Kansas University Alumni Association members are being asked to urge Kansas legislative candidates to endorse financing of the Margin of Excellence program at state universities.
Fred Williams, KUAA executive director, said today more than 500 alumni will be asked by letter to personally encourage candidates to commit themselves to the Margin, a program aimed to increase funding for all state universities to improve faculty salaries and enhance academic programs.
"We're trying to get the Margin concept back as a priority in the state. The people participating in this are providing a great service to the university," Williams said.
THROUGH two years of the Margin, the Legislature added millions of dollars to operating budgets and faculty salaries at KU and other institutions in state system.
The 1990 Legislature declined to allocate money for the third and final year of the Margin program. Lawmakers will be asked in 1991 to allocate $15 million for the program.
John Robinson, alumni association president and managing partner of Black & Veatch, has designated financing of the Margin as the association's top priority.
KUAA's efforts in support of the Margin coincide with an aggressive lobby campaign by students, faculty and administrators at the state's six regents universities.
THE KU association has mailed letters to 400 members of its development committee. Alumni members of KU advisory committees also will be contacted, Williams said.
"Not everyone wants to get involved in this type of process," Williams said. "We're trying to increase our numbers, which will increase our grassroots effort."
Alumni members were asked to determine the level of support for the Margin among candidates for governor, House and Senate and report their findings to the association.
Candidates endorsing the Margin will be sent a letter recognizing their support. Opponents of the Margin are to be contacted personally before the Nov. 6 election.