To the editor:
Financing of Kansas government operations is of great concern and needs more ideas from citizens before our next legislative session. I am distressed by the dearth of ideas from your editors or columnists addressing sensible spending reductions.
In your recent editorial you rightly decry the negative policy of reducing Kansas University Medical Center’s funding for graduates in high-demand fields. The key criterion for continued funding of public university academic programs should be demand for graduates in the labor market. Supporting scholars in esoteric subjects, no matter the excellence of their scholarship, is a luxury that must be scrutinized in these difficult times. Preservation of research excellence into inner-Asian languages is remote from Kansas’s labor market needs.
We must reduce duplication of programs among Kansas’ public universities. Why don’t the regents offer to sell one (or both!) of the two law schools in the state to a private academic institution or shutter one? All of the academic programs under the regents’ responsibility need to be addressed for their relative contribution to a strong state economy.
More nurses, by all means, yes! More linguistic anthropologists studying disappearing languages, no! More chemists, yes! More lawyers, no! I invite my fellow citizens to identify public programs with little relevance to a strong economy for the next round of spending reductions and preserve those educational programs with the disproportionate positive impact on the economy. Entire academic programs should be eliminated and educating health professionals, particularly nurses, should be increased commensurate with market needs.