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Archive for Friday, October 21, 2005

KU outlines efficiency plan

October 21, 2005

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For every dollar invested in Kansas University, Chancellor Robert Hemenway said Thursday, the state receives $4 in return.

In 2004, KU took $238 million in state funds and leveraged it into $952 million, including grants, contracts, tuition and other sources of revenue, according to KU reports.

Hemenway and others reported to the Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday what the university is doing to be efficient.

Legislators "ask some very clear questions," Regent Dick Bond said. They ask "how efficient are you at using these taxpayer dollars? Is the Board of Regents and are institutions bringing about changes in policy that save money?"

Bond said KU's report would be distributed to legislators.

"Several members of the board mentioned to me afterwards how impressed they were by the chancellor's report," he said.

KU started a task force in 2002 to document the institution's cost-saving efforts. It now has documented more than 200 projects, according to the chancellor's report.

The report including the following points:

¢ The university relies increasingly on the Internet to deliver information, which cuts work time, gasoline and mailing costs.

¢ Several reorganizations have saved staff time and allowed KU to respond better to students.

¢ KU closed the furniture store, office supply store and printing services.

¢ KU's bond rating by Moody's is Aa2, the same rating as the state of Kansas.

Chief financial officer Theresa Klinkenberg said there is still work that can be done to free KU from some bureaucracy and enable the university to adapt more quickly to students' needs.

The report also pointed to problems. State funding reductions from 2002-2005 forced layoffs for 19 people at KU Medical Center and 38 layoffs on the Lawrence campus, a reduction on library hours, the cutting of the off-site Physical Therapy Education Program and the closing of the Museum of Anthropology public exhibit space.

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