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Standards debate harming Kansas's reputation, says KU official


The reputation of the University of Kansas and of the state in general is in jeopardy due to the expected adoption of a set of deeply flawed science standards, according to the provost of the University of Kansas. David Shulenberger told the Lawrence Journal-World (August 30, 2005) that the debate over the place of evolution in the state's science standards was damaging the university's national reputation and its ability to attract the top faculty and students. "For the state to be portrayed repeatedly in the national press as being anti-science does damage to this university," he said. "The frustration is you fight this reputation problem every step of the way." James Orr, professor and chairman of the division of biological sciences, and Ann Brill, dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, both told the Journal-World that the debate was a concern for a number of prospective hires, and Erik Lundquist -- a biologist who joined the University of Kansas faculty just before the 1999 adoption of a similarly flawed set of science standards -- commented, "I think we’re missing a whole pool of people here who don't even apply" because of the state's reputation for hostility to evolution education.