Archive for Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Education support

April 3, 2007


To the editor:

Has no one in the Kansas Legislature the courage to tell the voters that university buildings across the state are crumbling and in serious need of repair? And that, furthermore, it is necessary to raise state taxes a little to come up with the money to keep our universities safe to use and in good repair? Must we wait until someone is injured or buildings become unusable?

The suggestion of some members of the Legislature that the counties in which the universities are located could raise taxes to cover part of the cost I find particularly inappropriate. These are state universities, not county universities. If the counties in which the universities are located are to bear more than their share of the burden, then perhaps students from out of county should pay higher tuition fees. In-state fees would become in-county fees and out-of-county students would pay more, say half of the difference between in-county and out-of state fees.

Kansas has a long history of supporting education for its citizens.

Have we lost interest in this worthy goal?

Ann Marshall-Levine,



imastinker 11 years, 2 months ago

I think the voters in Kansas are intelligent enough to know what the legislature know, and this is why the issue is such a difficult one to get through. There isn't 622 million in maintenance. It's probably half to a third that number. People who come up with numbers like that have no grasp of what things really cost and no appreciation of the fact that people really worked for that. For examle, the kitchen in the chancellors office cost nearly as much as my whole house, and I have a nice kitchen with custom cabinets in it.

Bruce Bertsch 11 years, 2 months ago

Obviously there is a reason you are a stinker and not a thinker. Perhaps you should explain to the engineers and construction experts just why there is not $600 million plus in deferrred maintenance. The number would be higher if the family of the Russell Stover business had not donated substantial sums that were used to refurbish Allen Fieldhouse, a state owned property that was a mess due to deferred maintenance. Perhaps our legislators have never understood that its less expensive to fix it the first time than to put it off until it creates additional problems.

SettingTheRecordStraight 11 years, 2 months ago

To say that our univsersities are "crumbling" is to use alarmist rhetoric. If some universtity buildings are in need of repair, add it to the cost of tuition.

I am tired of taxpayers footing the bill for every expense and program of government schools.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 2 months ago

There is no way to know how much the new "kitchen" in the chancellor's office should have cost from the information contained in the article in the JW, but it's clear that much more was involved than just a new "kitchen."

While there should be a very thorough review of the maintenance needs of the universities, and a prioritization of what gets fixed when, a blanket statement that these projected figures are all the figments of ignorant peoples' imagination is not at all useful.

imastinker 11 years, 2 months ago

The engineers and construction experts came up with that number because they are looking out for themselves. This type of thing is very common in government jobs.

I drove through campus yesterday. I was AMAZED all the changes that happened since I graduated. There is two new big gateways, and a lot of new construction on west campus. Why are we building like this if our existing infrastructure is falling apart? I realize that these were likely private donations, but the cnacellor should be telling these people that we need maintenance, not a new building or gateway.

The univesity has done this as an excuse to get extra money from the state. Instead of trying to curb spending on new things or redundant expenses at the university they quit doing maintenance and cry to the state. The state should not treat funding different from maintenance for th euniversity. If they did that, the university would be responsible for it themselves and find more economical approaches than they have.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years, 2 months ago

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."

Derek Bok

imastinker 11 years, 2 months ago

I didn't say they are figures of ignorant peoples imagination. I said that the university does not seem to have a problem with new building. Why should we let them get away with no maintaing their existing buildings?

The University got it's finding cut, and by neglecting maintenance it has found a way back into the state's pocketbook.

deec 11 years, 2 months ago

Most of the maintenance costs have been building up over 2 decades of deferred funding. The costs are so high, in part, BECAUSE the state has declined to adequately fund maintenance of its properties. About 60% of state-owned buildings are on the state-owned university campuses.

imastinker 11 years, 2 months ago

Have they published a list of what this includes?

BigDog 11 years, 2 months ago

Well first the legislature doesn't trust the information being provided to them on the deferred maintenance list. When they had the information researched there were items that included repairs of football, basketball, and baseball stadiums at the various universities. There was also major remodeling and additions for the home of at least one university president.

Many also believe the estimates for the repairs are inflated.

Some of these situations have created a lack of trust in information being received from the state universities. They believe there is a need for maintenance at many of the universities, many of them have viewed the needs first hand. What they don't believe is the amount that the universities are stating.

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