In the wake of continued concerns from a group of Business School master’s students, a review of differential tuition funds at Kansas University is ongoing.
But the university has not yet released a detailed breakdown of how those tuition funds are being spent.
Ed McKechnie, vice chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents, said that it was important for students and parents to have easy access to documents that show what the university is doing with the money — essentially extra course fees levied by individual schools at KU.
He said he was confident that Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and Provost Jeffrey Vitter would get the situation remedied.
“I’m really more interested in how things are going to be moving forward,” McKechnie said. “Just being aware of what went wrong solves only so much of the problem.”
The Journal-World requested a breakdown of how differential tuition funds were being spent at KU in early August, but KU has not yet provided the information. KU officials said initial time estimates to prepare the report were overly optimistic, given that work was started at the same time a new semester was beginning.
In a prepared statement, Vitter said KU was looking forward to compiling the differential tuition report and sharing it with parents, students and the public.
“We are doing our due diligence to complete the differential tuition report in a timely and responsible manner,” Vitter said. “There is no one big pot of data. It does take significant legwork and time to collect information from multiple units and campuses and to ensure that they are accurate, clear and comprehensive.”
Vitter said the university wants to incorporate preliminary results from a review that is under way on the topic of differential tuition in the School of Business.
Earlier this year, a group of MBA students came forward to the KU School of Business with concerns that the money was not being spent according to an original proposal.
At the business dean’s request, an external review of course fees is being conducted at the school. He said the money is being spent properly.
One of the MBA students, David Cantrell, is assisting with the review, but said he could not comment on it because he signed a confidentiality agreement.
Another of the MBA students, Andrew Carlson, said the students wanted to ensure that they received the best possible education.
“We’re supposed to be the example of how you do things right when it comes to business, and right now, we’re not,” Carlson said.
William Fuerst, KU business dean, said in an e-mail that the school continues to be committed to openness and transparency.
“We recently met with some of the MBA students and we will continue meeting with our MBA students because I welcome and encourage questions and ideas about how course fees can be used to continue improving our school,” Fuerst wrote.