Archive for Tuesday, February 14, 2006

From out of left field, curveballs

Legislators pepper Hemenway with questions unrelated to talk on higher education

February 14, 2006

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— Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway on Monday appeared before lawmakers, touting KU's accomplishments and urging passage of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' budget proposal for higher education.

But when he finished his pitch for KU, what he got were questions about conservative columnist Ann Coulter and illegal immigrants.

Rep. Bonnie Huy, R-Wichita, asked Hemenway to comment on a student throwing a pie at Coulter when she spoke in March at the Lied Center as part of the 37th J.A. Vickers Sr. Memorial Lecture Series.

"Ann Coulter did not have a pie thrown at her at Kansas University," Hemenway said.

While Coulter was heckled during her talk, Hemenway said, the university tries to teach people to respect others even if they disagree with them.

"That's as it should be," Huy replied. "All speakers should be treated with respect."

Huy, a member of the House Education Budget subcommittee, had earlier asked Hemenway whether there was a policy at KU to spend down its budget at the end of the fiscal year.

"There is no such policy," he replied.

Rep. Becky Hutchins, R-Holton, and the chair of the subcommittee, asked Barbara Atkinson, executive vice chancellor and dean of the KU Medical School, whether there were any illegal immigrants being taught at the school.

Atkinson said she didn't think so but that she would check.

Hutchins is pushing for passage of a bill that would repeal a law enacted in 2004 that allows some illegal immigrants to attend state universities at the less expensive resident tuition rate if they attended a Kansas high school for at least three years and graduated or earned a general educational development certificate in Kansas. Also, they must be seeking legal immigration status.

Hutchins also urged KU to get busy and produce legislation that would appropriate $5 million annually to the KU Cancer Center.

"We're a third of the way through the legislative session," she said.

"We appreciate the admonition and will get with it," Hemenway said. Later, however, KU officials said they had already put together language for the funding that could be used in the state appropriation bill.

Comments

calijayhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Never heard of Huy either - but if she's from Wichita - she's in the same camp with Wagle and all the neo-cons.

Godot 9 years, 2 months ago

That was a good question about KU spending down the budget at the end of each fiscal year. When I worked there, that was exactly what happened. We bought all sorts of stuff we didn't need just because we had money left in the budget. If we didn't spend it, we'd lose it.

Godot 9 years, 2 months ago

Spending down the budget was a tactic employed by department heads to make sure their budgets were not reduced. Their thinking was that if you don't use all your budget one year, then you will get a smaller budget the next. It may not be policy, but I'll be it is being practiced.

avhjmlk 9 years, 2 months ago

Godot--it's not just university departments that do that. All levels of government have a similar fear of budget cuts, so they spend off their remiaining bucks at the end of each FY...

badger 9 years, 2 months ago

It's also not just government that spends down the last budget pennies to keep from being cut.

Private sector does it too.

Ann Coulter hit with a pie?

Not yet, but I do know these angry clowns...

thinks

Godot 9 years, 2 months ago

Badger, when I worked as a manager in the private sector, I received a promotion and a bonus when I was able to save money and reduce the budget.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 2 months ago

Godot, You might have been promoted and got a raise, but what happened to the budget of the unit under your control?

One would need to have great aim to hit the skeletal Coulter with a pie. She disapperars when she turns sideways.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 2 months ago

"Rep. Becky Hutchins, R-Holton, and the chair of the subcommittee, asked Barbara Atkinson, executive vice chancellor and dean of the KU Medical School, whether there were any illegal immigrants being taught at the school. Atkinson said she didn't think so but that she would check."

Hutchins went on to say "If you find any, make them wear this emblem on their coats so we can identify them."

Godot 9 years, 2 months ago

YWN, you are right, the budget was reduced because we were able to work smarter and spend less money and, therefore, needed less money. Still, everyone in my unit got a nice raise. That's called incentive and motivation, and that is the way businesses succeed. It is the opposite of the way government works.

Godot 9 years, 2 months ago

Note that both Heminway and Atkinson ducked the questions. Heminway parsed words by saying that spending the budget down is "not policy," (meaning sure it goes on but I hope you let me get by with this dodge), and Atkinson by saying she would check on whether there are any illegal immigrants enrolled. I'm surprised she didn't know since the stats were published recently and the issue is a hot one in this legislative session. If I were her, I would have known if there were any illegals enrolled in my program, and I would have been prepared to demonstrate how they were succeeding. That is, if they were. Succeeding, that is.

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