News story after news story out of Topeka tells us of the severe fiscal condition facing the state and the programs and activities that state tax dollars help finance.
With education taking the biggest bite out of the state tax pie, there is justification for all those interested in or employed by an educational institution to be extremely concerned about how public schools and the state’s higher education system will be impacted.
This certainly is the case at Kansas University. Cuts already have been made throughout the university, and officials now say further cuts will be damaging and will dig into the muscle of the school. It’s very serious.
And yet, KU athletic officials appear intent on pushing ahead on construction of a luxury seating area atop the east side of KU’s Memorial Stadium so major contributors can sit in comfortable seats, have a drink and watch the KU football team.
Are there any priorities at KU?
Athletic department officials tried to justify the $34 million project by saying that, after it was built, they would contribute $40 million to the university’s academic program. How long will it take for the Gridiron Club to become profitable, and over how many years will the proposed $40 million be paid?
How about paying the $40 million this year to help meet the school’s present needs? Or maybe starting now to pay $10 million a year for the next four years? The need is now, not down the road.
Such a plan might meet with far more approval than a pledge to contribute $40 million over “X” number of years, starting “X” number of years from now.
A plan dealing with present needs would justify the chancellor’s support.