Archive for Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Brownback’s budget office recommends funding cut to higher education

December 11, 2012, 3:17 p.m. Updated December 11, 2012, 4:55 p.m.


— Gov. Sam Brownback's budget office has recommended a funding cut to higher education of approximately 8 percent.

"That would be a significant slice," said Mary Jane Stankiewicz, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Board of Regents. "We hope it doesn't come to that," she said.

News of the proposal came Tuesday, one day after Kansas University officials met with Brownback, seeking a $30 million commitment from the state for a new medical education building at the KU Medical Center campus in Kansas City, Kan.

KU officials declined to comment on the proposed funding cut. "We’re going to wait and see what the governor’s budget recommendations are in January before talking about effects," Jack Martin, director of strategic communications at KU, said in an email.

Stankiewicz said the regents has appealed the recommendation made by the Division of Budget, which is headed by Brownback's Budget Director Steve Anderson.

Brownback will reveal his budget recommendation next month when the 2013 legislative session starts. The governor's budget plan then goes to the Legislature for consideration.

"He has been very supportive of higher education," Stankiewicz said of Brownback.

In September, the Board of Regents sent Brownback a budget request that included a $47.1 million increase, which would be about an increase of about 6.2 percent. Part of that wish list included a 1 percent pay increase for the 18,000 employees working on university campuses.

But in a meeting with the regents in November, Brownback said there was little chance of an overall spending increase for higher education, but possibly additional dollars for specific projects.

Brownback’s administration has told state agencies to prepare for tight budgets and has directed them to include a 10 percent cut in their spending requests for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

The most recent revenue estimates show the state faces a $300 million revenue shortfall, mostly because of tax cuts Brownback signed into law earlier this year.

The state is decreasing its individual income tax rates for 2013, with the top rate dropping to 4.9 percent from 6.45 percent. Also, the state will exempt the owners of 191,000 partnerships, sole proprietorships and other businesses from income taxes.


Keith Richards 5 years, 6 months ago

That seems to be about $10 million dollars or more from the budget. It is only a matter of time until state funding for a state university approaches 0%.

KansasLiberal 5 years, 6 months ago

The part of their budget that they get from the state is now in the teens, so at the rate that it's going it won't be very long until it gets to zero. When that happens will the universities go private or go under?

MyName 5 years, 6 months ago

Hardly. Even if it were good for the University, which is debatable, it would mean one less affordable education option for young Kansans and the only people who gain are the older Kansans who already have their degree and are now paying less tax.

It's another case of the Governor being penny wise and pound foolish.

Mike1949 5 years, 6 months ago

Everyone raise their hand if they didn't see this coming!

Paul R Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

That is his goal for all levels of education.

Alyosha 5 years, 6 months ago

"He has been very supportive of higher education," Stankiewicz said of Brownback.

How so, exactly? In word? In deed?

Alyosha 5 years, 6 months ago

Hardly. The Kansas budget shortfall was created by tax cuts that deprive the state of revenue necessary to fulfilling its core duties.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 6 months ago

Gee, Aloysha, that sounds just exactly like what GWB did.

tomatogrower 5 years, 6 months ago

Come out of your bunker. This is state funding, not federal funding. Yet another uninformed ranter who lost the election for Romney.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 6 months ago

""He has been very supportive of higher education," Stankiewicz said of Brownback.


And re-electing that black man is how we repay his generosity!!?

Steve Bunch 5 years, 6 months ago

Meanwhile, KU fails to look for new revenue streams, such as online degrees and degree completion programs for "nontraditional" students. Instead, it seems to think that dumbing down its core curriculum will attract and retain more of the 18-22 year olds, a cohort that Census data tell us is dwindling. Circle the wagons and charge!

MyName 5 years, 6 months ago

WTF? Are you even paying attention? The latest round of recommendations is to raise the admission standards, not to dumb anything down. And there's an entire campus in Kansas City devoted to mainly non-traditional students.

Or are you somehow claiming that KU should now give up on the idea of being a public university and just drop the in-state discount? That'd be a great alternative funding source.

Steve Bunch 5 years, 6 months ago

I understand your points, and the fact that admission standards are being raised while the core curriculum is being watered down is a perfect example of the rudderless approach KU seems to have. As for the Edwards campus, enrollments are down there. Meanwhile, there are nontraditional students all over the state (not to mention internationally) who would like to complete a bachelor's or obtain a graduate degree without having to uproot families and leave their jobs to move to Lawrence for a KU degree. KSU and FHSU have recognized this fact for years and have positioned themselves well for the changes that are occurring demographically and in higher education. By the way, I deplore the state's waning support of higher education, but we've seen it happening for decades now. Some schools have accepted that reality and moved accordingly. KU, for the most part, hasn't. That's sad.

KiferGhost 5 years, 6 months ago

Revenue and education should not even be mixed together. We do education, or should, because it is the right thing to do. Trying to make money off it is what a crass and petty society would do.

beeline 5 years, 6 months ago

As KU is noted to have become one of the 15 most over-rated universites. Reputation doesn't carry you forever.

Ana_Phor 5 years, 6 months ago

My understanding is that certain programs at KU, including several grad programs, are still some of the top in North America. The pharmaceutical chemistry program and the Speech Pathology program come to mind--both are nationally renowned.

More to the point...I'm not sure how competitive KU is in terms of graduate funding. I was admitted both to KU and to a Canadian university for graduate school, and had to pick the Canadian school because it would have actually been cheaper for me in the long term--not to mention a better program. Cutting higher ed funding is going to cost the state a lot of high-achieving young people over the course of the next decade or so, as its schools will cease to attract students from out of state and fail to retain native Kansans. Still, if it has to be this or elementary and secondary ed, I'd rather they cut higher ed--at least if we give our high school students a leg up, they'll be able to escape to states with more legitimate higher ed institutions than what ours will inevitably become.

KWCoyote 5 years, 6 months ago

Isn't K-12 on the chopping block too, given that it's about half of the state budget?

voevoda 5 years, 6 months ago

The ratings referred to in this article are hardly objective. While the "over-rated" moniker garners a lot of attention, a more honest report would say "university rankings diverge sharply depending upon the rating criteria used."

Richard Heckler 5 years, 6 months ago

Cannot believe anything that Sam Brownback says......

His game is to appease ...... then the hatchet drops.

LogicMan 5 years, 6 months ago

Can you say "hiring freeze"? By dumb luck, it was a good time for KU's new application system to crash and burn.

Alyosha 5 years, 6 months ago

Only trouble with your thinking is that it's a core duty of the Kansas government to provide for intellectual, educational, vocational and scientific improvement by establishing and maintaining public schools, educational institutions and related activities.

Your stance is wholly alien to traditional Kansas values.

voevoda 5 years, 6 months ago

While you're right about the duties of Kansas government, Alyosha, this isn't the only trouble with lawrenceguy40's assertions. Here are some more ways in which he is mistaken:

1) KU does not teach "kids." It teaches adults.

2) KU does not teach students to become "idle liberal bums." Generations of Kansas graduated from KU, but the state is more Republican than ever. Most graduates gainfully employed. Virtually all have residences. So not idle, not liberal, not bums.

3) "The folks on the hill [will] collect their pink slips." Although an 8% cut will undermine the quality of KU's education, it won't result in professors getting fired. That sort of cut does not constitute financial exigency, and so cannot justify firing tenured faculty. So who would lose their jobs? Staff people, starting first with the lowest paid maintenance personnel. The most junior student services personnel. Lecturers who are paid a pittance already. Graduate teaching assistants, who are not only low-paid, but who depend upon their assistantships to be able to complete their degrees. That is, taxpayers of Kansas. Not people who are "robbing" taxpayers of Kansas.

4) Why should any patriotic Kansas "Rejoice!" at a financial crisis so severe that the governor needs to recommend such large cuts to basic public services?

KiferGhost 5 years, 6 months ago

And to think at one time the state actually use to create universities because of the obvious benefits it would bring to the state. Now our chief clown in charge is more concerned about bringing a FEDERAL research center to the state that puts the most dangerous animal diseases right in the middle of the area with the animals that could be infected.

tomatogrower 5 years, 6 months ago

Oh, and the jealous anti education poster!!! College graduates make more than people like you. There is a much smaller unemployment rate for college degreed workers. Sorry, you couldn't be bothered. Also education makes you think critically, instead of getting all your info from college drop outs.

chootspa 5 years, 6 months ago

Oh, you mean I was supposed to become a liberal bum instead of a taxpaying citizen? I did it all wrong.

Alyosha 5 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

KWCoyote 5 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, bro. Now we can be beggars, thieves, drug dealers and hedge fund managers who vote Teabagger.

KiferGhost 5 years, 6 months ago

Only way Brownshirt can continue to be elected is by making Kansas dumber than it already is. Funny he expects the universities to bring in FEDERAL dollars for research yet rejects FEDERAL dollars for arts, the health insurance exchange, and education. Oh and also likes those FEDERAL dollars that come for farming.

KiferGhost 5 years, 6 months ago

It is amazing that Germany has done everything are right wing wackos have been against and now kicking our butts. They believe in education and not figuring out ways to make a profit off it because they are smart enough to understand that smart people are an advantage for economic development. By the time Brownshirt is done Kansas will be the Asia with low paying jobs and no benefits. Kansans have set their sights high.

James Nelson 5 years, 6 months ago

Brownback would be totally lost if he was made to stop talking out of both sides of his mouth.

KiferGhost 5 years, 6 months ago

Maybe it is time to change the tax code so endowment can no longer funnel tax write offs for sports and see if there are any KU donors who care about education.

JayhawksResist 5 years, 6 months ago

Don't worry guys, the students of KU aren't going to allow this to happen. Organizing is already happening.

WilburM 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm getting so old. Can't tell the difference between humor or irony and a serious comment. KU Students? Please.

classclown 5 years, 6 months ago

JayhawksResist December 11, 2012 at 7:58 p.m

Don't worry guys, the students of KU aren't going to allow this to happen. Organizing is already happening.


Hahahaha Kumbaya kids!

James Nelson 5 years, 6 months ago

It does no good whatsoever for the governor to publicly state he is going to spare necessary state expenditures when his administration starts wielding the ax on the state's budget because, it is HE, you understand, that will decide what is necessary. We are all part of his grand republican experiment in which he hopes to prove taxes can be slashed and the increased business activity (trickle down, anyone?) resulting from the tax cuts will actually increase tax revenues. Never mind this theory has been disproved countless times as Sam hopes it will work this time and propel him to the presidency. We have all witnessed his attempts to hold on to the religious right. He thinks they are in his hip pocket but he realizes he will need much more than that. That is where we come in, folks. We are supposed to help Sam prove the unprovable, that he is a real wizard capable of catapulting economic messes.

From where I sit, from the numbers presented and judging from the number of vulnerable Kansans who would have been treated most inhumanely if he gotten his way already it is easy to see the governor hates people who stand in his way or cause money to be spent on their behalf, regardless of their need or even what professional opinions may be.

Kansans who learn more about the governor as we go along do not appreciate his hell or high water, take no prisoner, my way or the highway, dictatorial demagoguery. Its really simple for the governor; just grab the state budget by the throat and strangle it like I saw my grandfather do many times with a chicken. Sure, a lot of innocent and vulnerable people get hurt in the process but its a necessary evil and the end justifies the means. That has always been his mantra, whether he will admit it or not.

I, for one, resent his making me take part in his foolish doomed experiment by allowing him to bankrupt Kansas while kicking the weak and under-represented to the curb.

KiferGhost 5 years, 6 months ago

And trickle down has already proven to be so successful, gosh has it been over 10 years since the taxes have been cut at the federal level and look at what it has brought us. Perhaps we should pray that Brownpaddy looks at facts and see how we after implementing Bush's tax cuts we are now living in the worse recession/depression since the big one.

Water 5 years, 6 months ago

Howz about we abolish the death penalty. The guilty must be sent to a cosmetics research or automotive crash testing facility. Yea! This could save the lives of a few animals and save tax payers money.

Let's say Kansas Government agencies can sell their surplus on Ebay or other similar internet websites to obtain closer to true value instead of the pennies on the dollar they receive now from Kansas State Surplus.

Stop that State Contract way of doing business. With the internet allowing people to search for product using a computer or smart phone, it doesn't take much time to find a cheaper product than what the contracted company has. Kansas should stop offering energy efficiency improvements to the poor and start spending on their own energy sucking buildings scattered over the 100+ counties. These improvements pay for themselves; thereby, saving tax payers money.

KWCoyote 5 years, 6 months ago

State support enables academic departments to be independent, not prostituted to one interest or another. The Kochs have bought control of Florida State U's departments of economics and business. FSU can only hire profs who say stuff the Kochs agree with. Does that sound like a way to achieve quality? Ha!

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 6 months ago

ALEC has effectively taken control of the State of Kansas.

I imagine they are giddy with excitement.

Matthew 6:5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

KWCoyote 5 years, 6 months ago

If Kansans and Americans don't throw the Kochie-head politicians out of power now, forcefully into the street on their tailbones, and stop the subversion of democracy by big money, they're in for several generations of misery until maybe their grandchildren learn how to be revolutionaries and overthrow the plutocrats.

texburgh 5 years, 6 months ago

Should anyone be surprised?

Steve Anderson is on loan to Brownback from Koch Industries - before becoming state budget director he worked writing "model state budgets" for Americans for Prosperity, the Kochs' anti-government organization. The Kansas model suggested that tuition for state colleges and univeristies should be equal to that of private institutions because state support gave a competitive edge to the state system. This cut will go a long way to letting Anderson and the Kochs get their wish since tuition will rise to offset the cut.

Brownback is essentially pricing many young people out of higher education or driving up their debt through larger student loans. He will boast that he lowered their taxes but then charges them dramatically more for an education.

Brownback and Anderson support the Romney plan for education: Everyone should have as much education as they can afford.

KWCoyote 5 years, 6 months ago

Brownback's plan also includes making higher education less affordable for low-income students, so the students getting degrees are from mainly upper-income families. This will perpetuate inequality, whereas a good degree in the past was an equalizer that made the slogan about working hard and getting ahead meaningful.

KWCoyote 5 years, 6 months ago

The Koch brothers' ties to Nazi Germany was researched by CNN.

verity 5 years, 6 months ago

Folks, RC77and LG40 are writing satire---aren't they?

tir 5 years, 6 months ago

These proposed deep budget cuts to universities will result in layoffs, and support staff, rather than faculty, will likely bear the brunt of this. I seriously doubt that Brownwhack's income tax cuts will encourage the Kansas business owners who receive them to create enough jobs to take care of the unemployment caused by huge budget cuts to higher ed. They will simply pocket the cash, and there will be more people on unemployment and in need of public assistance in Kansas. And these unemployed people will certainly not have much money to spend on goods and services, so local businesses will make less. How is that going to help Kansas business?

verity 5 years, 6 months ago

Good points on every count.

Despite the presumption by some on here that KU staff just sit on their collective butts and do nothing all day, when support staff goes away, the faculty members have to take up the slack. It's rather inefficient to have faculty spend their time doing things which support staff know better how to do so can do faster and at a much lower salary.

Department heads, who also teach, spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to cut budgets rather than focusing on teaching.

A big problem I see in budgeting is that if you don't spend all your money one year, you lose it and don't get as much the next year. Maybe that has changed? It leads to excessive and sometimes ridiculous spending at the end of the fiscal year.

wastewatcher 5 years, 6 months ago

When the Regents Schools can demonstrate to the public that they are hurinh worse than the Kansas Citizens, I will support their need fgor more money. Until then, they should submit and ask for an audit by the public. We all know of very wasteful expenditures by all of the schools, such as paying hundreds of thousands to retiring leaders when there wasno obligation to do so.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 6 months ago

. As far as your fox news rantings about waste, do you have any proof? Thought not...

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