Archive for Thursday, September 20, 2007

K-State’s promise: Campus will differ from KU

If approved, facility will provide services in Jayhawk country

September 20, 2007


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Kansas State University campus in Olathe

— Kansas State University President Jon Wefald on Thursday promised that K-State's proposed campus in Johnson County will not duplicate Kansas University's operations.

In fact, Wefald told the Kansas Board of Regents that he expects K-State and KU to collaborate on fundraising efforts.

"When Jayhawks and Wildcats get together, good things happen," he said.

And he vowed that K-State would not be asking the regents for general state tax dollars to build the research campus, but would rely on a proposed tax increase in Johnson County, increased grants and private donations.

If built, the Kansas State-Olathe Innovation Campus would be just minutes from KU's Edwards Campus in Overland Park and the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.

"We are not interested in duplicating the KU Edwards Campus nor the KU Medical Center," Wefald said.

Wefald said the proposed campus will focus on food safety and animal health.

He envisions the school will have approximately 2,000 students within the next 20 or so years, which is about the same size as today's Edwards Campus.

KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway said he was OK with K-State's efforts in what is regarded as KU's service region.

He said many other states have projects from several universities in the same county, and he noted that K-State has pledged it won't duplicate KU offerings.

"It's not uncommon for public universities in a state to be able to be organized in this way," Hemenway said.

Regents members asked several questions about the proposal.

Bill Thornton asked if K-State would ever need general state funds for operating the campus. Wefald said no.

He said he is hopeful that Johnson County voters, possibly in November 2008, will approve a sales tax or property tax increase as part of a research triangle initiative that would dedicate funds to K-State, the Edwards Campus and KUMC.

Wefald said he and Hemenway would probably help generate support for the tax proposal, noting that KU has about 50,000 alumni in Johnson County, and K-State about 25,000.

Regent Gary Sherrer asked what K-State's fallback position would be if voters reject the tax increase.

Wefald said K-State would have to increase efforts to raise private dollars.

Regent Donna Shank also had questions about a proposed board that would oversee distribution of the tax revenues. Wefald said that was "a work in progress."

Sherrer said he appreciated Wefald providing an update on the proposal, but added the regents, as the higher education leaders of the state, had to be kept abreast of developments.

"When projects like this move forward : we need to make sure we are in the loop all the time," he said.


KS 10 years, 9 months ago

KU doesn't need to align itself with anything that the wannabe K-State wants to do. K-State needs to stay out of KC just like KU can stay out of western Kansas. Taxes are already high enough, including JoCo. Go find some of those rich wheat farmers. Bottom line is that both schools are scared of JCCC. Both KU and K-State iare losing enrollment to JCCC

perkins 10 years, 9 months ago

Both schools have mediocre presidents. K-State's allows the AD to hire basketball coaches with questionable ethics just to land touted recruits next year, and KU's greets the student body at convocation as "party animals."

SpeedRacer 10 years, 9 months ago

Should the two schools even be competing. They are both part of the Kansas university system and as such should not be duplicating efforts in the same area. Two campuses in JOCO will mean twice as much of our money being spent.

ontheotherhand 10 years, 9 months ago

Uh, KS, we are talking academics and research; we aren't talking about sports teams right now so no need to sound as ignorant as you do. We are talking about two university's attempts to "collaborate" (look up that word when you get a moment). KSU has experience in animal and food science that is known across the nation so there would be no need for KU to worry about competition in this regard. The red flag issue is if KSU decides to offer non-specialty courses (general core courses) that any student currently enrolled at KU could take. KU is warning KSU not to offer these types of general courses, and KSU is saying don't worry, we won't, because we wouldn't want you guys to do it in our service area. Both sides get the message, and I hope KSU honors this. Both universities are excellent and very necessary for Kansas. Stick to the silly comments like you made above when you are talking about sports. Then, trash talk is good and fun. Go Wildcats! :)

ontheotherhand 10 years, 9 months ago

Sorry, Perkins, I have to disagree with you about KSU's President. I was a grad student when he took over (in the 80s) and the differences between the ten years before he came and ten years since he has been at KSU are night and day. Former President Acker was a joke and brought school morale down to nothing. We can get into coaching decisions all you want (I will probably agree with you), but I have seen what Wefald has had a hand in doing in an effort to increase enrollment, increase school funding, bring more money into Manhattan, and get good faculty to teach at KSU even though the school is in the middle of nowhere and the salaries suck (well, in many departments anyway). I hear lots of negative comments about Hemenway (I live in Lawrence) which is unfortunate. Schools must have Presidents (Chancellors) that clearly love the university and are infectious in every way. KSU alums say that about Wefald. I've never heard anyone say that about Acker, uh . . . Hemenway. Maybe a change is due?

Marco Moona Temple 10 years, 9 months ago

Apparently, my alma mater is afraid of competition, too.

At any rate, I think the JoCo campus will be a major asset, especially with the NBAF on the horizon. Our enrollment is up to it's highest level ever, morale and spirit are at all-time highs... The sky's the limit at Kansas State University. Good times, folks..

Go 'Cats!

Janet Lowther 10 years, 9 months ago

Competition is good.

KU has been notable for its inflexibility, and could use more competition, if for nothing else than to persuade them to allow more flexibility for non-traditional students.

Heck with Johnson county, I'd like to see K-State open a campus in Lawrence.

FatTony 10 years, 9 months ago

Lets see we will consolidate all schools with 4 year degrees into 2, in turn needing triple the amount of housing and infastructure in and around these two campuses. So would it be "redundant" to build this housing when other universities already provide these services. WSU, Pitt State, Washburn, Emporia, Fort Hays, are all fine places to which to gain a degree.

ontheotherhand 10 years, 9 months ago

Hello?? Did some of you posters not READ this article? How can there be competition or redundancy when KSU's extension campus will focus on animal science and food science? Sheesh!

compmd 10 years, 9 months ago

"When Jayhawks and Wildcats get together, good things happen,"

Except when alcohol or sports are involved.

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