Archive for Friday, July 25, 2008

Governor says university overreacted over budget cuts

Governor Kathleen Sebelius is dismissing the idea that KU will receive a 7 percent budget cut.

July 25, 2008


Kathleen Sebelius: Two decades in politics

Kathleen Sebelius is the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services in Obama's Cabinet. She has served as Kansas' governor since 2002 and before that was insurance commissioner and a state representative.

— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Friday dismissed the notion that Kansas University would receive a 7 percent budget cut.

"I hope they will calm down," Sebelius said of higher education officials who sounded the alarm about potential cuts.

"There is no proposed budget cut of 7 percent. I'm frankly a little bit disappointed that that's how it has been highlighted."

And Donna Shank, chair of the Kansas Board of Regents, mirrored what the governor said - KU went overboard.

"We recognize that KU's public reaction to this guidance prematurely generated acute anxiety on this front," Shank said. "It's important to note that it's not yet certain that such reductions will ultimately be necessary."

Lynn Bretz, director of university communications, said late Friday in an e-mail tha the university had nothing to add to the governor's comments, except that the university hoped no cuts had to be made.

Earlier this week, Kansas University Provost Richard Lariviere said the state budget office asked universities to propose a 2 percent cut from this year's budget and 5 percent next year.

If enacted, that would equal a $14.7 million decrease, which KU leaders said would result in layoffs and cuts to some programs and services.

"Students will be affected by any major cuts we have to endure," Lariviere had said. "We're here for the students, so when the university's budget is cut, the students are affected."

But Sebelius said her budget office asked regents schools to follow the same budgeting guidelines that all state agencies have followed during the past several years by providing a proposed flat budget, reduced budget and enhanced budget.

This year, Sebelius said, she asked higher education institutions to participate in the same budget exercise as other state agencies because of state revenue problems that are expected during the next couple of years.

And, she said, she asked schools to consider cuts only in administration that would not affect students.

Sebelius said she was committed to not cutting education funding, although she said universities may face a no-increase budget next year because of tightening finances.

"We're going to have some tough decisions to make," she said.

She noted that during the past legislative session, higher education received its largest increase in 30 years.

"I do think it's unfortunate that a request that the same kind of look be made for possible savings was immediately put out as a 7 percent budget cut. That is not an accurate portrayal," she said.


FormerCentralKansan 9 years, 7 months ago

Who are the highest paid employees on the KU campus other than Bob Hemenway, Lew Perkins, Mark Mangino, and Bill Self? Just curious...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 7 months ago

"Donations to athletics are 80% deductible if points are given in return."If so, then somewhere between 10% and 20% of donations to KU Athletics, and the salaries they pay out, ultimately come at the expense of state and federal taxpayers.

davidsmom 9 years, 7 months ago

I work for a state-assisted public university (of which KU is one) as non-academic staff. My college-age son is working a summer job with a city public works department, and he earns the same amount that I do. Most faculty and staff do not make boatloads of money.

dialectical 9 years, 7 months ago

Hawkperched - I believe an official stance will come from the college on Monday. However, I find it rather disheartening that the initial word is a "planning" stance and not a "here is what happened scenario." The only reason I can see for this being a miscommunication is that the universities apparently have never been asked to draft potential budget cuts, flat budgets, or increased budgets. It doesn't justify the specific numbers coming from KU with 14.7 million dollars being cut. There has to be more that is yet to be seen

OnlyTheOne 9 years, 7 months ago

Start of paste"Students will be affected by any major cuts we have to endure," Lariviere had said. "We're here for the students, so when the university's budget is cut, the students are affected."............And, she said, she asked schools to consider cuts only in administration that would not affect students.End of pasteBut, of course, the "administrators" have to start raising a ruckus so none of them would lose one cent of their excessive paychecks or bennies.

dialectical 9 years, 7 months ago

This is definitely a nightmare for both the University of Kansas and especially Provost Richard Lariviere. I am interested in finding out where the 7 percent projected numbers came into play and how that was factored into a very specific breakdown for next two years.

penguin 9 years, 7 months ago will allow you to search salaries of everyone at any of the Kansas universities.

nbnozzy 9 years, 7 months ago

You don't get rich by working for KU as a member of Support Staff. The health benefits are good so that's why most people are willing to be custodians, plumbers, carpenters, etc...

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 7 months ago

Perhaps there has been lack of leadership by the Governor by not paying attention to the economy. Perhaps, instead of running for VP she should have been taking care of business in Kansas.

Luxor 9 years, 7 months ago

Maybe the provost/chancellor let this hit the streets to get everyone panicked, esp. given the mess in fine arts. Fear is a great way to rule. Take a look at the org charts at the top levels of KU and tell me you can't see a way to cut things.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 7 months ago

"However, it only includes salaries of those individuals paid with state dollars. So Self and Mangino do not show up."Are donations to the Athletic Department tax deductible? If so, then the salaries of Self and Mangino, and everyone else in the department, do indeed come at least partially from state and federal coffers.

dialectical 9 years, 7 months ago

This is the only university response I was able to find in regards to the overreactions of the budget cut miscommunication. This is by KU spokeswoman Lynn Bretz Bretz said the university wasn't trying to alarm its staff or others but start planning for various budget scenarios."The planning process at a large university means that we have an obligation to work with deans and the faculty who oversee the instructional mission," she said. "If we did have to take the two cuts that were outlined to us, it would be difficult to absorb."I am very disappointed that the university seems to be changing their position on this situation. The articles being printed on Monday and Wednesday use specific numbers and even analysis from the provost on how this would hurt KU. This entire week the college has been looking at things to CUT and not planning. You can ask any department and they can tell you that they had specific requests to have a list of things to cut by August 4.You need to call the situation for what it is and not warp it into a political spin to make the college look better. They were asking for planning and the college was making the cuts. Where did this go wrong from the state level to the universities? There has to be an answer.

dialectical 9 years, 7 months ago

I completely agree with hawkperchedatriverfront whole heartedly. Sebelius was not only able to dictate where the potential cuts will come from, but made a mockery of the administrators who acted prematurely. Someone should have found out the specifics regarding the cuts.You can see that schools across Kansas all came up with this magical number of seven percent. The first school was KU and it went like wildfire to the other institutions. I guess the power of media is alive and can create havoc upon anything. I definitely can see the frustrations of KU in regards to this whole situation. They go from a potential 14.7 million dollar gauging of funds to a no increase in supplemental dollars for this year. The departments were frantically searching for things to cut, people to lay off, and which positions can unfilled. If I were an employee of Kansas, I would want some answers on where the miscommunication happened and an assurance of my future with the college. I would also expect this to be fairly soon. I mean if reporters can get the facts straight by a 5 o'clock deadline, surely the prestigious elite of the University of Kansas should be able to establish the correct course of action within a few days.

arlo 9 years, 7 months ago

mangino and self's pay comes from private donations, not from state affiliated dollars.....

TheOriginalCA 9 years, 7 months ago

If this would have been a republican governor doing this, this article would have 200 posts smearing the governor

Shardwurm 9 years, 7 months ago

If there is room for cutting then start with salaries of the bloated staff and teachers. Higher education in this state is a travesty.Instead of the 'Jayhawk' they should have the 'Hamburglar' as the mascot...since they're holding us all up with a mask and a gun.It's a scam and the middle class is paying for it.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 7 months ago

"Governor says university overreacted over budget cuts"Well, the word "over" does appear three times in the above headline alone.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 7 months ago

"she asked schools to consider cuts only in administration that would not affect students"That won't affect student? If those cuts have no affect, then why weren't these cuts already being made?I think I know the answer: because cuts in places like financial aid and housing DO affect students!

penguin 9 years, 7 months ago

However, it only includes salaries of those individuals paid with state dollars. So Self and Mangino do not show up.

gobbluth 9 years, 7 months ago

well i guess tuition going down is about as likely as antarctica freezing back up.

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