver a talk on “The Middle East: Winds of Change and Quicksand – The Arab Awakening, Israel and the Region” at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 27, at the Stinson Leonard Street LLP Lecture Hall, 104 Green Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public, and a reception will follow the event.    

“Decades of unrest and growing tensions have finally erupted in The Arab Awakening,” said Melamed, a former intelligence official. “The turbulence is rocking the Arab and Muslim world and generating changes across the region.”

Fluent in Arabic, Melamed is the founder and creator of Feenjan – Israel Speaks Arabic, a nonprofit initiative that presents contemporary Israeli society and culture to the Arab world in Arabic and serves as an online platform for Israelis and Arabs to discover and discuss issues of common interest.

Melamed has authored two books, “Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Rule in East Jerusalem” (Harvard University Press) and “Ubrusi,” a novel. He is a frequent guest on English and Arabic networks, including Al Jazeera, BBC Arabic and i24news.

The Diplomat’s Forum is the law school’s most prestigious annual international and comparative law event. Its aim is to provide a platform for an open sharing of thoughts on international law and relations and the United States through the perspective of a professional with notable diplomatic experience in the service of a foreign government.

Past speakers have included:

  • Sean Hagan, general counsel and director, Legal Department, International Monetary Fund, fall 2012.
  • Anthony Amunategui Abad, managing director, TA Trade Advisory Group, The Philippines, spring 2011.
  • Ambassador Liu Zhenmin, deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, People’s Republic of China, fall 2008.
  • Fawaz Al Alamy, deputy minister of commerce and industry and Chief World Trade Organization technical negotiator, Saudi Arabia, fall 2007.
  • Takao Shibata, consul general, Japan, spring 2007.
  • Robert Zischg, consul general, Austria, spring 2006.
  • Margriet Vonno, economic counselor, Royal Dutch Embassy, The Netherlands, fall 2003.

Law among KU graduate programs posting big gains in U.S. News rankings

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

LAWRENCE – University of Kansas graduate programs posted big gains in the 2015 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools.”

Every ranked specialty in the School of Engineering rose, including aerospace engineering, which is now the top-ranked aerospace program in Kansas. The School of Medicine jumped 15 spots overall in both primary care and research, while the schools of Law and Business also posted double-digit overall gains.

The School of Education’s special education program maintained its top spot among public university programs, and the school itself also rose five places into the top 10 among public university programs. Meanwhile, the School of Public Affairs and Administration in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences holds the top overall ranking in city management and urban policy.

“Our mission as Kansas’ flagship university is to educate the leaders and professionals the state needs to grow and prosper. Raising the quality and stature of our graduate programs is key to that mission, and is also central to achieving the university’s bold aspirations,” Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said.

“Of course, rankings are just one measure, and our ultimate success will be judged by how well we serve the people of Kansas. These rankings show that we’re on the right track, especially in disciplines vital to the future of the state,” she continued.

In the latest rankings, KU has 10 programs ranked in the top 10 among public universities and 43 ranked among the top 50.

KU graduate programs ranked in the top 50 nationally among public universities:

1.      City Management & Urban Policy
1.      Special Education
2.      Occupational Therapy
3.      Public Management Administration
4.      Public Affairs
5.      Clinical Child Psychology
6.      Speech-Language-Pathology
7.      Audiology
9.      Physical Therapy
10.    School of Education
12.    Medicine - Family Medicine
12.    Nursing-Midwifery
12.    Public Finance & Budgeting
15.    Printmaking
15.    Social Work
17.    Clinical Psychology
17.    Medicine - Primary Care
20.    Pharmacy
21.    Nursing-Anesthesia
22.    Healthcare Management
23.    Psychology
24.    Nursing
27.    Aerospace Engineering
27.    History
31.    Political Science
32.    Medicine – Research
36.    Electrical Engineering
36.    English
37.    Chemical Engineering
37.    Earth Sciences – Geology
37.    School of Law
38.    Biological Sciences
38.    Computer Engineering
38.    Fine Arts
41.    Mathematics
42.    Civil Engineering
42.    Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering
43.    Sociology
44.    Chemistry
44.    Mechanical Engineering
45.    Economics
47.    School of Business
49.    Part-time MBA

Additionally, in the U.S. News and World Report rankings of online programs, KU’s nursing master’s degree program ranks 17th among public university programs.

Law professor: More than 1 million rapes unreported in official U.S. crime statistics

Friday, March 07, 2014

LAWRENCE — More than 1 million rape cases have gone undocumented across the United States during the past two decades, according to research by a University of Kansas law professor. The chronic under-reporting happened during what was widely considered a “great decline” in violent crime.

Corey Rayburn Yung, associate professor of law, has authored “How to Lie with Rape Statistics: America’s Hidden Rape Crisis.” The article, which will appear in the Iowa Law Review, details Yung’s review of crime data from 1995 to 2012, which shows that by conservative estimates, nearly 1.2 million rapes disappeared from the official record. Yung analyzed data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, which collects data from nearly every police department in the country, and is commonly used by policy makers, media and law enforcement as a picture of crime prevalence in the United States.

Yung has taught and conducted research in rape and crime law and noticed inconsistencies in the number of rapes reported in a number of cities. Raw numbers of rapes were much lower in some cities than raw numbers of murders, which raised red flags as murder is a less common crime. Yung then learned of media investigations in Baltimore, New Orleans, St. Louis and Philadelphia that documented cases of police departments under-reporting rape statistics.

“Originally I was trying to reconcile why the data was showing such anomalies,” Yung said of the impetus of his paper. “Then I found out about the four cities with documented cases of under-reported rapes, and the more I looked the more red flags there were. There were a number of cities where the numbers didn’t make sense.”

In all, 46 cities, or about 22 percent of the 210 studied police departments responsible for populations of at least 100,000 people, had “substantial irregularities in their rape data, indicating considerable undercounting from 1995 to 2012,” Yung wrote.

“Many people have an incentive for crime to be down on paper,” Yung said of the reason why rape numbers were under-reported.

Pointing to reduced crime numbers, politicians are often elected or re-elected, policy makers make decisions on police funding, officers are promoted, communities promote themselves as safe, and numerous other decisions are made. There is intense pressure, politically and socially, for police departments to show they are reducing crime.

“From a personnel perspective, every officer has a reason to downplay the numbers,” Yung said.

Rape happens to be one of the easiest crimes to under-report, for a variety of reasons. There is a very low conviction rate — only about 2 percent — for all rapes. That manifests itself in fewer cases coming to trial as they are viewed as harder to win, and less time and resources being invested in investigations. There is also often very little corroborating evidence that a rape occurred. In crimes such as murder there tends to be a litany of forensic evidence, and it’s obvious a life has been lost. In less severe crimes such as auto theft, there is an insurance claim that must be dealt with. In the case of rape, there is often not a rape kit, and an alarmingly high percentage of the time when there is one, it is never processed and any evidence it might contain is not used as part of an investigation, Yung said. In cases where drugs or alcohol made consent impossible, drug tests are often not performed in time, and even when they, are they don’t always test for all relevant drugs.

“If you wanted to manipulate a crime rate statistic, that’s the easiest one,” Yung said of rape statistics.

Yung’s article states police in the undercounting cities used three difficult-to-detect methods to manipulate rape statistics: Designating complaints as “unfounded,” which required little or no investigation; classifying incidents as a “lesser offense"; and failing to create a written report that a victim made a rape complaint. In addition to the four cities exposed by media reports, Atlanta, Dallas, Milwaukee, Mobile, Ala., Oakland, Calif., and Washington, D.C., submitted statistically dubious rape statistics in 92 of their 108 total reports to the FBI during the study period, Yung wrote.

By including the estimated number of rape incidents reported to police but not the FBI, Yung conservatively estimated that approximately 796,213 to 1,145,309 rapes were not included in the Uniform Crime Report from 1995 to 2012. The analysis indicates that the study period included at least 15 of the 18 highest rates of rape since the Uniform Crime Report began including rape data in 1930.

Rape complaints that are not investigated not only fail to serve justice for victims, they lead to more victims and impunity for criminals, Yung argues. Research has suggested that as many as 90 percent of rapes are committed by serial rapists or individuals who have committed the crime more than once.

“That gets validated when they’re not investigated,” Yung said of the perpetrators. “They can do it again and again. Police are essentially empowering rapists by not pursuing cases.”

There is little recourse for rape victims in many cases. If their complaint is determined “unfounded” or is never investigated, it is very difficult to take any sort of action without surrendering their anonymity. On top of that, most victims are never notified that their case is not being investigated.

While the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report is highly influential, it’s nature also contributes to the frequent under-reporting of rape. Police departments offer all information included in the report voluntarily, and there is little to no disincentive for not including complete and accurate statistics while there is overwhelming incentive to under-report, Yung said.

The implications of under-reporting are dire. Many rapists are never convicted, much less prosecuted or even investigated, leading to more rapes and more victims, Yung said. When left unchecked, the incidents can escalate to further violent crimes and even murder, which have troubling moral implications.

“Society has an obligation to stop rape and prosecute rapists. The current practices are incredibly far from that basic precept. What is worse is that the extent of rape in America has been covered up— rape victims have been denied basic dignity, so that some police could manipulate statistics to simply achieve artificially designated crime benchmarks,” Yung wrote.

While reports of a “great decline” in rape in the United States were untrue, the crime grew to crisis proportions that should urge everyone from city level government to federal policy makers to act. Yung suggests the FBI expand oversight of data submission for the Uniform Crime Report and training of police officers in using it. The bureau should also take action when departments report unprecedented decreases in rape while murder rates spike, a step it currently doesn’t take.

“Rape has not received significant priority in law enforcement, as crime data has lessened the perceived urgency for action. That can and should be changed with budgetary, resource and personnel increases from the federal and/or state authorities,” Yung wrote. “Local governments and police departments should allocate more of their existing officers to sexual assault investigations instead of low-level, nonviolent crimes. Further, police should implement secondary review of rape complaints to ensure that officers are thoroughly investigating cases labeled as 'unfounded' or similar internal department designations that have in the past disguised large numbers of rape cases.”

KU students advance to national finals in transactional law competition

Friday, March 07, 2014

LAWRENCE – A team of University of Kansas School of Law students will compete in the finals of the National Transactional LawMeet next month after winning at the Chicago regional round.

The law school fielded two teams in the competition, which offers a moot court experience for aspiring transactional lawyers. Jay Berryman, of Meade, and Kevin Wempe, of Topeka, won for the buyer’s side in Chicago, and Anna Kimbrell, of Lawrence, and Rachel Martin, of Kansas City, Mo., earned the prize for best overall draft agreement at the Midwestern regional in Kansas City.

This is the first year KU has participated in the competition.

“The LawMeet’s drafting and negotiation process is very reflective of what corporate attorneys do in practice, so this experience is invaluable to me and one that most transactional attorneys did not have the opportunity to engage in while in law school,” said Berryman, who will graduate in May, then begin his career practicing corporate transactional law at Polsinelli PC in Kansas City, Mo.

Teams were assigned to represent either buyers or sellers of a business and were required to draft an agreement covering a disputed issue, mark up the opposing side’s counterdraft and negotiate a resolution. Teams from 84 law schools met at seven regional sites last Friday to conduct the negotiations. Two teams from each region (one buyer and one seller) advanced to the final round to be held April 3-4 in New York. 

“The negotiations were very professional,” said Wempe, who is set to graduate in May and will work in public finance with Gilmore & Bell PC in Kansas City, Mo. “We decided beforehand we would avoid being adversarial, if possible, and instead take the approach that we were there to facilitate our client’s wishes and move the transaction forward rather than bicker with the opposition.”

Competition judges evaluate which team most adeptly combines its lawyering skills, drafting, marking-up and negotiating techniques with their knowledge of corporate and other facets of business law and business sense to develop innovative solutions to negotiate a draft agreement.

For its Chicago victory, KU bested teams from the University of Colorado, Ohio State University, Temple University, Northwestern University and elsewhere.

KU law alumni Ken Lynn, Class of 1981, and Kelley Sears, Class of 1974, coached the teams in preparation for the competition, with assistance from Webb Hecker, professor of law.

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Why KU
  • One-third of full-time faculty have written casebooks used at U.S. law schools
  • 2 KU law faculty were U.S. Supreme Court clerks
  • KU’s Project for Innocence: 28 conviction reversals since 2009
  • 7,300+ alumni live in all 50 states and 18 foreign countries
  • Routinely ranked a “best value” law school
  • 12 interdisciplinary joint degrees
  • 26th nationwide for lowest debt at graduation. — U.S. News & World Report
  • 23rd nationally among public law schools. “When Lawyers Do the Grading,”
    —U.S. News & World Report
  • 70 percent of upper-level law classes have 25 or fewer students
  • 37th: for number of law graduates who are partners at nation’s largest law firms