Archive for Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Brownback, Gray-Little say stable state funding important to KU’s efforts to improve

April 23, 2013


A stable level of state funding will allow Kansas University to continue its efforts to improve itself, Gov. Sam Brownback said Tuesday during a visit to KU to defend his proposed budget for higher education.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was in Lawrence on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, to meet with KU officials, including Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, and talk about his budget and higher education.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was in Lawrence on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, to meet with KU officials, including Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, and talk about his budget and higher education.

On the second day of a tour of Kansas Board of Regents institutions, Brownback praised KU’s leaders after meeting with them at KU’s Bioscience and Technology Business Center on the West Campus. He praised the Kansas Legislature, too, even as he spoke to support a flat budget for higher education instead of the cuts proposed by state House and Senate leaders. But he said some new legislators may not be familiar with how the state’s universities are funded — for instance, he said some have wondered why KU cannot handle a cut in state funding when it’s in the midst of a campaign to raise $1.2 billion in private funding.

But the KU Endowment Association’s fundraising isn’t intended to replace state funding, Brownback said.

“They want this as an enhancement, not a replacement,” Brownback said.

While Brownback has recommended continuation of the current level of funding for the next fiscal year, the House has proposed an across-the-board cut of 4 percent, or $29.2 million, while the Senate recommended a 2 percent cut. The House plan also contains a cap on salaries that KU officials say would hurt the university’s ability to retain and recruit top-level faculty.

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, along with other KU officials, met with Brownback Tuesday afternoon. She echoed his words about the Endowment’s “Far Above” campaign, saying those private funds help pay for things like scholarships, distinguished professorships for accomplished researchers and new buildings, while state funds largely help fund KU’s educational mission.

“My view is that if it is seen as a replacement for state funding, it undercuts the whole fundraising effort,” Gray-Little said. The point of the fundraising, she said, is for KU to improve its standing. But if state funding is reduced, she said, it will hurt that effort.

Republican leaders in the Legislature have said that KU and other universities should be held accountable for years’ worth of rising tuition. And Democrats have criticized Brownback’s accompanying push to make the 6.3 percent state sales tax permanent, saying that it amounts to a cover for the income-tax cuts he signed into law last year.

But Brownback, whose budget also provides $10 million over two years for a new education building at the KU Medical Center, said state support would be important for efforts to produce more doctors and engineers for the state in the future. And, he said, he believed that higher education would likely be a target of legislators’ questions regardless of the state’s budget situation.


Roger Tarbutton 2 years, 5 months ago

She echoed his words about the Endowment’s “Far Above” campaign, saying those private funds help pay for things like scholarships, distinguished professorships for accomplished researchers and new buildings, while state funds largely help fund KU’s educational mission.

Like the $18 million spent to house a one page document KU doesn't even own?

ltownatrain 2 years, 5 months ago

Well technically the Allen Field house is owned by the Kansas Athletics Corporation and is on land bought and paid for by private donations so the Kansas Athletics Corporation and the Williams Fund would/should be paying for the upkeep of the building. People tend to forget that KU athletics like many D-1 athletics departments walk a very fine line between public and private. So try again?

Thinking_Out_Loud 2 years, 5 months ago

Not to mention the other purposes that new addition will serve in addition to being a place to keep Dr. Naismith's original rules. "$18 million to house a single page" is great inflammatory rhetoric, but lousy real communication. It discounts the cultural and historical value (agree or not with whether such value SHOULD be applied) of that "one page document," the intangible effects of having Dr. Naismith's work on the KU campus, the other functions of the DeBruce Center (which I would lay money that KUACC wanted to do anyway--"The Rules" simply created a focal point that would attract both attention and donations).... irtnog2001's criticism lacks substance and is intellectually dishonest.

Now, if she wants to have a conversation about whether the role sports play in contemporary American society is out-of-proportion with what it returns to our society, I'm all for that. But by throwing out rhetorical grenades as she does here, irtnog2001 is obfuscating those issues in favor of straw men like this one.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 5 months ago

Governor Brownback deserves kudos for recognizing the value of the University of Kansas and the harm that cuts could cause.

I don't often (ever?) agree with BB, but I do here.

Grump 2 years, 5 months ago

Or maybe S.B. told Republican leaders in the legislature to propose budget cuts to universities so they could look extra-conservative while he still could look both conservative and like an education white-night by suggesting stable funding. (He's the man behind the curtain.)

chootspa 2 years, 5 months ago

I'd give the comments more weight if he hadn't also manipulated his party into a reckless tax cut that made such funding nearly impossible.

TecmoSuperBowlChristianOkoye 2 years, 5 months ago

His words don't match his deeds. For example, a great way to avoid cutting higher education funding would be to scrap his insane tax plan. He's trying to play the role of the firefighter today when he was the one with the matches and gasoline last night.

CommonSense741776 2 years, 5 months ago

If I were governor, and I saw unnecessary expenditures being made, like the $18 million to display the basketball rules or the $11 million to beautify Jayhawk Boulevard, it'd be hard for me to take budgetary panic seriously. In fact, I'd probably assume that the State had actually allocated TOO MANY of its taxpayers' dollars, in which case I'd propose further tax and budget cuts to offset each unnecessary expenditure that I saw. Thereafter, I'd entertain an appeal for additional tax dollars only if and when it appeared to me that tough choices between academic priorities were being made. (And it wouldn't make any difference to me if some of the funds allocated to unnecessary expenditures came from athletic revenues -- I'd expect to see those funds being used first and foremost in the classroom). I'd expect expenditures non-essential to the academic mission to be covered entirely by private (e.g. Endowment) funds, donated voluntarily for those purposes.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 2 years, 5 months ago

Is "your not" making sense or cents? I think not.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 5 months ago

Brownback is behind the cuts simple as that. It is his baby. If he does not like the cuts all Sam ALEC Brownback needs to is VETO the legislation = problem solved.

obamasocks 2 years, 5 months ago

Continue to "improve"? Try continue to survive as a public institution. If the state continues to to pull higher Ed funding, KU will end up being a public university with no public funds to support it. KU needs to threaten to secede from being a state institution. Simply saying that a hundred or so faculty will lose their jobs won't cause any heartache to the state legislators.

Thinking_Out_Loud 2 years, 5 months ago

I am not certain what irtnog2001's post means. I hope that she will clarify these points: 1) What does it mean to be "a public institution in name only"? 2) How did this happen to KU? 3) What does the phrase "a toy for the private elite" mean? 4) What is the evidence that it is now "a toy" rather than a D1 research institution? 5) Who are "the private elite?" 6) What is the evidence that "the private elite" have made KU exclusive to themselves?

Thinking_Out_Loud 2 years, 5 months ago

She who asserts a fact (I count at least three asserted facts in the previous post) bears responsibility to support that assertion.

tir 2 years, 5 months ago

Brownback signed the tax cut bill knowing full well that the legislature had not identified any way to pay for it. He is ultimately responsible for creating the state's current budget shortfall, and he knows it, no matter how much he postures for the cameras and says he supports education. The man is a total hypocrite.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 5 months ago

KU should become a private institution and free itself from the shackles of the anti-education ideologues n the Kansas legislature. It could be done if the lands and buildings were donated, and tuition was increased a bit.

The state would never need to give KU another dime, and KU would be free of these knuckle-draggers in the legislature.

elliottaw 2 years, 5 months ago

They they would lose control and wouldn't be able to mandate things like the stem cell research which KU has to some how find the funding for

George Lippencott 2 years, 5 months ago

Stable funding – what does that mean. I agree we should not keep cutting state support to the universities. In fact w should revisit just what value the universities have to the state to determine how much we pay - a determination made by our elected officials and not by the university. There appears no limit on how much the university thinks it needs.

I also believe that we should cap tuition. The university should not be free to just continually raise it. The incomes of the citizens the university is supposed to serve are not keeping pace with the rise in costs of the service they provide.

We should also limit the amount students can borrow. It is criminal to allow liberal arts major to create a debt of $20K or more. Their expected income over a life time just cannot service such a debt.

Here again we should determine exactly what we want the university to provide and fund accordingly. I missed the conversation that determined I have a responsibility to provide a college education to all that seek one.

It appears to me that the university sets its own priorities and establishes how much it will charge for services it is mandated to provide with little or no civic oversight. It is disproportionately pursuing research funding with little accountability for the payback – the cost being borne by the rest of us.

If you think about it the university receives almost all of its funding from the community- state appropriation, individual tuition, federal grants and federally insured loans. How can anybody honestly say they are not being adequately supported? All of that money comes from the taxpayers either directly or through tuition which is nothing more than a selectively levied tax.

Where is the oversight that determines priorities and establishes just how much is enough to feed this voracious beast. It seems to be operating open loop yet we all pay the bill!

KareforKansas 2 years, 5 months ago

The tour of Kansas state campuses is an effort by the Governor to box in his legislative opponents, on the issue of his proposed extension of the state sales tax. He is presenting the campus leaders with a Hobson's Choice. Either support the sales tax hike being continued, or you will be left with a 2-8 per cent university budget cut. This is a good cop bad cop routine. Problem is the purported good cop is the one who blew the hole in the budget in the first place. Take a look at these two articles in the Pittsburg Morning Sun . They may help to shine a light on this transparent attempt to rally the University troops to Brownback's side.

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