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Archive for Thursday, October 7, 1999

REGENTS TO CONSIDER MERGING OF TWO COLLEGES

October 7, 1999

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A proposal that would make Pratt Community College a satellite of Fort Hays State University will be considered at a meeting next week in Lawrence.

Official consideration of the possible merger of Pratt Community College with Fort Hays State University begins next week when the Kansas Board of Regents Commission on Higher Education Coordination meets at Kansas University. If the merger occurs, it would be the first of its kind in Kansas history.

The proposed merger would make Pratt a satellite campus of FHSU. If the board approves the union, the regents would gain full governance over academic programs on the Pratt campus.

Currently, the regents directly govern the six state universities including Kansas University. It coordinates the activities of all of higher education in the state.

PCC is governed by a local board of trustees. Pratt's board is in favor of the merger because four-year degrees could be offered in the Pratt area. Pratt board members also have said they hope it will increase economic development in the area.

The PCC board would continue to govern campus facilities.

Board approval of the merger could come as early as next week, but the regents could also ask for changes in the agreement, delaying approval.

Among the issues the regents will have to iron out is the change in residency standards that will come about because of the merger.

State universities require a year of Kansas residency without attending college before a student can be considered eligible for in-state tuition.

Community colleges require six months of residency.

Also the regents will hear plans from the six state universities for pay-equity studies beyond the statistical study of faculty pay and gender currently being done by the universities.

The board is also being asked to approve two plans and agreements for renovations for buildings at KU.

One proposal is to renovate the sixth floor of the Wescoe Medical Pavilion at KU Medical Center. The cost of the project is $580,000. About half the project will be funded by private money raised by the KUMC Research Institute Inc. The other half will come from state Crumbling Classroom funds.

Also, approval is sought for plans to complete Level 980 in Budig Hall. The cost of this project is $2.2 million and financing is to come from Budig Hall Completion Funds.

-- Erwin Seba's phone message number is 832-7145. His e-mail address is eseba@ljworld.com.

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