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Archive for Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hemenway advises state lawmakers: ‘You can’t cut your way to excellence’

Leaders of state universities said Wednesday that budget cuts in the 7 percent range so far have been painful, but manageable. But they said further cuts that are under discussion would cause serious damage.

February 11, 2009, 4:36 p.m. Updated February 12, 2009, 4:01 p.m.

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— Leaders of state universities said Wednesday that budget cuts in the 7 percent range so far have been painful, but manageable. But they said further cuts that are under discussion would cause serious damage.

A reduction of 10 percent "would significantly harm our students," said Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway.

Hemenway and other university presidents spoke to a Senate budget subcommittee, as lawmakers face a $200 million budget deficit in the current fiscal year, and upwards of a $1 billion deficit in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

To meet a 3 percent cut called for in the current fiscal year by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, KU has trimmed $4.6 million at the Lawrence campus, and $3.7 million at the KU Medical Center, Hemenway said.

The school says it plans to layoff 11 and leave 110 unfilled positions in preparation for more projected cuts.

At the KU Med Center, the school says it is looking at eliminating 76 positions; 47 of those are currently occupied. In addition there will be a cut of $2.3 million in new equipment, technology, maintenance and program support.

Half of the positions remaining unfilled on the Lawrence campus are faculty positions, which means fewer course offerings and larger class sizes, Hemenway said.

The proposed cuts, he said, also jeopardizes expansion of the Pharmacy School.

But state universities may face deeper cuts.

Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jay Emler, R-Lindsborg, has said the budget crisis may force additional cuts in the next fiscal year from 10 percent to 19 percent.

Hemenway said a 10 percent cut would mean additional layoffs, employee furloughs, increased class size, and reduced course offerings that could impact students’ ability to complete their degrees on time.

Despite the state's dire financial condition, Hemenway sounded an optimistic note, saying that Kansans have often faced tough challenges.

But he added, "You can't kill off the intellectual future and be a successful state. You can't cut your way to excellence."

Earlier, presidents of Emporia State University and Fort Hays State University told the committee that they have taken steps to handle budget cuts in the 7 percent to 10 percent range.

But they said any deeper cuts will have a dramatic effect on the quality of higher education in Kansas.

"You're going to change the scope of the institution," said Fort Hays State President Ed Hammond when referring to cuts in the 12 percent to 15 percent range.

Hammond said a 15 percent budget cut at Fort Hays State would result in 85 layoffs, more than 10 percent of the school's workforce.

Emporia State President Michael Lane said the school has left open 73 positions because of the proposed 7 percent cuts.

Any further cuts will result in layoffs, Lane said.

"I can't accomplish that without putting Kansans out of work," he said.

Comments

jumpin_catfish 5 years, 10 months ago

Everybody's sufferin' so suck it up KU, you're no better than anybody else. And despite all the fear mongering from Obama on down, we as a country will get through this.

kansasplains 5 years, 10 months ago

Actually, a lot of things taught have nothing to do with a good overall general education. These are specialties, very minute--especially, for example, in English, sociology, etc.-that benefit only the teachers involved. A lot of these could be cut and students would be a lot better off. If they want to continue these small areas of interest, they could do so on their own, just as non-university students have had to do for many years.

james bush 5 years, 10 months ago

Does that mean the schools of social welfare and women's studies will be gone?

igby 5 years, 10 months ago

Lol!It appears the off-spring of higher education can't count very well or else America, would not be in a depression. They been on the dole too long!

KLATTU 5 years, 10 months ago

Set backs? Count your lucky stars if you' can stay in business at all. The next couple of years are about surviving, not advancing.

janeyb 5 years, 10 months ago

Higher education from community colleges to Harvard and Yale are having to cut back at least 5% and growing. It is an across-the-board level playing field. Put the shut with the up and do it. Some universities are closing down on Friday to save energy---they are being innovative. Try it.

Kryptenx 5 years, 10 months ago

kansasplains: You go to high school to get a "good overall general education." If someone wants to pursue a small area of interest on their own they wouldn't pay out the ass to enroll in college. If a course only benefits the professor teaching it, there would be no enrollment, and therefore the course would be dropped. Suggesting that university's limit students' choices to general courses is ridiculous. You fail to explain exactly how you think this will make students better off, or what qualifies you to make such absurd assumptions.Would any of you accept the cuts proposed if it was something else you paid for? Namely, a 15% cut in a service you pay over $8,000 for a year?

remember_username 5 years, 10 months ago

jumpin - since an institution cannot "suck it up" you must be referring to the educators employed there. Like everyone else they are already "sucking it up" by coping with crumbling infrastructure and inadequate resources to educate your children. The university leaders are simply pointing out that further, deeper cuts will have an impact that will extend well beyond the recession period.That said, many Kansans have already made it clear that a quality higher education is nothing more than a unaffordable luxury. To those people Kansas is an agricultural state where twelve years of education, perhaps even a BA, is good enough. "Let the smart ones get an education elsewhere, they'll leave the state after they graduate anyway".Yes, and who can blame them.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 10 months ago

If higher ed had stepped in with the unions and the other shadowy big-money folks who greased the skids for the O'dude's election, they might be getting a larger slice of pork. Pay to play, it's the Chicago way.

Puff_Dragon 5 years, 10 months ago

coping with crumbling infrastructure and inadequate resources to educate your children.Waaaa, waaaa....waaaaWho was in charge of making sure the house wasn't falling down around you? Inadequate resources? So what have you been spending all of the millions of dollars on?

KU_cynic 5 years, 10 months ago

Three solutions:1. Across the board 3% KU salary cuts on salaries that exceed $50,000. No effect on class sizes and offerings.2. Eliminate non-core programs that do not lead to meaningful careers for graduates: American studies, women's studies, African-American studies, Latino studies, sports management, communication studies, etc. Leave core liberal arts (sciences, literature, languages, history, psych, economics, etc.) and professional schools (engineering, pharmacy, business, nursing, education, journalism) alone, but prune off those fringe areas that service only academic fads and identity politics.3. Demand dividends from athletics: henceforth for every $100 donated to KUAC $25 goes into a general KU fund for academics.C'mon Chancellor Bob, show us you still have a pair, no matter how shriveled.

Bubarubu 5 years, 10 months ago

"Higher education from community colleges to Harvard and Yale are having to cut back at least 5% and growing."Only partially true. Look east where, rather than impose cuts of 15-25%, MO Gov. Nixon has budgeted level funding for higher ed with the promise of no tuition or fee increases. Nixon realizes that an educated workforce is key to holding whatever ground is available and will be key to advancing in the future, and that universities are drivers of economic and cultural advances. But no, here the answer is "suck it up you hundreds of people who shouldn't have a job anymore" and "why do all parts of the state need higher ed, just shut down two campuses."

penguin 5 years, 10 months ago

I just do not understand why everyone is down on the University leaders for saying cuts would hurt. They are advocating for their people. You might disagree with their need of money, but it is hard to knock them for their effort. However, I do find it funny some of the cuts that people are floating (Communication Studies is also the home for KU Debate...I doubt that it gets cut too much). Also demanding that donors give to academics and athletics will just have a negative impact on giving to academics. Many high dollar athletics donors give to academics already. if you place a mandate on this process your setting a ceiling for their donations not a basement. These donors would then feel no need to give to academics because, part of their donation is already going there. I'm guessing that would also be the response you would hear from KUAC, Endowment, and on down the line.Really there are two ways to fix funding issues: 1 increase tuition and try to hold the line on enrollment or 2. increase enrollment and hold the line on tuition.The first is the KU model from the first 5 year plan. The second is the FHSU model starting around that same year. KU has seen modest growth in enrollment and FHSU has seen theirs skyrocket (a good deal of which is because of the virtual college). Fortunately, KU has seen the light...possibly...with the tuition issue for out-of-state children of alums. This could be a change to trying to grow enrollments to pay for things instead of just increasing tuition payments.

kujayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

You can't spend your way there, either.

rabbit 5 years, 10 months ago

There is two TA teaching a basic course and they are both idiots why not start there.

KU_cynic 5 years, 10 months ago

Thus far KU's leadership has dealt with the needed cuts by cutting just about equally across academic areas and programs. How is cutting excellent programs and cutting mediocre programs (and KU has plenty of both!) equally a recipe for excellence?Here's a recipe for excellence: we will do some things very well, we will try to do some other things better, and we will quit spending scarce resources on areas at which we aren't doing well and can't justify why we should try to do better.Okay, maybe Communication Studies doesn't deserve to be on the chopping block (although it's a puff major even though it houses the debate team). There are plenty of other little niche programs that eat up resources without promoting valuable careers for students. Let's axe them!

mwwkw 5 years, 10 months ago

Is the point of a university education just to get a job? And using that logic, let's track students early on so we don't "waste" math classes on people who are going to be lawyers and we don't "waste" history classes on people who are going to doctors. Seriously, do I "NEED" American history classes to get a job? No -- so axe the history department. Do I need to have any familiarity with American literature? Nope -- axe English! Do I need Calculus? Nope -- bye bye Math. We could have KU whittled down to a few typing classes by Friday! C'mon folks, doesnt' anyone see ANY value to education besides getting a job? Is that waht it's all about -- birth, train for a job, work for decades, die? Ther's NOTHING else?

volunteer 5 years, 10 months ago

Wasn't it just two years ago that Hemenway created a Provost for Diversity? At two hundred grand or so? I think we could start by looking in that direction for places to cut without harming the students.

crimsonlaugh 5 years, 10 months ago

toe (Anonymous) says…You cannot spend your way to excellence either.But to benefit the state and country in the long run, you need to make investments and that does take some money. KU_cynic (Anonymous) says…2. Eliminate non-core programs that do not lead to meaningful careers for graduates: American studies, women's studies, African-American studies, Latino studies, sports management, communication studies, etc. Leave core liberal arts (sciences, literature, languages, history, psych, economics, etc.) and professional schools (engineering, pharmacy, business, nursing, education, journalism) alone, but prune off those fringe areas that service only academic fads and identity politics.I cannot even begin to explain how ridiculous this is.

windex 5 years, 10 months ago

Create an inexpensive new major called "Wal-Mart Studies." Except don't really study Wal-Mart, just train people to work there. Now THAT is some practical knowledge. Asian Studies? Communicashun? Puh-leeze!

FarneyMac 5 years, 10 months ago

In this thread:Comments about higher education from dolts who never experienced it.

KS 5 years, 10 months ago

crimsonlaugh - KU-cynic is on to something. I think cutting around $8 million and only losing 11 jobs says something about this university. There is entirely too much fat. That is true with any organization and if we all beleive this economy is as bad as we are being told, then we need to start doing something about it rather than whine. At this point in time we need to stick to the basics and that includes higher levels of reading, writing, arithmetic and responsiblity. BTW, for anyone that asks, yes I do have a college education and from what I consider a better school that KU.

absolutelyridiculous 5 years, 10 months ago

Hemenway is just going through the pain publicly...poor guy (eye roll). I think we're going to be okay folks. Teachers will have to do something they haven't done in a long time...teach. All the technology and facilities in the world do not an education make. Hemenway is just getting HIS education now. All this will lead to a much better education that uses BOTH sides of the brain...not just the left.

Godot 5 years, 10 months ago

Lets look at this situation through the lens of Obamanomics. It is shameful that a few priviliged public employees like professors, government administrators and coaches, are given so much more money and privileges than the average public employee. Why should they be entitled to big homes, new cars, vacations, big retirements when their comrades are suffering? Why, many of these people even fly in airplanes!!! How shameful.Government employees should be subject to a cap on salaries, and should be required to travel by either train, bicycle, Prius or electric golf cart for all official functions. For the cap on pay, two times the mean income of all Kansans is more than fair.I am sure our better paid comrades will be honored to sacrifice for the common good.

temperance 5 years, 10 months ago

I appreciate all of these higher education geniuses coming out of the woodwork with their fantastic proposals. I like Cynic’s idea of a 3% salary cut for KU employees making over 50K. That will ensure that the best faculty and administrators will immediately look elsewhere for work. KU will plummet in national rankings, the value of a KU degree will likewise drop, and -- within a few years -- the school will have the efficacy of a mediocre junior college. Brilliant.

KS says we need to get back to the 19th century with, “the basics and that includes higher levels of reading, writing, arithmetic and responsibility [sic].” Awesome. Who needs science or foreign language? The kids will just major in “Responsiblity,” whatever that is.

Finally, we have “You can't spend your way [to excellence], either.” Right. KU just needs to have a fresh attitude and a little New Age music. Colleges and universities don’t need funding to exist! I know this is true because I read an editorial in World Net Daily once that there’s no link whatsoever between school funding and educational outcomes. I mean, Socrates worked for years gratis. Why can’t KU professors do the same?

Godot 5 years, 10 months ago

Where will all these talented faculty go when institutions of higher education all over the country are faced with the same mammoth budget shortfalls?

Saying we need to pay shamefully high salaries to government employees to keep them from going to other government jobs is a ridiculous argument.

temperance 5 years, 10 months ago

They'll go to other schools that aren't instituting Cynic's 3% cut. They aren't "shamefully high" just because you think they are. Show us the comparative data that KU faculty and staff are overpaid compared to peer institutions before dismissing the argument.

Bubarubu 5 years, 10 months ago

"KU-cynic is on to something. I think cutting around $8 million and only losing 11 jobs says something about this university"

KU cut 11 currently occupied positions and left 110 open positions unfilled. That's 121 jobs cut. Do the math, try again, come back when you can read and add (might it help to attend a remedial course, or should we cut those as part of the fat?)

Godot 5 years, 10 months ago

Obviously Temperance is not on the Obama bandwagon when it comes to spreading the wealth. The only wealth Temperance wants spread is someone else's.

Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 10 months ago

hawkperchedatriverfront wrote "It is a privilege to go to college, not a right."

Which is true with KU's qualified admissions approach. I have a problem with the idea that I am required to support an institution with my tax dollars but don't have access to its services. I wonder how it would be if I called Highway Patrol for a traffic accident and was told they wouldn't respond to my call? Or if I went to Department of Commerce's Workforce Centre and was told I wasn't qualified enough to search for a job with them? Yet as a State we have allowed the University of Kansas to establish policies whereby the refuse their essential, core services to taxpayers based on "qualified admissions."

absolutelyridiculous 5 years, 10 months ago

Thinking_Out_Loud...you nailed it right on the head.

sarahsmilehawk 5 years, 10 months ago

As with any story about KU or Lawrence Public Schools, I can only bear to read the first few comments.

I'm actually quite concerned that my student job will get axed. If that happens, I probably can't stay in school. That would be sad, because I'm actually getting an excellent education. And you're all jerks.

MyName 5 years, 10 months ago

@Thinking_Out_Loud:

I have a problem with the idea that I am required to support an institution with my tax dollars but don't have access to its services.

It depends on which services you are "trying to access", just like many many other state supported institutions. This is doubly true as state tax dollars only make up about 1/4 of the overall budget at KU.

But, as a good tax paying American, you're welcome to spend time on Campus, check books out of the libraries there, spend time in the museums there, listen to the public lectures there all for free. You also have access to surveys, maps and all sorts of other information put out by people who work at the University absolutely free.

But if you want to attend classes and earn a degree, you have to be accepted, enroll, and pay tuition and student fees. Sounds like a fair system to me.

Jeteras 5 years, 10 months ago

To tell you the truth this crisis is weeding out all of the non productive "just showing up for a paycheck" and the "should already be retired paycheck milkers" from government. I work for the government and the job duties of the 3 people that were either "incentived" or forced to retire have been absorbed by others including myself and we have accomplished more things more efficiently than in the last 10 years!!! The biggest hit on this and some of you call me crazy is the baby boomers are all now at retirement age and we will all be stuck footing this retirement bill now and into the future. I have two children which is either above or at the average family size today, compared to both of my parents have 5-7 brothers and sisters who are turning 55-60. Do the math,, times,, the entire U.S.!

Shardwurm 5 years, 10 months ago

Educators are so good at this. They've convinced the public that they're worth a lot more than they are.

In any case, there's enough fraud and waste at the university level that no student should have to suffer from a cut. I know of at least two people who work at the university and both of them have told me their jobs should be cut...they really don't don anything but surf the web every day.

And by the way...it's not like they're saying "We have all this money but we're not going to give it to you." They're saying: "There is no money so we can't." Figure it out.

Maybe you could start by taking a look in the mirror and asking yourself if a Sociology degree is really worth $80,000 to a young person. Considering it will take them 30 years to pay that off you shouldn't be getting any sleep at night.

Godot 5 years, 10 months ago

I wonder which universities are hiring and offering bigger salaries this year?

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Godot 5 years, 10 months ago

Economic woes cause additional cuts in the university's budgetEconomic woes cause additional cuts in the university's budget. By Whitney Sager -- Daily Staff Writer | Sunday, January 11, 2009 10:37 PM CST ... www.iowastatedaily.com/articles/2009/...

The Independent Florida Alligator: News - Machen: UF faces massive ...Jan 16, 2009 ... Added up, the cuts would entail a university–wide budget that is $72 million to $75 million leaner than the 2008–2009 budget. ... www.alligator.org/articles/2009/01/16... - 37k -

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Godot 5 years, 10 months ago

I respectfully suggest to Mr. Hemenway that, at this point in time, the goal of the University should not be competition with other institutions, but survival.

KU_cynic 5 years, 10 months ago

Just as many workers in the economy are discovering that they are overpaid (as they are laid off or experience salary cuts and watch their co-workers get laid off), I believe that many (not all) KU professors are overpaid. "Where else are they going to go?" -- indeed. Face it, if KU and other institutions had been able to see this storm coming a year or two ago there would not have been any raises last year or this year. Is it crazy to ask the best paid faculty to give a little back? Call me crazy.

The callous attitude of many faculty is galling:

"This is just terrible, terrible, that we have to lay off those secretaries, academic advisors, work-study students and lecturers. We'll sure miss them. What???? You'd like me to take a 2-3% salary cut in the spirit of shared sacrifice and save some of their jobs! Outrageous!!!"

beatrice 5 years, 10 months ago

Maybe KU should just cut all sports programs. I'm sure the people of Lawrence would understand.

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

"Hemenway advises state lawmakers: ‘You can’t cut your way to excellence’"

What is even harder is "spending your way to solvency" as, Lawrence, Kansas, and the US is about to find out the hard way.

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

beatrice (Anonymous) says… "Maybe KU should just cut all sports programs. I'm sure the people of Lawrence would understand."

I am actually fine with that. I don't care much where the cuts come from so long as they come, just as I don't care where Hemenway goes, just so he in fact leaves.

sarahsmilehawk 5 years, 10 months ago

PS: Sports programs are not funded with tax dollars! Lew Perkins makes a disgusting amount of money because the football and basketball teams bring in tons and tons of money through ticket and merchandise sales. Cutting sports programs would harm the Lawrence economy first, and then the University would suffer once prospective students decided to get an education somewhere more fun.

bluephenom 5 years, 10 months ago

It's really tough right now and everyone is going to sacrifice something... whether its a one percent pay cut (professors salary cuts at Brandeis University) or finding a new job, It's all a part of a new trend (http://sparxoo.com/?p=86) that takes us away from what we're used to and pushes us into unfamiliar territory.

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