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.”


classclown 5 years, 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.

Currahee 5 years, 9 months ago

Way to give the companies free advertisement. Good job!

always_correct 5 years, 9 months ago

Did you miss the part where he said "sell?"

riverdrifter 5 years, 9 months ago

Anything to get away from the hayseed teabaggers.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 9 months ago

This post pre-removed for using a vulgar sexual term to describe a disappointed progressive.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 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.

classclown 5 years, 9 months ago

Memorial Campanile may become the Southwestern Bell tower.

overthemoon 5 years, 9 months ago

also known as selling out to the devil.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 9 months ago

And Tuition will skyrocket compared to today's rates. Bad idea.

overthemoon 5 years, 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.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

Yup. The Kochs recently purchased themselves some faculty over at FSU, for example.

question4u 5 years, 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.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

This isn't good news at all. The privatization of public universities will result in loss of access to lower and middle class people to higher education. This is good for oligarchy, but not for democracy.

repaste 5 years, 9 months ago

Private money already dictates Department heads, professors at KU. Koch Owns and operates a Dept. at KU, and many other schools, now. It will have a huge impact on higher ed.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 9 months ago

Kansas students don't deserve to be shafted just because the state can't afford quality universities. This coming from an out of state student. It's great that KU allows international students to come here and earn their degrees, but American universities will not benefit beyond the tuition money they receive from these students. Will American students benefit from foreign partnerships, or are these foreign governments going to send their students to our schools and then bring them home to work at their companies without giving us anything? In my experience, foreign students often struggle through English classes, buy large expensive cars, and sometimes get deported for not maintaining their grades or numbers of credits per semester. I know this is not the case for all foreign students, but it does happen. They have to work just as hard in classes as the rest of us. What I'm saying is that we should ask something of them like requesting that they work in the United States for a while after earning their degrees before returning home. Our universities should still be for educating the future generation to enter our workforce. We are not a degree farm for developing countries. There have to be limits on foreign students so that our students here can receive the quality education that their parents' taxes pay for (for now). Maybe I'm being incredibly selfish and unwelcoming, but I don't think it's fair for an intelligent American student to not earn a spot at a school because the school's foreign benefactors need a spot for their student who will leave after 4 years.

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 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.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

4X the current tuition is more per year than Harvard charges.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 9 months ago

Excuse me, tuition is astronomically higher than it was 30+ years ago. My KU out of state tuition runs about $20,000+ a year, not to mention living expenses, textbooks (runs about $500/semester for an incoming freshman), and everything else. Sure, renting and e-books have given somewhat of a break there, but tuition goes up every year for each class of freshman. Not to mention that outside of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the individual schools have class fees. College is incredibly expensive these days, and I commend KU for trying to figure out ways of keeping tuition costs down even if the method is a risk. Funding research will not directly help students with their expenses. State institutions exist to make it easier for students of all different backgrounds to receive a degree. Some would argue that private institutions are more free with their scholarships. That may be so, but many students are not able to receive academic scholarships and so choose to go to a lower quality school because of the cost. If KU and the other state institutions are allowed to remain reasonably affordable, many more students will be able to graduate with a college degree.

Mark Kostner 5 years, 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.

Orwell 5 years, 9 months ago

One that wants to control the educational process. Looks like KU is ready to spread its institutional legs.

absolutelyridiculous 5 years, 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?


Doug Harvey 5 years, 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.

George_Braziller 5 years, 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.

Getaroom 5 years, 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 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm a KU grad and still live in Lawrence. I could write pages about why I'm disgusted with the KU Endowment Association and why I won't give another penny to KU. But it would be a waste of time because you still wouldn't get it.

openhearing 5 years, 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.

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