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Archive for Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Statehouse Live: Engineering bill gains Kansas Senate approval

March 23, 2011

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— The state Senate on Wednesday approved legislation designed to increase the number of engineering graduates.

The measure would allocate $4 million next year, and $7 million each year after that from gambling revenues to a fund that could be used by the engineering departments at Kansas University, Kansas State, and Wichita State.

To access these funds, the schools would have to match the money from non-state sources.

The legislation also allows the issuance of up to $195 million in bonds to build and equip engineering facilities at any of the three universities.

The measure has been pushed by Senate leaders, business representatives and higher education officials.

Several senators voiced opposition to the proposal, however, saying the state shouldn't increase debt during the current tough fiscal times. The state faces an estimated $500 million revenue shortfall in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Comments

jayhawkrider 3 years ago

Industry based in KS is actually pushing this effort. They've told the state that there is a shortage and that they will build facilities out of state if KS doesn't have a plan to address this. I'm really happy to see that KU has taken the lead on this effort. I graduated in'93 from KU engineering. While I was there, they instituted the lame technology fees and we still had cruddy lab equipment and an out of date building with men's urinals in the women's restrooms! My sister got her engineering degree fromTexas A&M, which gets tons of corporate support, and they have marvelous equipment and industry-sponsored projects to work on. She graduated with 300+ other mechanical engineers while I had 100 people in my class. I would love to see KU compete on a more level playing field with A&M and UT for engineering. This is a huge accomplishment that will keep jobs and peope living in KS!

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MrMEtoo 3 years ago

As a current ku engineering student, degrees aren't just handed out to make people feel better about themselves. "failing" someone is keeping an unsafe person off of a job that might involve the general public's safety.

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Ken Lewis 3 years ago

Well when I went through KU engineering school, they actively tried to fail as many as they could to keep people out. I guess that theory did not work so well.

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question4u 3 years ago

The House would like to cut the salaries of engineers who work for the state by 7.5% (unless their salaries are already well below those in the private sector, in which case they would be cut on a sliding scale). That would suggest that members of the House think that there is a surplus of engineers and that it doesn't matter how you treat them because there's nowhere else for them to go. Meanwhile, Brownback and the Senate think that there is such a demand for engineers that it's worth investing state money in engineering programs at Kansas universities.

Who is right? When you consider that the House includes Mike O'Neal, Anthony Brown, Connie O'Brien and Virgil Peck can there really be any doubt?

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