Archive for Wednesday, February 25, 2009

KU provost calls for ‘prudence’ in making higher education budget cuts

February 25, 2009


Deep budget cuts to higher education under consideration in the Legislature will cause serious harm to Kansas University and jeopardize federal stimulus funds, officials said Wednesday.

Lawmakers have already cut 4.25 percent from the current higher education budget.

And because of sagging tax collections, some legislators have told higher education officials to prepare for cuts of 10 percent or more in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

KU Provost Richard Lariviere told the House budget subcommittee on education such a cut would “do serious and lasting damage.”

The reductions would lead to layoffs, crowded classes and a reduction in course offerings, Lariviere said.

“KU recognizes the need for cuts at this time, but we also recognize the need for prudence and balance in those cuts,” he said.

Budget cuts have a more dramatic effect on the KU Medical Center because it is more dependent on state general funds, said Barbara Atkinson, executive vice chancellor of KU Med.

In her testimony, Atkinson noted that a 15 percent reduction would mean a loss of $18.2 million at the medical center -- more than twice the size of the School of Nursing budget.

Atkinson said KU would never close the School of Nursing, but added that significant budget cuts would increase shortages of health care professional in Kansas.

“Considering the shortage we’re already facing, a further reduction would be devastating,” she said.

In addition, cutting too much in higher education would jeopardize a portion Kansas’ share of federal stimulus funds, according to Reggie Robinson, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Board of Regents.

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the state must maintain funding for higher education at the 2006 level of $747 million, Robinson said. If the state does that, then it can access up to $82 million in the federal funds.

But if state funding falls below that “maintenance of effort” then it cannot access the federal stimulus higher education funds, he said.


Budgets_Smudgets 9 years, 1 month ago

Yet we are pleading for the chance to give away millions of dollars of non-resident tuition to "legacy" non-residents?

Something doesn't make sense.

oakfarm 9 years, 1 month ago

When George Bush used the word "prudent," he was ridiculed mercilessly. What goes around comes around. If budget cuts mean crowded classrooms, then the provost isn't doing a very good job of managing. KU, like most public universities, want the best facilities, the lowest tuition, the highest paid professors and administrators, and unlimited enrollments, all paid for by someone other than those who benefit from the university. This is an opportunity for real "change", not just re-heated rhetoric and earmarks. Get real.

KU_cynic 9 years, 1 month ago

Across the board salary cuts of 2% for everyone -- chancellor, provost, deans, coaches, ADs, professors -- making more than $50,000 per year. Fewer layoffs, little effect on classroom offerings, and some shared sacrifice among those best able to bear it in these tough times.

Simple . . . and prudent.

Kookamooka 9 years, 1 month ago

I have to agree that the people at the top have been getting paid WAY to much frickin money in the last few decades. I have a hard time believing that what they do is worth that much money. The departments have been operating on shoe string budgets for years so the money has to be going somewhere and I think it's been to the hightest paid facutly people. Fire your top tier (5 people gone would recoup millions of dollars immediately), promote the next tier-pay them 50 % less than the top and 20% more than they have been making and most of the employees under them can stay employed.

Sharon Aikins 9 years, 1 month ago

Is Prudence the new accountant I saw advertising for business? Seriously, I'm sure there are a few layoffs there that wouldn't make a big difference. Used to work on campus and the hardest part sometimes was looking busy. There were way too many of us kept on all year so they would have us for those times they needed us. And those few times could have easily been handled by temporary student employees who could type.

So what if the classes are crowded. One of the best ones I took had 750 in it and was in Hoch. Still learned more than in some smaller classes. Make some of the people there making the big bucks earn them. Cut out some of the jobs at $25-30,000 a year that could be done by others in the offices. Reading that $18.2 million is only 15 % of the budget for KU School of Medicine, well.

I don't begrudge anyone what it takes to keep something running but all the whining doesn't mean the money's gonna be there. Why not take on the challenge to see if they can't run the whole thing more efficiently and still accomplish as many of their goals as they can? Better yet, why not encourage some alums to give a little more for educational purposes for the university and a little less to the KUAC. Isn't education what it's all about in the end?

cthulhu_4_president 9 years, 1 month ago

redmoon has got it. Anyone whining about the AD's salaries should realize that the goal should be to woo the donors away from the KUAC. It's worthless to talk about slashing AD's salaries to save KU money since they are two completely separate entities. The Athletics Corporation is just that, a privately owned corporation, and as such it's budget and salaries are privately funded, and so have nothing to do with KU's current crisis.

The only possible way to tap into that revenue (more than KU already has through merch, tickets, etc) is at the source: the donors.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 1 month ago

I'd love to know how much you have donated to Endowment for scholarships. You complain about people giving to KUAC? Then balance it out and give money yourselves to the school. I would guess that you don't give to the school either.

And please - tell me how cutting the $25-30K jobs will help. You need to work here to know that those making that salary are already doing the work of three people. Please know what you are talking about before posting these statements. If you know so much, why don't you sit down with the Provost and tell him what to do.

smarty_pants 9 years, 1 month ago

When donors make a targeted contribution to KUAC, they sign off that under extraordinary circumstances, the money can be used in other areas. Aren't these extraordinary circumstances? Look at some of the fat cat programs run by donor money still in existence at KU. Look at the salaries for some of the administrators who run these donor-funded programs. KU could save a lot of money by cutting that fat, for sure.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 1 month ago

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the state must maintain funding for higher education at the 2006 level of $747 million, Robinson said. If the state does that, then it can access up to $82 million in the federal funds.

And some folks still wonder how we got in this financial mess.

Shardwurm 9 years, 1 month ago

How about making professors get back in the classroom and teach like they were hired to do instead of 'researching' the week away and taking trips to conferences on the school jet?

That would be a good start.

Oh...and double the tuition so no more middle class can afford to go - only the subsidized poor and the filthy rich. That way they can go out and get jobs like they're supposed to and pay the taxes the university needs to survive.

MyName 9 years, 1 month ago

It's really funny how a bunch of yokels who probably couldn't balance a private company's books and know next to nothing about how to run any kind of enterprise feel as if their status as "citizen-taxpayers" make them resident experts in how to run things at this city's largest employer.

But hey, I'm sure all of this free advice will be put to good use! Your "Thank You" letters are in the mail!

cthulhu_4_president 9 years, 1 month ago

"How do people continue with this delusion?"

The fact that it's the truth helps a little.

Suffice to say that your argument is a little overgeneralized, and many of the same arguments in your last paragraph could also be applied to the manager of the "Pizza Hut" in the Union, or any other corporation with any presence on campus (that's why their salary is part of the state controlled budget! That's why they don't pay property tax etc. etc).

Your last sentance, however, is completely false as most donor contributions go into things called "Scholarship Funds" which actually do have something to do with academics.

There are two commercial entities operating on KU's campus. One of them is bleeding money and trying to stay afloat through these cuts. The other is run by Lew Perkins.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 1 month ago

Copy that, TOB.

One clarification is that not all of the money that goes to the Williams Fund is deductible; only 80% of it.

cthulhu_4_president 9 years, 1 month ago

How about a detailed listing of the money going in and where it goes to?

Not hard to find. Do your own homework.

Believe all you want like I'm sure you believed the market was just going to keep going up a few years ago!

Glad you had to resort to a personal attack to prove your point. Keep it up! It doesn't make you look stupid at all!

You are misinformed. That is all.

cthulhu_4_president 9 years, 1 month ago

Very well, one last time. You are misinformed because your entire viewpoint stems from the fact that you perceive KU and KUAC as the same entity, joined at the hip, as evidenced by the sentance "as though the reason KU is here is to provide sports entertainment to the world". KU isn't providing anything, the KUAC is, and KU gets to make money off of it in many ways (facilities, parking, IT support, etc) and, true, the KUAC gets to see benefits, I never denied this. You seem to have the typical mentality that KU and KUAC together equal one big bully soaking up money, which is an opinion that I used to share. Then I got out of my comfort zone, did some research, and actually took a position inside the department to better understand the beast, and I realized that the actuality of the relationship is a mutual back scratching, and one that is very profitible from the KU side.

That is why you are misinformed, because you misunderstand the basics of this relationship. You see only the $$ that the AC gets and none of the $$ that KU gets, and your last couple of posts show that you are unwilling to leave your particular comfort zone and realize how this relationship actually works, evidenced by the statement that you've asked for some information before, and no one has provided it. If you wanted the info so bad, why didn't you go get it yourself? I will not pander you, friend. I'm not providing the info because getting people to objectively look at an issue is more important to me than a childish display of proving one wrong. You must leave your comfortable, KUAC hating, zone to find the info you seek. Maybe then, after an objective look, will you realize that the issue is not as black-and-white as you claim, which all I've been trying to say all along.

Rant over, leaving now, not visiting again. I hope I've answered all your questions.

oakfarm 9 years, 1 month ago

Why be prudent when you can be president instead? How is this NOT a story in the J-W?

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