Archive for Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sebelius’ KTEC cut could cost KU jobs

18 research positions at stake if fund veto stands

April 15, 2009


— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ veto of funding for a state economic development agency could cost Kansas University the equivalent of 18 positions dedicated to high-level research, a school official said Tuesday.

“The loss of these positions would be painful,” said Lynn Bretz, a university spokeswoman. “They’re not insignificant.”

On Monday, Sebelius applied a line-item veto in the state budget to the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp., saying that the agency was failing to do a good job in accomplishing its mission of helping develop and promote technology-based economic development.

“KTEC, under its current organization and operation, has struggled to produce a solid return on our investment in recent years,” Sebelius said. She added that “it makes little sense to use the same system and expect different results.”

The action means that KTEC will lose its $12 million in funding for the fiscal year that starts July 1, unless the Legislature overrides Sebelius’ veto, which would take a two-thirds majority vote in the House and Senate, or pushes through funding in another bill. Lawmakers return April 29 for a wrap-up session.

Leaders of KTEC and several high-ranking legislators have vowed to try to restore funding to the agency.

Bretz said KTEC funding provides about $1 million for the equivalent of 18 positions, all in research fields at KU.

Those researchers are working on cancer treatment drugs, sustainable energy and telecommunications, she said.

Sebelius’ veto puts those positions at risk, Bretz said.

If the veto held, “we would certainly do our best to find other funding sources,” Bretz said. But, she added, because of recent cuts to higher education, it would be difficult to come up with that funding.


frank mcguinness 9 years, 1 month ago

Cancel any agency within the State Gov't that won't turn over records to lawmakers.

KTEC should go!

ModerateOne 9 years, 1 month ago

KTEC is not a state agency, rooster. It merely receives state funding, not unlike a lot of social service agencies. That being said, it does appear that we could use an overhaul in KTEC's leadership.

LloydDobbler 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't believe this. KTEC funding is not going directly to the university to support researchers. It might be linked to people with loose ties to the university or to people who have licenced university-derived intellectual property. We need to hold Lynn Bretz and this newspaper accountable for more in-depth, accurate and transparent reporting. If there is a shred of truth to this, we need to know who at the university is allegedly funded by KTEC, what type of specific research they are doing and in what school, and what prospects they have of developing anything useful.

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