Archive for Tuesday, March 23, 2010

KU chancellor says success of local businesses highly dependent on success of higher education

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was the guest speaker Tuesday at a luncheon sponsored by the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce.

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was the guest speaker Tuesday at a luncheon sponsored by the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce.

March 23, 2010


Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said Tuesday that higher education’s success in Kansas is directly tied to business’ success, and encouraged area business leaders to help promote KU’s cause in Topeka.

Speaking at a Lawrence Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Gray-Little said KU is a large economic presence in Lawrence and spends millions on goods and services in the community.

“There’s a special relationship between business and prosperity in higher education,” Gray-Little said.

She said 17 active start-up companies have been generated from faculty research done at KU, and the school brings in $200 million per year in federal grant dollars.

KU also is increasingly unable to fill work force needs in areas like engineering and nursing, she said.

“The concern is, when will we get to the point where we cannot recover?” Gray-Little said.

She encouraged business leaders to contact state government leaders and ask them to hold the line on higher education funding. KU has reduced its staff by 285 positions, along with making a host of other spending cuts across its campuses.

“Certainly this means something to us, but it also means there are fewer customers” spending money in Lawrence, she said.

Tom Kern, chamber president and CEO, agreed that the success of KU, Lawrence and Douglas County were interconnected.

“It’s very important for the business community in Lawrence to understand that relationship, that when KU hiccups, there’s an impact,” Kern said.


somedude20 8 years, 2 months ago

This is a two way street. Yes, KU helps out the L-town but if Lawrence was not a nice place to rest your head or did not meet the needs of the KU students for four years, then KU would not be as popular as it is now and would lose money. Kind of like mutualism in that the town and school need one another

Bob_Keeshan 8 years, 2 months ago

Take KU out of Lawrence and this town would be just one more place between KC and Topeka, no different than Eudora, Tonganoxie, etc.

And even though the owner of this newspaper disagrees, we'd all be posting on the equivalent of the Iola Register.

nobody1793 8 years, 2 months ago

Remember, she's probably coming from the context of the success of Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, and hasn't yet learned how things (don't) work in Kansas.

fairplay 8 years, 2 months ago

Is this an admission that taking the KU/MU game to KC was done at the expense of the local economy? Would that be accepting responsibility for causing dollars to flow out of Kansas into Missouri? Doesn't it also indicate that the University and Athletic Dept.'s concern for the local economy is secondary to their own greed?

Jack Martin 8 years, 2 months ago

@somedude20 - It wasn't quoted in the story, but Chancellor Gray-Little did talk about all the benefits Lawrence provides to KU. One in particular is that Lawrence is a great recruiting tool when we are seeking to bring students, faculty and staff to the university.

average 8 years, 2 months ago

I'm not sure she quite grasps how little the majority in the state legislature likes Lawrence. Tell them "it'd be bad for Lawrence" and their eyes light up with glee.

Shardwurm 8 years, 2 months ago

Just remember that when she speaks she's speaking for the benefit of the Education Industry and no one else. In some twisted way she's attempting to justify wearing a mask and gun when she robs the Middle Class for $80,000 in tuition for a Sociology degree.

She probably won't address why the cost of college has out-stripped inflation by 400 percent since 1980 or that the $200 million in Federal Grant money is our tax dollars. It's not like Kansans don't pay Federal Income Tax.

What I would like to see from her - and her Minor League system (public schools) - is a figure on how much is enough. I want to know right now how much money we need to shovel into the fire in order for all educators to just shut up and do their jobs. How much should a college professor make? $500,000 a year? What about a high school teacher? $225,000? What will make these people happy? Give us a figure and let us work towards that.

I won't get an answer because the truth is there is no such thing as 'enough' when it comes to feeding the Education Industry beast. High cost. Low performance. Awesome.

Graczyk 8 years, 2 months ago

You wrote four paragraphs of complaints, Shardwurm. What is your solution?

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