Archive for Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Regents recommend 4 percent funding hike

Amount would cover inflation only; fears persist about possible cuts

The Kansas Board of Regents is asking for a $33 million boost for higher education next fiscal year. State officials recommended the 4 percent increase today.

September 17, 2008


— State officials on Wednesday recommended a 4 percent funding increase for higher education and expressed fears about possible cuts during uncertain economic times.

"We're in unprecedented times in many ways," said Diane Duffy, vice president for finance and administration for the Kansas Board of Regents.

"I'm not sure anybody is clear about a forecast," Duffy said. A downturn in the economy has reduced state revenue below projections.

The regents' recommendation would increase state funding to higher education by approximately $33 million for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, 2009. That includes universities, such as Kansas University, community colleges and technical schools.

Regents members said that amount would only cover inflation.

The proposal will now go to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' budget office for review. Sebelius will unveil her state budget to lawmakers when the 2009 legislative session starts in January.

"We are in the context of a very difficult budget environment," said Reginald Robinson, president and chief executive officer of the regents.

The regents also complied with a directive from Sebelius for state agencies to submit budget proposals that would reduce the current fiscal year budget by 2 percent, and the next fiscal year budget by 5 percent.

But the regents warned that such cuts - $16.3 million the first year and $56.9 million the second year - would have a devastating impact.

In its budget document, the regents stated: "At the request of the governor's budget director, the board submits this list of possible actions, but notes that the impact of base reductions of this magnitude would be crippling and institutional changing."

Under the 2 percent cut, schools would have to delay hiring and reduce equipment purchases. But the second-year whack would result in laying off 609 people and cutting educational programs, according to the regents.

KU Provost Richard Lariviere agreed such a proposal would have drastic consequences for KU.

He said state leaders are trying to determine how to navigate through tough economic times while maintaining high standards.

"How much will it cost to keep a university like KU competitive with the best institutions that we can compare ourselves to?" he said.

As something of an add-on to its budget request, the regents also asked for a 1 percent increase for faculty salaries, which would cost $8 million.

During discussion, several regents emphasized that the 4 percent overall increase was the board's main concern, and the 1 percent for salaries was put in there to remind legislators of the request by universities to close the gap between their faculty salaries and those of comparable schools across the nation.


Godot 9 years, 6 months ago

justthefacts, if you want people to attend college, ask George Soros for the money. He has it all now. He shorted Fannie, Freddie and AIG.

kcsparky 9 years, 6 months ago

Not to mention, is there a problem with not going to college? Some of the richest people I know never attended college. Not just on a personal basis, also on a national level. Here is a nice list of Billionaires that were anywhere from college dropouts to high school dropouts. many people think that the only way to be successful is that when you graduate high school, you HAVE to go to college. 100% wrong.

Godot 9 years, 6 months ago

Apparently the Board of Regents do not read newspapers, don't have access to the internet, and do not have stock brokers. If they did, they would realize that the State of Kansas is going to face a huge budget deficit in 2009.Earth to Board of Regents - you need to cut your budget request by 30 per cent, minimum. In fact, you will be lucky if anyone but the most wealthy person is able to afford to attend any institution of higher learning in 2009. And if they can, do you think they will choose to attend a school in Kansas?

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 9 years, 6 months ago

We are in a recession, likely to become a depression, and you idiots increase by 4 million. I am a taxpayer. This is my money you are spending under the conditions mentioned previously. I protest in the strongest way possible about this lunacy. Thank you, Lynn

justthefacts 9 years, 6 months ago

If the Regents cut the intitutional budget's by 30%, then the only way to keep the schools open will be to increase tution. That is not going to make it easier for the poor to obtain college degrees. I am 150% in agreement that times are tough and everyone needs to cut back as much as possible. But with the rising price of gas and other costs, just keeping up with inflation would mean the schools are only treading water, not improving on anything. If you want Kansans to be able to attend a college, you'll want to pay a % portion of your taxes needed to keep the doors open. If you think we pay to much for education, feel free to go over the budgets and make suggetions on places to cut (they've already cut out 2% this year and 5 for next year). If you think only the rich deserve an education (in some other state that still has colleges), well then by all means cut the money given to support our state higher educational institutions. .

Godot 9 years, 6 months ago

justthefacts, the party is over. The largest insurance company in the world was just brought to its knees by the hedge funds. Then it was nationalized, without consent of Congress or the president, by the Treasury.Do you get the import of that action?You are not just living in Kansas anymore; your are now a comrade of the USSRA.

kcsparky 9 years, 6 months ago

Why not go ahead and let them spend more money. Then we can be in the same boat as California. (California) Gov. cutting all kinds of jobs, forcing other state employees to work for minimum wage, and having cities like Vallejo file for Bankruptcy (yes the city council voted for the city to declare bankruptcy 7-0). All this because the cities and state kept spending because they thought they NEEDED this and that, and didn't have the money to start with, just figured the feds would bail them out, again.

Shardwurm 9 years, 6 months ago

The State colleges are pricing themselves out of the reach of the average student.When we pay $1,000 for a class and have a graduate assistant teach it one has to wonder what the hell is going on.Agree with several above: Get a clue - we're in a recession bordering on isn't the time for ask for blood from a turnip.

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