Research universities may lose out during the 1990s as the nation focuses on the educational needs of elementary and secondary school students, two Kansas University officials said Friday.
Competition for funding is so intense that it is important for KU to have a strong presence in Washington, D.C., said Frances Horowitz, vice chancellor for research, graduate studies and public service.
The Lawrence campus brought in about $30 million in external funding for sponsored projects for the 1989 fiscal year, and the Medical Center brought in about $22 million, she said.
ON A LIST of 100 universities, KU has been ranked as low as 99th and as high as 45th based on research activity, Horowitz said. KU's ranking slipped during the 1970s and 1980s.
"We do not have a high ranking at the Medical Center," Horowitz said. "Our rankings are based on combined information from the Lawrence campus and the Medical Center. And some of our best programs do not count in the rankings."
During the 1989 fiscal year, KU received 506 grant awards for the Lawrence campus. The awards came from 170 sources. But KU needs more money, she said.
Because federal support for colleges and universities has dwindled in recent years as the national focus centers on elementary and secondary education, she said, KU will need to rely more on private sources and state funding.
"We are a moderately supported university in terms of external support," she said. "With our pool of talent, we probably should have more external support."
THAT IS PART of the reason that Carolyn Cross, assistant vice chancellor for research and federal relations, was appointed as the Washington liaison for KU.
Cross, who splits her time between Washington and Lawrence, represents KU at association and agency meetings on funding, and she alerts faculty members to any research opportunities. She also monitors the increasing number of federal regulations and meets with the state congressional delegation.
Her goal is to double the amount of external funding for the Lawrence campus and the medical center.
"About $100 million would be respectable," Cross said. "People get discouraged. We are disadvantaged in a way because we have to ask for things that other universities already have."
HOROWITZ recalled submitting a grant proposal during her research, asking for a piece of equipment that the agency couldn't believe she didn't already have at KU. She said she had to convince the agency she did not have the equipment.