Archive for Sunday, July 22, 2012

KU to pursue private sector funding

July 22, 2012


TOPEKA — Like schools across the nation, Kansas University is facing flat or reduced state and national funding, and pressure to stop increasing tuition.

To help address those concerns, KU is now increasing its emphasis on building partnerships with the private sector.

“There is a limit on how much we can increase tuition,” Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said at a recent budget workshop with the Kansas Board of Regents.

“Our fundraising from corporations has been very minimal,” she said, adding that KU is making a concerted effort to increase the amount it raises from corporations and foundations.

In the last fiscal year, KU had $346.7 million in research funding. Of that amount, $195.7 million came from the federal government; $116 million came from institutional, state and local sources; $25.4 million from nonprofits; and $9.6 million from the private sector.

Provost Jeff Vitter said KU has a lot of room to increase that share of private sector research dollars.

“It’s a very exciting opportunity,” Vitter said.

Julie Nagel, director of industrial partnerships, has been tasked with putting together a comprehensive approach for KU to engage private businesses.

Nagel was hired last year to fill the newly created position to develop mutually beneficial partnerships between the school and companies. She works within the KU Center for Technology Commercialization, which assists with commercial development of KU research.

For example, Nagel said over the past few years, many pharmaceutical companies have divested their research and development functions and now are teaming up with universities to conduct research.

“The ground has really shifted where the federal government funding for research is at best flat, and industries are having to look at universities,” she said.

She said companies working with KU “pay full freight for any research project.”

KU also benefits from collaborations with the private sector through setting up pipelines for internships and jobs.

She said if the assets of the university can be used to help the state economy “the whole state wins.”


openhearing 1 year, 9 months ago

overmoon I agree with you response. In moving to private sector funding, let be productive in ensuring that this shift and seeking funding not move to the further governing of such liberties as in classes and research. Yet I have confidence in the mission of the university, which seeks inspiring of minds to conduct such work, regardless of its funding.


Getaroom 1 year, 9 months ago

Well George_B you got what you paid for didn't you by golly, and you put your one cents worth into it! That'll show 'em! You taught them a lesson and they will never come back begging at your door again. I bet you are so proud, the buttons busted right off your shirt. I am surprised you haven't moved to Manhattan to join up with all the other snob hill haters.


George_Braziller 1 year, 9 months ago

Never, never, never will I give another penny to KU. I was tired of them hounding me with the constant calls and solicitations so I taped a penny to one of their mailings and sent it back. Said that was all they'd ever get from me and to take me off the call and mailing list.

That was all it took. After 25 years I haven't received anything. Just because I graduated from KU doesn't mean I live and breathe the place like some do.


Doug Harvey 1 year, 9 months ago

Private interests have looted the public treasury, corrupted the banking system, now they're going to loot public universities. There will be strings attached to this money -- or "chains" might be a better word.


absolutelyridiculous 1 year, 9 months ago

For sale, ivy league wanna be state university. This is disappointing but not surprising. Someday, you will have to be innovative KU...this just delays the inevitable mass firing of tenured professors you will have to do when your enrollment decreases. But ther is always tradition an basketball huh?



billybob1 1 year, 9 months ago

What company would invest in a second rate university?


FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 9 months ago

Complex Flex said "infrastructure" makes you successful. Why does a government institution need money from entrepreneurs? They got 'digital money' from Complex Flex.


Mark Kostner 1 year, 9 months ago

KU should do whatever it takes in this economy to advance the school. Kansas is one of the few states where there is not a major private university around to compete for donor dollars and research. The school should approach all of the corporations in the region and successful alumni anywhere in the world. It's a great university and should be able to raise money privately.


toe 1 year, 9 months ago

Tuition is ridiculously low. Should double today and increase to 4X in 3 years. Corporate funding is useful, but KU will have a tough time reducing staff and redistributing resources as corporate money comes and goes. Still, the corporate money should not be used to reduce or restrain tuition. Very dangerous as money goes away due to failed corporations, scandal, and other forces. Tuition is a lame reason to go after corporate money. Improving basic research is a better excuse.


Jayhawk1958 1 year, 9 months ago

And if privatization takes place you can bet that any program that doesn't turn a profit will be eliminated. Which takes away from the mission and benefits of a liberal arts educaton.


question4u 1 year, 9 months ago

Smart move on KU's part. Kansas universities in general should be looking for private support, building a student body largely from higher paying foreign and out-of-state students, and moving away from state control. As the state ship sinks, universities will be on their own anyway. KU can't physically move out of state, but the next best thing will be to detach itself from dependance on and service to Kansas. Chinese corporations would no doubt be great potential supporters, since it will be as long as another decade before Chinese universities catch up to those in the US in the sciences and engineering. That window of opportunity should be exploited while it lasts. As long as KU is on a course to recruit more Chinese students anyway, they might as well tap into Chinese dollars to do it. K-State is scrambling for ways to replace lost state revenues too, and in May K-State's president Kirk Schulz signed an agreement to receive funding from the Chinese government (China Scholarship Council) for tuition and fees for 20 Chinese doctoral students every year. Fast growing Chinese corporations need scientists and engineers, and could be just as likely as the Chinese government to support Kansas universities until their own can supply their needs. India sends a lot of graduate students to the United States too, and Indian companies could be another source of revenue for KU. Kansas isn't going to be doing much for education in the near future, so it's great that KU is looking beyond state borders. It's too bad for Kansas students, but at least those who can afford higher tuition and can meet KU's new admission standards even as state funding for education drops will still have a decent university to attend.


overthemoon 1 year, 9 months ago

As long as the University maintains a strict policy of not allowing corporate money to dictate course content or research outcomes, ok. However, the trend in corporate funding is showing that there is a tendency for private interests to demand control of the education and research.


traveler12 1 year, 9 months ago

I say let's go total private!!!! Would do a better job than the state.


classclown 1 year, 9 months ago

Memorial Campanile may become the Southwestern Bell tower.


kuguardgrl13 1 year, 9 months ago

If it prevents tuition from going up at too high a rate and doesn't lower the quality of my education, I guess I'm ok with it. Although as a state institution, I wish we were actually funded by the state.


riverdrifter 1 year, 9 months ago

Anything to get away from the hayseed teabaggers.


classclown 1 year, 9 months ago

Maybe they will sell naming rights to all the buildings on campus. Allen Field House becomes Walmart Field House, Frazier Hall becomes Westar Hall, etc.


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