KU Budget Cuts
A look at how Kansas University has distributed more than $33 million in budget reductions.
Area - Positions Cut - Funding Cut
Provost areas 9 $2,641,863
Edwards Campus 0 $58,721
International Programs 0 $1,074,084
Architecture, Design & Planning 4 $395,587
School of Business 4 $921,647
School of Education 2 $699,632
School of Engineering 10 $1,093,781
School of Music 0 $368,452
Journalism/Mass Communications 3 $235,477
School of Law 2 $593,248
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences 27 $5,374,353
School of Pharmacy 5 $507,134
School of Social Welfare 2 $250,419
Research and Graduate Studies 23 $1,922,606
Student Success 15 $849,789
Finance 5 $306,003
Facilities Planning & Management 37 $1,352,463
Chancellor’s areas, including University Communications 1 $620,313
School of Medicine 61 $5,845,765
School of Medicine-Wichita 7 $4,138,654
School of Nursing 11 $549,887
School of Allied Health 9 $657,017
KU Medical Center Non-Academic Support Units 48 $3,362,298
Totals 285 $33,819,193
Distributing $33.8 million in budget cuts at Kansas University hasn’t been easy, and university administrators say the cuts have had wide-ranging effects.
KU has seen the elimination of 285 jobs since the state budget cuts started being handed down in July 2008 — 100 of those posts were already filled, with the remainder coming from not filling open positions.
“This puts us in a place where we will start fiscal year 2011 with our year in balance,” said Theresa Gordzica, KU’s chief financial officer.
The university hasn’t had to lay off any faculty members, but 85 of the 285 eliminated jobs were faculty posts vacated by those leaving KU or retiring.
“It’s painful for everybody,” said Greg Simpson, KU’s interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, which has seen a loss of nearly $5.4 million. “But I think they recognize that every institution is having these problems. They’re not being singled out.”
Gordzica said that administrators handed down percentage cuts to deans and other leaders, who chose how to best allot them for their school or area.
She said university administrators did offer a few guidelines:
• Schools weren’t allowed to shift costs out of their unit to somewhere else.
• Leaders were asked to look at all areas and protect areas of strength and excellence.
• Across-the-board cuts to all departments and programs were highly discouraged.
Also, she said, there were some expectations of looking to the future.
“Let’s take an eye toward where we want to be so we can come out of this as strong as possible,” Gordzica said. For example, Simpson said he was able to shelter two newly created centers from cuts — the Center for Global and International Studies and the Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis. Those are both called for in the college’s strategic plan as areas of need for the future.
KU used about $7.1 million in tuition funds to offset some of the state budget reductions, Gordzica said.
The cuts go beyond personnel. KU has eliminated its Learning Communities Office, which served 435 students in fall 2008, helping them stay in school. Most of the other cuts are not so dramatic, Gordzica said, and involve everything from increased efficiencies, cuts to office supply budgets and less money for travel for professors to attend conferences.
Course sizes are larger and classes are being offered less often. In the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences alone, KU offered 75 fewer courses in fall 2009 than the year before.
Only two significant university-wide areas have avoided cuts so far, Gordzica said — the university’s utilities budget and library system, which has played a role in bringing in outside dollars from research grants.
Things are worse at KU Medical Center, where the school has had to absorb similar cuts in state funding to the Lawrence campus, though it serves far fewer students, leaving it less able to recoup losses through tuition. In all, 136 of the job losses have come from KUMC, with many more positions being shifted to other sources of revenue there, including research or clinical dollars.