Topeka State higher education officials say they will seek more funding from the Legislature and improvements from the schools as part of an aggressive agenda for the new academic year.
The Kansas Board of Regents wrapped up its annual retreat on Thursday, agreeing to finalize its goals at next month’s board meeting.
“We’re going to have a full plate this year,” said Regents Chairman Gary Sherrer.
Because of the drop-off in tax revenue, higher education funding has been slashed over the past two years.
Sherrer said that is unsustainable. “We’ve taken cuts, and we’ve held the line, but frankly it is starting to show,” he said.
“We’re going to make the case that higher education is a good investment,” he said.
Other high profile issues before the regents will be whether to increase admission standards at public universities — a proposal that KU officials have said is needed.
Related to that will be efforts to increase student retention and graduation rates. Many higher education officials have said low admission standards mean low retention and graduation rates because some students are entering school who aren’t ready.
Sherrer said the regents want specific goals and timelines in this area. “If our goal is to jump higher, we have to define higher,” he said.
KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said she welcomed work on retention and graduation, saying that fits with what KU is focusing on.
“That’s the fundamental,” she said.