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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Statehouse Live: KU chancellor questioned by legislators about tuition increases, research

February 7, 2013

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— Legislators on Thursday expressed concerns to Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little over tuition increases, falling enrollment and the ability of KU to make money off of research.

State Sen. Tom Arpke, R-Salina, said tuition increases at KU over the past few years "stand out to me to be a little excessive."

During the 1999-2000 school year, standard tuition and fees for two semesters was $2,518. This school year it is $8,888.

Gray-Little told the Senate Ways and Means subcommittee on education that because of state budget cuts, KU received slightly less state funding in the current fiscal year than it did in 2006.

She added, "Adjusted for inflation, KU's state funding is down $124.4 million over the past 14 years."

Higher education officials have said part of the reason for increasing tuition is the reduction in state funding.

Arpke also said he is concerned about KU's decrease in enrollment, which has fallen from 30,102 students in the fall of 2008 to 27,939 in the fall of 2012.

State Sen. Steve Abrams, R-Arkansas City, said he appreciated KU's increase in research funding, but added "ultimately that needs to turn into jobs."

Gray-Little said researchers attract more research funding, to which Abrams said, "That is not creating wealth."

Gray-Little responded that 22 companies based in Kansas were formed because of research at KU.

Dr. Douglas Girod, the new executive vice chancellor of the KU Medical Center, voiced support to the committee of Gov. Sam Brownback's recommendation of $10 million in tax funds and $35 million in bonding authority to start construction of a health education building

"Construction of this facility will increase the stature of the Medical Center," he said.

Comments

toe 1 year, 2 months ago

Leadership is KU's biggest problem. Tuition, rankings, research, you name it, is all dependent on leadership. In that regard, students should ask for a refund of tuition. Faculty should be paid more just to put up with the lack of leadership in the past 20 years. Imagine, KU leading instead of defending itself. It used to do that, but not any more.

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jayhawklawrence 1 year, 2 months ago

It is good strategy to put education leaders on the defensive as the legislature is sabotaging the educational system.

I imagine they hope to keep people confused while they loot the budget and cook the books.

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irtnog2001 1 year, 2 months ago

There is a new accredited Western Governors University that offers online degrees cheap. KU and other schools need to take note and jump on board instead of raising tuitions. See http://www.wgu.edu/?&gclid=COXrkdCtpbUCFeZFMgoduC0AqA

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tomatogrower 1 year, 2 months ago

State Sen. Tom Arpke, R-Salina, said tuition increases at KU over the past few years "stand out to me to be a little excessive."

So they cut funding to KU, and KU raises their tuition to make up the difference, and fewer people enroll, because the tuition isn't affordable. Cause and effect, Mr. Arpke, don't try and blame it on anything but you Republicans.

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irtnog2001 1 year, 2 months ago

She added, "Adjusted for inflation, KU's state funding is down $124.4 million over the past 14 years" It would be interesting to see if KU's total available funding for capital and operating costs from all sources have also declined over the past 14 years. I doubt it.

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Steve Bunch 1 year, 2 months ago

Grant funds can't be used to keep tuition rates down. Those are two different pots of money. The problem is that KU refuses to recognize ways to expand its outreach. There are hundreds, even thousands, of people in Kansas and beyond who would pay tuition to earn a degree online from KU, starting with Kansas community college students who would like a degree completion program. KU still, with a few exceptions, expects students to uproot, quit their jobs, and move their families to Lawrence to get a degree. Moreover, KU used to charge extra for its online courses--charge a premium for the flexibility and convenience, which many students value--but now it costs no more to take a class on campus than it does to take it online. And online students, who used to be able to enroll at any time and have six months to complete now have to go through the admissions process and enroll in semester-based courses. So much for flexibility and convenience. The result is that most online KU students are students on the Lawrence campus. Outreach? Nah.

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conlawgrad 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm glad KU is finally being questioned about their increases in tuition EVERY year...their reason as to why they need to increase tuition is bogus. Maybe the increase in tuition causes the decline in enrollment...I understand that KU wants to recruit the best so increasing enrollment isn't necessarily a big concern but if they want people to come, they have to price their education at what it's worth and I'm not sure if many people think that KU is worth the price if they could land the same job but at a different university and price...

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Orwell 1 year, 2 months ago

Shorter Legislators: "We won't support you, and we don't like it when you make students pay more, and you shouldn't be doing anything except training future Koch Industries employees anyway."

Yet another legislative FAIL.

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irtnog2001 1 year, 2 months ago

To say tuition has gone up at the same time state funding decreased is not the same as saying one caused the other. KU can choose to increase tuition rates rather than draw on other sources of revenues.

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irtnog2001 1 year, 2 months ago

As research grants and private donations comprise a large stake of the funding for large research universities such as KU, the state contribution rate becomes less relevant. IN other words I don't think claims that there is direct correlation between state funding and tuition increases are accurate.

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