Archive for Wednesday, February 26, 2003

KU professional staff lobbies Capitol

February 26, 2003

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— Representatives of unclassified professional staff from Kansas University visited lawmakers on Tuesday to explain the importance of their work and higher education.

"We want to make them aware that we are out there and working hard, and that higher education is incredibly important to the state of Kansas," said Dan Consolver, assistant to the associate provost of academic technology services.

Consolver was one of about a dozen KU employees who visited the Capitol.

At KU, there are more than 1,500 unclassified professional employees who serve numerous functions such as advisers, administrators, teaching support staff, researchers and program directors. The main group representing them is the Unclassified Professional Staff Assn.

Kathryn Nemeth Tuttle, director of the Freshman-Sophomore Advising Center, said one concern of unclassified professionals was that in recent years they have been separated from faculty when it came time for pay raises.

"We want support for the faculty, but we don't want to be forgotten and left behind," Tuttle said.

The group said KU's unclassified professional staff were dedicated and loyal, but there were concerns about falling behind in pay and that proposed tuition increases would keep some from attending KU.

Currently, lawmakers are on a path to fund higher education at the current level, which falls short of providing the money necessary to continue the level of services because of increased costs and previous cuts.

Under a budget proposal before the House, KU and KU Medical Center will receive $230.4 million, about $16 million less than the amount needed to maintain services.

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