Deadline approaching for Keeler Intra-University Professorships

From: Simon Atkinson, Vice Chancellor for Research
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2021, 1:38 p.m.
To: KU Lawrence faculty


Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, April 9 for the Keeler Family Intra-University Professorships, a faculty development program for tenured faculty at mid-career. The program is designed to increase collaboration and synergy across disciplines, and it’s been successful on that front. 
Here’s one recent example:
A bed of native plants might not be the first place you’d think of finding a textile artist at work, but visual art professor Mary Anne Jordan was drawn to the KU Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden for its inhabitants’ potential to yield natural dyes. Through a collaboration with Kelly Kindscher, a professor in the Environmental Studies Program and senior scientist at the Kansas Biological Survey, and Jennifer Moody, an assistant researcher in Kindscher’s lab, Jordan gained access to the garden last summer and started experiments to test various plants, flowers and roots for colorants. She dyed cotton, silk and wool fabrics with color from about 20 different plants.
This semester, with a release from her teaching and departmental responsibilities, Jordan is taking Kindscher’s Ethnobotany course.
“After I was selected for the award, I chose to use the time in the spring semester so that I could take the class and have time to plan, organize and plant a selection of dye plants at the research garden,” Jordan said. “Planting time is just around the corner, and with the advice and help of Moody and Kindscher I will be working in the research garden again.”
“Access to the KU garden has been extremely beneficial,” she added. “I have learned much more than plant potential for color. I have also learned a lot about native and naturalized plants and planting, soil, harvesting, pollinators and pests. Now in the Ethnobotany class, I am learning about local plants and the historical, spiritual and practical uses of plants by Native Americans for medicines and healing, food and teas, and utilitarian items like baskets and dyes.”
Jordan’s project perfectly aligns with the intent of the Keeler Professorship to enable “substantive exchange and interaction with faculty members in another discipline that will result in the development or expansion of ongoing interdisciplinary research and teaching collaboration.”
You can find more details and application instructions on the Center for Faculty Development & Mentoring website. I encourage you to apply if you have an interdisciplinary project that meets the program requirements.

Simon Atkinson
Vice Chancellor for Research