Archive for Monday, February 15, 2010

Higher ed leaders told to collaborate more

Leaders of Kansas University and Kansas State University vowed to work together to help solve the state's higher education funding problems and asked state legislators to spare any further cuts.

February 15, 2010, 5:10 p.m. Updated February 15, 2010, 5:11 p.m.


The leaders of Kansas’ largest universities on Monday asked legislators to stop any further cuts to higher education, saying more reductions will produce long-term damage to the institutions and harm the state’s economic recovery.

Facing a $400 million revenue shortfall, the chair of the House Education Budget Committee, told the higher education leaders that now would be a good time to increase collaboration between regents schools.

“You can deliver a better product probably at a reduced price by working together,” said state Rep. Joe McLeland, R-Wichita. He said that in the past, university leaders were too involved in creating “empires” and competing against each other.

Both Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz vowed to worked together.

Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little on Monday testifies to the House Education Budget Committee. She asked legislators to refrain from further cuts to higher education. KU has already absorbed $37.3 million in cuts, she said.

Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little on Monday testifies to the House Education Budget Committee. She asked legislators to refrain from further cuts to higher education. KU has already absorbed $37.3 million in cuts, she said.

“My view is that Kansas is better off not only if we are strong but if other institutions are strong as well,” Gray-Little said.

Both Gray-Little and Schulz told the committee that they supported Gov. Mark Parkinson’s position to hold the line on further cuts to education.

Higher Education has already been cut more than $100 million. Parkinson has called for a tax increase to bridge the budget gap in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Gray-Little said KU has absorbed $37.3 million in cuts and unfunded mandates. That has resulted in reductions in its engineering and nursing programs — two professions that have shortages. “This has the potential to harm the longterm prosperity in Kansas,” she said.

She asked the committee, which will be working on the higher education budget over the next few weeks, to maintain the state’s investment in higher education “even if that requires finding new revenue.”


devobrun 8 years, 2 months ago

Never mind that ancient concept of academic freedom. This isn't about scholarly thought and investigation of new ideas. We are in the age of training. We can't afford the luxury of new, wild thoughts. Or maybe there are no new, wild thoughts. Maybe rehashed Marxism is just plain old stale and uninteresting? Republicans sure won't defend it. And Democrats are probably not interested in the collective either, if the U's must be funded by capitalism.

I was just a kid in the 1950s, but this sure is feeling similar in its conformity. OK, it isn't about June Cleaver, but it is about a new kind of sameness.

Is there anybody challenging authority anymore?

Hello, anybody out there?

Or did anti-discrimination render you completely impotent?

Let's be so diverse that we can't be selective in anything. Except in our hatred of Sarah Palin, of course.

KU was a sorry excuse for the "Harvard of the Plains" in 1973. Now Harvard is a sorry excuse for Harvard of Massachusetts.

Relativism, weaselism.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 2 months ago

What exactly does Rep. Mcleland mean by "collaboration".

I think the Regents systems needs to downsize.

Close Pitt State, Emporia State, and Fort Hays State. Make rural Kansas students "collaborate" by going to college more than 50 miles from home.

devobrun 8 years, 2 months ago

Interesting idea, nightmare.

What, then, is the definition of the regents system?

If the system involves academic excellence, and scholarly endeavors and new concepts, then.......your are right on. Separate KU from the rest.

If it means education.....well that includes training.

Milking cows and teaching cow-like people the most efficiently.

devobrun 8 years, 2 months ago

I like the phrase : The emollient of the masses.

Is emolliate a word?

Is soothing the Republicans the goal while invigorating the Democrats?

Marketing philosophy.Whatta trip!

tolawdjk 8 years, 2 months ago

That is rich.

The legislature advising another body that if they would just "collaberate" more, they could save more money.

You can cut the irony and/or hypocracy in that statement with a spork.

phoggyjay 8 years, 2 months ago

Like I said before...legalization and taxation of the evil green plant for those 21 and up would cover any budget deficit. the time is now to save our communities. l welcome all ignorant responses on how this would not work. We tax and regulate alcohol (a drug that could kill you if you consumed too much), so what's wrong with cannabis (a drug that, no matter how much you consume, will never cause you to overdose). seems like a pretty simple solution…

tolawdjk 8 years, 2 months ago

Oh yeah, toe, that is exactly what I want...a brain surgeon trained by Wikipedia. How about a rocket scientist brought to you by Yahoo!.

cleifer 8 years, 2 months ago

I'm inclined to agree with eric on this one

fromashestoinfinity 8 years, 2 months ago

If the universities work together any more we will only have one major university left with multiple campuses. I feel like we'll lose even more identity with students.

anon1958 8 years, 2 months ago

A major overhaul of the responsibility and duties of the Regents would be a first good step. Higher level university administrators are presently accountable to no one. The rules and regulations that are published and meant to form the basis of operating our universities and resolving conflicts are ignored at will by KU administrators and one may safely assume administrators at other universities.

The regent system is just a complete waste of tax payer money as it is now implemented. The Regents themselves need to evolve from some kind political/social perk to a job that actually protects and safegaurds our education system.

The job of Regent needs to be made into a real job. It needs to be independent from political interference and independent from the desires and needs of university administrators. The Regents need to be a strong line of defense acting on behalf of Kansas taxpayers to guard against corruption, incompetence and politically motivated meddling.

Presently, the system of higher education in Kansas is completely defenseless from the narcissism, greed and just plain stupidity of university administrators. The faculty at the University of Kansas are for the most part complacent and have surrendered any real claim to be the guardians of academic freedom or ethical behavior at our universities. They stand around like ostriches with their head buried in the sand or up their you know what while athletic departments run amok and their colleagues that run afoul of the administration are ground into the dirt.

Because neither the faculty as a group nor the administration has anything but limited self interest guiding their actions, Kansans need independent and meaningful oversight of their system of education NOW. Anything else is just applying ointment to the symptoms.

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