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Archive for Thursday, September 20, 2012

Statehouse Live: Kansas Board of Regents recommends $47.1 million budget increase for higher education

September 20, 2012

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The Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday recommended a $47.1 million budget increase for higher education. Pictured from left to right at the meeting are Kansas Board of Regents Chairman Tim Emert of Independence, Chief Executive Officer Andy Tompkins, and Regent Robba Moran of Hays.

The Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday recommended a $47.1 million budget increase for higher education. Pictured from left to right at the meeting are Kansas Board of Regents Chairman Tim Emert of Independence, Chief Executive Officer Andy Tompkins, and Regent Robba Moran of Hays.

— Topeka — The Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday recommended a $47.1 million increase for higher education, while Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget office has instructed state agencies to prepare budgets that cut 10 percent.

The regents proposal would increase higher education funding by 6.2 percent for the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2013, and includes a 1 percent pay raise for state employees.

But Board Chairman Tim Emert, of Independence, said he didn’t believe the Brownback administration wanted a specific 10 percent cut.

“The direction we got was hold the line, do the best you can. If you have any proposals, they must be specific, they must be to push the economy of Kansas forward,” Emert said.

He added, “It has been four or five years since our state employees have had any raises and we just felt we owed it to them to do at least a minimal amount.”

In July, Brownback’s Budget Director Steve Anderson sent letters to state agencies, including the regents, asking them “to provide a reduced resource package of 10 percent from your State General Fund budget; an amount required by our current circumstances.” Anderson also wrote: “No salary plan changes should be shown as part of your budget request.” On Thursday, Anderson said the regents were supposed to submit a budget plan with a 10 percent cut as a contingency plan.

Democrats have said Anderson’s letter provided a preview of what will be years of budget crises caused by Brownback’s massive tax cuts.

Brownback, however, has said the request for 10 percent cuts was an exercise that was part of the budget process.

Asked by reporters what a 10 percent cut would mean to higher education, Regent Kenny Wilk of Lansing said, “It would put a tremendous amount of pressure on tuition.”

Long-term issues

Wilk said he was confident Brownback and the Legislature will work with the regents on putting together a budget for the next fiscal year. And he said the regents have started working on more long-term funding issues for higher education.

During regents budget meetings, the board cut down $185 million in requests from higher education institutions to get to the $47.1 million “ask.”

On Thursday, the board approved its budget recommendation on a unanimous voice vote. It will now go to Brownback, who will make his own proposal to the Legislature when the 2013 session starts in January. After that, legislators will start working on a budget plan.

In addition to the 1 percent salary increase, the regents’ budget includes $12.2 million for inflation and $8 million for technical education.

Med Center request

Under specific items for regents universities, the proposal includes:

l $2.8 million in recurring funds to “improve the stature” of the Kansas University Medical Center, especially the School of Medicine campus in Wichita.

l $1 million for the next fiscal year as part of a proposed $30 million in state funds to pay for a new health education building at the Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.

KU has hired a consultant, ECG Management Consultants, to provide analysis on what needs to be done to improve the School of Medicine in Wichita.

A memo from KU to the regents says, “Early reports from the ECG study indicate a need to invest more state funds in the educational program in Wichita to support more permanent faculty, thereby reducing reliance on volunteer faculty.”

The Wichita campus used to provide just third- and fourth-year training to medical students, but in 2011 was expanded to a full, four-year campus. In 2011, the inaugural first-year class in Wichita consisted of eight students. This year, that has grown to 28 students.

Comments

question4u 1 year, 12 months ago

Last year, the Regents universities had a $7.3 billion impact on the state economy.

KU and K-State have just gone backwards in the national rankings. But that shouldn't trouble anyone. If flat funding for four years has put some of that $7.3 billion in jeopardy, it doesn't matter. Who cares that investment in higher education returns $12 for every state dollar. This is Kansas, and folks don't like to be challenged by logic. They don't want to think about things like inflation. They want simple solutions, like: just say no.

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LJD230 1 year, 12 months ago

Both of the baby KU med school campuses should be shuttered. No reason why 3rd and 4th year med students can't do their clerkships in Wichita under the supervision of physicians who are appointed to the KU faculty and after MAJOR academic affiliations with the affected hospitals are signed.

Us whatever money is saved to bolster the training of physician-scientists on the main medical school campus so that it becomes a national resource for the training of other than family doctors.

And yes, KU should seek major academic affiliations with the major hospitals located in the located in the greater Kansas City area.

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SnakeFist 1 year, 12 months ago

Interestingly, healthcare costs rise by between 7% and 8% per year (http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/29/pf/healthcare-costs/index.htm). I guess we should find an alternative, huh?

While I agree that universities need to do a lot more to keep their costs down, including focusing on education rather than constantly creating new administrative positions, you've clearly never been to college. Maybe if you had gone to college, your posts would be rational and intelligible.

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Tracy Rogers 1 year, 12 months ago

If it's been 4 or 5 years since they've gotten pay raises, where the hell has the money been going from the tuition increases every year??

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parrothead8 1 year, 12 months ago

To fill the void created by shrinking financial support from the state government.

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clip1954 1 year, 12 months ago

Go to this link http://www.kansasopengov.org/StateGovt/PayListings/stateEmployeePayList/tabid/1553/Default.aspx you may have to copy and paste it in your address bar. .It is slow to load so have patience. First take a look at teh lowe half of the page .Now you get the idea! Wait until you see the rest I recommend downloading (exporting )the csv file and opening it in micrsoft excel.Next filter the wages highest to lowest and see how far down you have to go to get to one hundred and eighty thousand a year .The look and see who the large majority of those wages are for . Keep in mind that the Govenor of Kansas and his cabinet make less than 180,000 a year

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clip1954 1 year, 12 months ago

A better posting than my last( I should have proof read ) For a little truth go to this site. You may have to copy and paste the address into the address line of your browser http://www.kansasopengov.org/StateGovt/PayListings/stateEmployeePayList/tabid/1553/Default.aspx It is slow to load so have patience. First take a look at the lower half of the page .Notice the wages .Now you get the idea! Wait until you see the rest. I recommend downloading (exporting ) the csv file and opening it in Microsoft Excel. Next filter the wages highest to lowest and see how far down you have to go to get to one hundred and eighty thousand a year .The look and see who the large majority of those wages are for. Keep in mind that the Governor of Kansas and his cabinet make far less than 180,000 dollars a year. Feel free to share.

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 11 months ago

It will be up to the tea party Kansas legislature and governor to decide if they get it.

Should be interesting.

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