Heard on the Hill: Chronicle of Higher education sheds light on state education funding, Kansas State basketball attendance (it’s up!) and a bunch of other KU data, too

Your daily dose of news, notes and links from across Kansas University.

• I picked up my annual Almanac edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education yesterday, which always seems to provide an interesting look around the current higher education landscape.

And, as usual, it shed plenty of light about Kansas, KU and some other Kansas schools, too.

You’ll hear plenty of grousing about dwindling state support for higher education on the hill, especially when tuition proposals are unveiled each May.

And, at least for 2011-12, state support for higher education in Kansas did go down by 7 percent from the previous year. Many other states experienced declines, too.

But I imagine Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little isn’t chomping at the bit to change places with her compatriots in Wisconsin (a 20.9 percent cut), Arizona (down 25.1 percent) or New Hampshire, which saw a pretty staggering 41.3 percent cut in state higher education support.

A few states –notably Illinois, Texas, Rhode Island and North Dakota — actually found some funds to increase support for higher education last year.

• Kansas basketball may still reign supreme in the state, but our friends (frenemies?) to the west at Kansas State seem to have taken a renewed interest in the sport, too.

For an average home game in 2009, Kansas State drew 8,940 fans to Bramlage Coliseum. By 2012, that figure was up to 12,528. The 40 percent increase during that time frame is good for third in the country, only behind Colorado (68 percent) and St. John’s (N.Y., 45 percent).

The seating capacity at Bramlage Coliseum, by the way? If you guessed 12,528, you’d be a pretty smart cookie.

I guess it’s up to new coach Bruce Weber to keep the momentum going over there.

• KU also was ranked on a few of the many lists the newspaper compiled. The school’s research and development funding financed by the federal government came in at No. 78 in the country, at $147.6 million.

That’s right below the University of New Mexico and right above Virginia Commonwealth.

KU also does well at Fulbright scholarships and fellowships. It’s No. 2 in the country in the number of Fulbright scholars (awards given to professors) with nine, trailing only Penn State, which had 14.

I knew that, but didn’t know that it was also in the top echelon of schools receiving Fulbright student scholarships, too. Its 11 awards tied it for 27th in the country with Emory University in Atlanta, the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Washington University in St. Louis.

The university’s endowment is growing, and its 2011 figures of $1.25 billion placed represented an 18 percent gain from the previous year.

The endowment is the 57th largest in the country, just above the University of Nebraska and just below the University of Florida.

• Don’t tell my KU statistics professor, but I’m actually starting to enjoy these numbers a bit. Test your hypotheses and analyze my regressions anytime at ahyland@ljworld.com.