Kansas Board of Regents
- Students may get break on tuition (01-17-08)
- Tax credits will help university with deferred maintenance (01-17-08)
- Legislature wrestles with spending priorities (01-13-08)
- Regents seek more grants for students (01-06-08)
- In-state tuition fight may head to high court (12-30-07)
- Regents proposal facing close scrutiny (12-24-07)
- University housing rates set to rise (12-21-07)
Topeka When Gov. Kathleen Sebelius unveiled her budget request Tuesday, Kansas University leaders offered sure, albeit general, support for the proposal.
On Wednesday, after having more time to study the document and listen to a briefing prepared by the staff of the Kansas Board of Regents, KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway offered wide-ranging praise for the document.
"I think the governor has proposed a very good budget," Hemenway said. "She understands the success of the Kansas economy is going to depend on having a strong higher education system."
Indeed, Diane Duffy, vice president for finance and administration at the Board of Regents, said that for the first time in several years, higher education would consume a larger portion of the budget than in the previous year. From fiscal year 2004 to fiscal year 2008, higher education went from consuming 15.6 percent of the state general fund to 13.8 percent of the general fund.
In fiscal year 2009, under the governor's proposal, higher education would consume 14 percent of the state general fund. University and higher education leaders have complained the Legislature is shifting the burden of funding a college education from the populace to students.
"This budget shows that the governor really cares about universities and expects us to be leaders in the state," Hemenway said.
Hemenway also said if Sebelius' budget is implemented, KU would be able to take steps to expand the School of Pharmacy and address the statewide shortage of pharmacists. The budget appropriates $1 million and grants $50 million in bonding authority for that purpose - though, according to Duffy, how those bonds will eventually be paid back is not known.