Archive for Thursday, August 8, 2013

Higher education budget, new gun law among items to be discussed at upcoming regents retreat

August 8, 2013


— Higher education officials and leaders within Gov. Sam Brownback's administration will meet next week to discuss budget priorities for the next legislative session.

The Kansas Board of Regents retreat will feature wide-ranging talks on fiscal affairs and numerous other issues on the higher education radar, including concealed carry of guns on campuses.

The retreat will be held Tuesday through Thursday at The Barn in Valley Falls.

In a memo to the board, Regents President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Tompkins said the meetings, " … will help the staff in developing budget requests that you will officially approve at the September board meeting."

During the last legislative session, Republican leaders and Brownback, also a Republican, approved cuts to higher education, making Kansas one of the few states in the nation that reduced funding to post-secondary schools.

As part of the budget discussions, the regents will consider whether to recommend restoration of the $36 million in cuts, plus a one percent across-the-board increase of $7.5 million.

The regents will be working off a list of requested expenditures that totals $276.2 million. That list includes a proposal to create a dental school in Kansas at a cost of $68.5 million, and an additional $20 million to help take care of a backlog of maintenance and repair projects at university buildings.

The regents will whittle down the requests and then make a final budget recommendation to Brownback's office. Brownback's budget proposal will then go to the Legislature in January at the start of the 2014 legislative session.

On Wednesday, board members are scheduled to meet with Brownback's Budget Director Steve Anderson and then with Brownback's Chief of Staff Landon Fulmer.

Many of the requests for increased funding are the same as those made last year.

Kansas University is requesting $25 million from a FICA refund and $15 million in tax dollars to help build a new health education building at KU Medical Center. KU would like to increase the number of medical students from 175 to 225, but school officials have said the current facility does not have the capacity to expand the training of doctors.

KU also is seeking $4.5 million to stabilize expansion of the School of Medicine in Wichita; $2.84 million to help transform the undergraduate program to increase student retention; and $2.5 million to create an institute that would promote state-of-the-art drug discovery and development.

Among the numerous issues to be taken up by the regents will be a review of the new concealed carry law that allows licensed gun owners to bring their weapons into more public buildings in Kansas.

Public universities and colleges have taken a four-year exemption under the law.


yourworstnightmare 4 years, 9 months ago

Item #1 for the Regents to discuss should be how to make KU a private institution and break ties with a state that is keeping KU down by underfunding it and demanding low tuition at the same time.

Privatize KU.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 9 months ago

Meaning, eliminate public higher education, and go back to the system where only the rich can get college degrees. Heck, why not eliminate public financing of K-12 education. Oh, you DO mean that.

elliottaw 4 years, 9 months ago

Have a school that is slowly falling In the rankings and can no longer compete for top professors will not work either.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 9 months ago

No, I don't mean that. Hold your knee steady for a moment.

Kansas has plenty of cheap public colleges and universities. Too many, if you ask me. What Kansas does not have is an excellent flagship research university. The state is keeping KU down, on par with the other Regent's institutions. All equallsy.

This is bad for the state and for KU.

skull 4 years, 9 months ago

Less educated people is a ridiculous goal for any society.

Hazel Ripstra 4 years, 9 months ago

Question about Google Survey: why the questions about immigration? It's the only political topic that shows up, and it shows up often. Why?

parrothead8 4 years, 9 months ago

You don't have to read it, you know. Just click a random answer.

BitterClinger 4 years, 9 months ago

The new concealed carry law: among ALL the other issues which according to the article are more important and a throw-away line and the end of the article at that. And that's the headline the LJW chose.

wtfusa 4 years, 9 months ago

What this article glosses over is the stake the BoR has in the Big 12 conference. Rumors are intensifying that KU is a top target for the Big 10, no matter how much Matt Tait denies it. I have no doubt there will be private discussions about what course of action the BoR will take since they have the final say. KSU has no hope of joining the B1G, and this creates a grand ethical problem for the BoR, deny your top University a chance to collaborate with some of the most elite Universities in the US so that #2 can maintain its current high profile athletic program in a conference that is shaky at best.

john heleniak 4 years, 9 months ago

I thought the BoR have no say in any decisions that affect KU Athletics, Inc. I maybe wrong, but isn't that why KU Athletics incorporated in the first place, to be able to make their own decisions that affect KU sports?

elliottaw 4 years, 9 months ago

who cares what the corrupt sports team does?

melott 4 years, 9 months ago

I always click an answer which is furthest from the truth.

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