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Archive for Tuesday, February 16, 1993

REGENTS TO TAKE UP PROGRAM REVIEW

February 16, 1993

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The Kansas Board of Regents meets this week in Topeka to act on state universities' plans to eliminate 102 degrees and shift $17.4 million to other academic programs.

The regents' meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. Thursday in Suite 609 in Capitol Tower.

Regents have been working more than a year on a mission study designed to improve efficiency of academic programs offered at Kansas University and the five other universities in the regents system.

That effort will culminate Wednesday with a debate on new aspiration statements and a list of proposals to discontinue, modify or enhance academic programs. Regents will vote on the statements and academic program proposals Thursday.

Collectively, the state universities recommended elimination of 102 degrees, modification of 80 degrees, creation of 58 degrees and enhancement of 95 degrees. The changes would free $17.4 million for reallocation, the board's staff said.

KU CHANCELLOR Gene Budig said a review of academic programs in November 1992 led to recommendations to eliminate 16 degrees and develop eight new ones.

Budig said the university would move $1.35 million from noninstructional activities to instructional programs over the next three years.

In addition, he said, the academic schools were ordered to shift 3 percent of their base budgets from weak programs to strong programs.

On Thursday, regents will receive a status report on accreditation of academic programs at state universities. On KU's main campus in Lawrence, 33 programs are accredited.

Three KU programs are not accredited at the maximum level: architectural engineering, computer engineering and engineering physics.

Three KU programs are awaiting the results of accreditation reviews: law, health services administration and petroleum engineering.

THE REVIEW team from the American Association of Law Schools and American Bar Assn. found KU's law school had insufficient budget support from the state, low faculty salaries and inadequate law library facilities.

Review team members also reported allegations of sexual harassment and gender issues had limited the law school's ability to "focus upon and achieve its education goals."

KU is trying to fire tenured law professor Emil Tonkovich, who is accused of sexually harassing law students.

In other business, regents plan to:

Consider the architectural program for the addition of a 250-seat recital hall to the Ernst F. Lied Center, which is under construction at KU. The addition would cost $1.3 million and would be financed by private gifts.

Decide which courses high school students can take to fulfill the regents' recommended curriculum and qualify for a scholarship financed by the state government. The new guidelines were required after the state added $500,000 to the scholarship fund.

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