Archive for Friday, August 11, 1995

HASKELL FUNDING STAYS FLAT

August 11, 1995

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Aides say Sens. Dole and Kassebaum won't be pushing for budget increases at Haskell.

The U.S. Senate has approved $10 million in funding for Haskell Indian Nations University next year -- the same amount the school received this year.

President Clinton had proposed a $200,000 budget increase for the government-sponsored college for American Indians, which wouldn't have been enough to cover mandatory cost-of-living pay raises that will kick in Oct. 1 for Haskell's 240 federal employees.

But the Senate Appropriations committee knocked out the increase. The Senate approved the $10 million allocation Wednesday in a 92-6 vote on a $12 billion Interior Department budget bill.

Sens. Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum voted for the bill, and aides to both Kansas Republicans say there are no plans to push for an increase for Haskell when a conference committee irons out differences between the Senate bill and a House version approved in June.

"Funding tends not to get increased in conference," said Mike Horak, a spokesman for Kassebaum.

Still, Haskell President Bob Martin has said he'll be relieved simply to make do with a level budget.

The Interior Department budget bill calls for substantial cuts to federal land management programs, energy conservation and scientific research on natural resources, and to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which oversees Haskell.

"It was difficult to hold the line on a lot of programs," said Rosemary Leonard, a Kassebaum staff assistant who tracks allocations for Haskell.

Some of the BIA cuts could be felt at Haskell. The school receives support services from BIA offices in Oklahoma and New Mexico that face cutbacks.

Although Haskell has long been dependent on federal funding, school officials, trustees and the private Haskell Foundation are now trying to increase the level of support from donors, corporations, foundations and alumni.

Also, Martin has said trustees may have to consider imposing increased fees.

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