TOPEKA— The Kansas Board of Regents will spend three days this week at a hunting resort during its annual retreat to discuss higher education issues and what to seek from Gov. Sam Brownback and the 2013 Kansas Legislature, which convenes in January.
“Hopefully, we get to the end of this and we will have some idea what our legislative agenda is going to be,” said new Regents Chairman Tim Emert of Independence.
Given the tight budgets of recent years, Emert said, he hopes higher education “can hold our own and get targeted funding that both the governor and Legislature” can approve.
The retreat starts today as board members talk with representatives of technical schools, community colleges and regents universities, including Kansas University.
On Thursday, the board will hear from former KU provost David Shulenburger, who is a senior fellow at the Association of Public Land-grant Universities, and will talk about trends in higher education. Regents will also discuss the issue of distance learning.
On Friday, the board will discuss its goals for the coming school year.
In recent discussions with the board, KU officials have said they want the higher education budget proposal to include $30 million to construct a new $75 million medical education building at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. And they want a $2.5-million-per-year appropriation to support an institute that would combine various areas of research to develop and commercialize new drug and disease treatments.
The regents retreat is being held at Flint Oak, a hunting and fishing resort outside the small town of Fall River in southeast Kansas. It was selected by Emert, who said the regents got a lot done last year during a retreat at a hunting resort in Arcadia.
At that annual meeting last year, Brownback visited and told higher education officials that the academic rankings of Kansas universities had to improve. In the latest U.S. News and World Report, KU ranked 46th among public schools and 101st among all national universities. Kansas State ranked 73rd among public schools and 143rd among all national universities.
Brownback will not be attending this retreat.