Archive for Saturday, June 1, 2013

Budget advances with ‘devastating’ cuts to KU

June 1, 2013


— Kansas University Medical Center will lose at least 30 nursing student slots and 15 residency positions and the Lawrence campus will lose 38 faculty positions under budget cuts approved by the Legislature, a KU official said.

"The effects of this are going to be devastating," said Tim Caboni, vice chancellor for public affairs at KU. "Nationally, this says terrible things about the priority of higher education in Kansas," Caboni said.

In both the House and Senate, Republicans mustered bare minimum majorities to adopt a two-year budget before ending the session early Sunday morning.

The spending plan now goes to Gov. Sam Brownback.

On higher education, the proposal would cut post-secondary institutions by $66 million over two years. The plan would impose on universities a 1.5 percent across-the-board cut for each of the next two years. It would also place a cap on salary expenses, which universities said would do damage.

For KU, the cuts total $5.5 million and total $8.3 million for KUMC over the two years.

Brownback, who had toured the state to speak against proposed cuts to universities, declined to comment on the budget as it advanced Saturday in the Legislature.

But during Senate debate, Ways and Means Chairman Ty Masterson, R-Andover, said that Brownback had accepted the cuts.

"He has to deal with what is in front of him," Masterson said.

Another part of the budget singles out KU and says that the cuts imposed by the budget can't reduce enrollment or eliminate programs at KU campuses in Salina, Wichita, Lawrence or Kansas City, Kan.

Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, asked how was KU supposed to deal with that. Masterson said he thought that KU could make cuts proportionately.

During debate in the House, Appropriations Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said he didn't believe the cuts to KUMC were that deep. During the session, House leaders had fought for larger cuts.

But Caboni said the Medical Center cuts were as deep as stated and will hurt KU's efforts to increase the number physicians in the state, especially in rural Kansas.

Legislators who have been critical of higher education spending all session said they aren't done examining the budgets of universities.

Rhoades vowed that legislators will "drill down" in the budgets of universities during the interim period before the next legislative session.

Caboni said he welcomed the review.

"They will be impressed," he said. Of those critical of higher education spending, Caboni said, "Maybe they should study it before they come to a conclusion."


question4u 4 years, 11 months ago

"Caboni said, 'Maybe they should study it before they come to a conclusion.'"

Sorry Mr. Caboni, that would be logical. You might as well expect logic from cows as from people like Rhoades.

parrothead8 4 years, 11 months ago

Exactly. Only people in higher education study something before coming to a conclusion. Politicians just figure out what conclusion they want and then make it so.

Brock Masters 4 years, 11 months ago

Guess their new high paid lobbyist didn't help much.

dd0031 4 years, 11 months ago

Sorry, am I missing something? It's true that there is a 1.5% cut for FY14 in the bill, but it also explicitly states that the State Board of Regents and universities are exempt from the salary limitations placed on state agencies. Here's the conference committee report:

James Nelson 4 years, 11 months ago

Looks to me like KU and K-State are going to be forced by the legislature to break the contract made with students to provide a certain valued higher education. Professors rarely show up in classrooms as it is. Now I wonder if they will even show up in their offices. Perhaps the state could be sued by college students for having failed to deliver a college education.

Melissa Isaacs 4 years, 11 months ago

What evidence do either of you have that "professors rarely show up in classrooms" or "only a rare few even show for office hours"? I can't speak for every KU department, but the faculty in my department work hard to prepare for classes and to engage their students. If anyone is failing to show up, it's the students, who may be present in body but are often AWOL in spirit, thanks to phones and Facebook.

jonas_opines 4 years, 11 months ago

This is faith-based opposition. They don't need evidence, because evidence denies faith.

elliottaw 4 years, 11 months ago

State some facts please.....I am sure you have some to back up your claims

waiting_for 4 years, 11 months ago

That was not my experience at all at KU. Are you saying that professors actually do not show up to teach, or that the classes are taught by graduate students, or what? Almost all of my classes at KU were taught by actual professors who showed up for every class. Some were taught by graduate students, but that happens at every university since part of its job is to teach graduate students to teach in higher education. I am no KU cheerleader, but I find their faculty to be quite good, and always very engaged, for being a non-top-tier public institution. KU has a lot of issues, but the professors mostly aren't one of them.

skull 4 years, 11 months ago

In the 165 credit hours I took at KU, one professor missed one class one time.

woodscolt 4 years, 11 months ago

look for that to get even worse as we get the dregs professors who are willing to work for low pay.

cowboy 4 years, 11 months ago

The exodus of good staff has already begun . efficiency experts cavorting around KU Med , cutting benefits , talented staff have a lot of options and putting up with this BS is really not one of them.

skull 4 years, 11 months ago

I knew one...he's a heroin addict. He came from a great suburban family in Shawnee... So there's that.

waiting_for 4 years, 11 months ago

So you're saying that someone's level of education should be directly related to their parents' levels of education? Or directly related to their ability/motivation to self-teach? THAT sounds like it would be "devastating" to a lot of students.

Doug Harvey 4 years, 11 months ago

"anticommunist" -- you have absolutely no clue what this country is supposed to be about. Public education is a hallmark of a free society. Sounds like you went to Rush Limbaugh U.

globehead 4 years, 11 months ago

There aren't many better reasons for state governments to exist than to provide for their citizens' educations. They've been doing a pretty good job of it for about 175 years. The thing that shouldn't be an apparatus of state government is religion. That seem lost on the buffoon elected officials in this state.

chootspa 4 years, 11 months ago

Where the only people who went to college where white men?

chootspa 4 years, 11 months ago

Not in the original model. They're still not as economically diverse, even with scholarship options from generous endowments.

Hardhawk1 4 years, 11 months ago

Don't you see, this is all Obama's fault! Obamacare is going to cause there to be fewer doctors. The Kansas legislature is just making sure the dire tea party predictions of fewer doctors comes true so they can say "we told you so!" It's all part of the plan......

Mike1949 4 years, 11 months ago

If it is coming from the conservative party, nothing would surprise me!

love2fish_ks 4 years, 11 months ago

This does not pass the smell test. A 1.5% cut is "devastating"? Taxpayers and students deserve better than the 7% YOY increase they have had to endure.

Come on Scott, ask the hard questions. Why should an administrator keep their job if they can't find 1.5% of cost savings without hitting essential services?

gccs14r 4 years, 11 months ago

The State used to provide over 60% of KU's budget. That number is now down around 20% and falling. The shortfall has to be made up somewhere.

love2fish_ks 4 years, 11 months ago

The affordability has gone down as well. As the student loan money poured into KU and other institutions of higher ed. so has the cost escalated. That is why the funding on a % basis has fallen but the absolute dollar funding has increased and cost has skyrocketed.

50 years from now history will judge the institutions of higher learning quite critically.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 11 months ago

sounds likeCaboni is engaging in the "fire the firefighters first" strategy often employed by governments threatened by governments.

instead, fire the Caboni's and other admins first. this just sounds like a lot of another tired scare tactic. KU doesn't waste this much? really? lol.

chootspa 4 years, 11 months ago

Where do you think the printed money any of us use comes from? Surely not from the basement of a private sector employer.

globehead 4 years, 11 months ago

Who's Shirley? Just kidding. Some government employees pay is sourced from taxes. Sometimes, it's sourced from users' fees. Users' fees are not the same as taxes. Nobody has to pay users' fees unless they are purchasing a specific service. I once worked for a federal agency which was 100% supported by users fees. I loved it when my idiot brother-in-law liked to state his taxes paid my salary. They didn't pay for any of my salary. He didn't have a clue how his government worked but surely took advantage of his right to express his dissatisfaction with how he assumed it worked. He even once thought of running for the Kansas legislature. He would have been a good fit.

oldexbeat 4 years, 11 months ago

Sad. Public higher education in Kansas allowed the working folks to send their kids to universities that were among the top public ones (or just in general) in the nation at affordable rates. Those children often remained in the state, or certainly in Wichita, Topeka, or Johhson County, etc., and provided the middle-class growth of Kansas cities. And many of the teachers and doctors and engineers that built the state up after WWII and later.

This investment also allowed great sports events, art, social workers, psychologist, and business leaders.

Now a post above wants to sell it all to the Koch Brothers or like that and let the schools become merely extension of private fiefdoms and personal theocracies. Guess that keeping the working poor without higher education must be an ALEC recommendation. And, yup, that will provide a lot of cheap labor for the few that own the state. As I said, sad.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

On one side were economists and politicians who wanted to increase government spending to offset weakness in the private sector. This "stimulus" spending, economists like Paul Krugman argued, would help reduce unemployment and prop up economic growth until the private sector healed itself and began to spend again.

On the other side were economists and politicians who wanted to cut spending to reduce deficits and "restore confidence." Government stimulus, these folks argued, would only increase debt loads, which were already alarmingly high. If governments did not cut spending, countries would soon cross a deadly debt-to-GDP threshold, after which economic growth would be permanently impaired.

---- The argument is over. Paul Krugman has won. The only question now is whether the folks who have been arguing that we have no choice but to cut government spending while the economy is still weak will be big enough to admit that. -----

d_prowess 4 years, 11 months ago

So I guess this makes it official, no raises for anyone at KU for two years, right?

del888 4 years, 11 months ago

welcome to the world that the rest of us live in. Raises are not automatic in the 'real world' of non-govt. jobs.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps Governor Brownback will take another tour of Regents campuses, this time to apologize for lying to them a month ago.

Maybe he can sign his tax increase bill while he's on campus, too.

Thinking_Out_Loud 4 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps they don't have the staff or facilities to complete the work the other state agency asked them to complete.

Perhaps you heard bogus information.

Many possible scenarios.

JSpizias 4 years, 11 months ago

Anyone knowledgeable about higher education is concerned at the rate of cost increases, increases that far exceed the rate of inflation. .."The price of college tuition has increased at a pace much faster than that of inflation in recent years. According to a report by the Delta Cost Project, tuition for a public four-year institution in 1970 was $358 per semester. If tuition had grown in pace with inflation, the average tuition at public colleges would have been $2,052 in 2010. Instead, the average per semester tuition at public colleges and universities was $6,695 in 2010."...

In my opinion, much of the increase in cost is driven by the explosion in university bureaucracy. Professors who no longer perform the services for which they were hired (research, teaching, service) become highly paid administrators, often 200-300K or more. It would be of much interest to know how the fraction of KU administrators has grown since 1975. In part, this has been driven by ever increasing government regulations with which Universities must comply, however, I believe much is unnecessary.

Faculty governance at my graduate alma mater (Purdue) is now working to change this trend. ..."The number of Purdue administrators has jumped 54 percent in the past decade—almost eight times the growth rate of tenured and tenure-track faculty. “We’re here to deliver a high-quality education at as low a price as possible,” says Robinson. “Why is it that we can’t find any money for more faculty, but there seems to be an almost unlimited budget for administrators?”

Purdue is among the U.S. colleges layering up at the top at a time when budgets are tight, students are amassing record debt, and tuition is skyrocketing. U.S. Department of Education data show that Purdue is typical: At universities nationwide, employment of administrators jumped 60 percent from 1993 to 2009, 10 times the growth rate for tenured faculty. “Administrative bloat is clearly contributing to the overall cost of higher education,” says Jay Greene, an education professor at the University of Arkansas. In a 2010 study, Greene found that from 1993 to 2007, spending on administration rose almost twice as fast as funding for research and teaching at 198 leading U.S. universities."...

Secondly, im my opinion, the concern about student debt (based on average debt of about 30K) appears overblown. When I graduated from undergrad school in 1965 I had about $5000 in National Defense Student Loan debt. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator, this corresponds to $36,910 in 2013. I was able to keep my loan debt to $5000 because I worked 25-30 hrs per week (and finished in 4 years).

JSpizias 4 years, 11 months ago

Interesting comments regarding administrative bloat and faculty governance at Purdue. Administrative Bloat and Managing Faculty-Administrative Conflict; Address of J. Paul Robinson, Chair of the Purdue University Faculty Senate

IMAGE (Purdue: Numbers at Purdue in $ (millions) Faculty (1827) Grants and F&A ($336 Million) Administration (2057) cash/gifts ($35) Staff (5681: Service 2476; Clerical 1156; Extension 286; Prof 1763) Aux Enterprises ($285) Students (39, 637) fees and student aid ($578 plus $170 = $748)

The second largest return on investment at Purdue, is faculty grants. It is important for the Board to fully appreciate what that means. Faculty are responsible for teaching our 40,000 students. We do this, at the same time as writing the hundreds of grant applications that bring in that $400 million. $60 million dollars of that by the way, goes to the administration – not the faculty. Let’s call it the faculty’s yearly gift to Purdue!

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 11 months ago

Most private universities charge between $20,000 and $40,000 per year in tuition.

If one accepts free market principles, this is the price of a college education that the free market has determined. The point of state-aided universities is to use state funds to subsidize this cost so that a broader economic swath has access to higher education.

What has happened at most state universities is that state aid has decreased and, despite large tuition increases, the price charged is nowhere near $20,000 to $40,000 per year. In other words, state schools have been forced to operate well below the free market determined price structure of higher education. It is a wonder that most state schools can accomplish anything at all given this "down on the farm" mentality toward higher education.

The only thing that has a chance to make KU excellent is for it to become a private institution. The legislature has shirked its responsibility to KU and to Kansans.

Miles Nease 4 years, 11 months ago

It is absurd that Topeka is telling KU where it can and can't cut costs! This is the most backward, least educated legislature I have ever seen. How did these idiots get elected? Their power grab is getting real scary and I used to think of myself, as a conservative!

If I were KU, I would tell them to go to hell and eliminate the medical schools at Salina and Wichita. Representatives from those areas of the state, seem to have an axe to grind with KU. That should, at least, bring some heat from the voters in those communities. What is the worst that could happen? Threaten to cut more money and not fund a mandated Stem Cell Research Center!

Miles Nease 4 years, 11 months ago

Another cut KU should make is to fire Riley Hunter. He is the new lobbyist for KU and son-in-law, of the illustious Sen. Wagle. He obviously failed at his job. I'm sure that is prohibited by the Reichstag, as well.

woodscolt 4 years, 11 months ago

The old saying "if it ain't broke , don't fix it" has taken on a whole different meaning with brownback and his band of right wing flatlanders. Their policy is "If it works , break it" and send the money we used to break kansas to Alec and my buddies and their buddies.

Besides, who needs education. The less education the more comprehensive Fox and the "have I got some snake oil for you" cave dwellers can be perceived. It is a good thing the cave dwellers are against investing in infrastructure or the next most logical thing for them to do is to build a bypass around Kansas.

puddleglum 4 years, 11 months ago

wrong, a bypass is a road whose purpose is to provide the wal-mart terminal in Ottawa with a cheaper route to I-70... and of course Wal-mart will pay for the road. Or maybe not

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 11 months ago

Insult to injury. Cutting KU's budget is injury, but mandating what they cannot cut is insulting to KU.

It seems to me that the Salina medical school and the program in Wichita just might be the waste and duplication that the cut was supposed to target, but for political reasons, the legislature made it against the law for KU to make this decision based upon their own needs and priorities.

This is a heavy-handed, intrusive, and bullying move on the part of the legislature. They just keep racking them up.

Dan Eyler 4 years, 11 months ago

So KU can't manage 1.5% spending? I'm am a educated guy and I would suggest we need to get to at least 10% over the next 5 years. I am sure there are some really outstanding professors and teachers at KU, but I am willing to bet that the school will manage nicely with good professors and teachers as well. I will put any amount of money on the fact that head to head with few exceptions a graduate from KU has no better chance of landing a job as a new grad than say Fort Hays State University. FHSU is running their school for about 100 bucks less an hour than KU. This elitist attitude that KU reeks and needs some fresh air.

jaydocky 4 years, 11 months ago

I guess you don't think Kansas deserves a level 1 Research University. Maybe not, but all of the best students will leave the state for sure.

puddleglum 4 years, 11 months ago

"FHSU is running their school for about 100 bucks less an hour "

you get what you pay for.

Thinking_Out_Loud 4 years, 11 months ago

Sorry, irtnog2001. KU can't cut any programs. The article clearly explains that KU may not cut any programs, and may not shed any students, as a result of these cuts: "Another part of the budget singles out KU and says that the cuts imposed by the budget can't reduce enrollment or eliminate programs...."

Clearly the legislature hopes to force KU into shedding administration. I'm not certain what administration KU can shed that won't result in a lower level of service to students, or replace professors with grad students, or....

In simpler terms, the legislature just forced KU to water down the quality of its educational offerings to absorb these cuts.

positive 4 years, 11 months ago

The asymmetry in KU hiring is that it is very easy for the best faculty to leave, and hiring new faculty is incredibly difficult. The regents should aggressively raise tuition so that the legislature gets out of higher education. The 21% of funding from the state is not worth it. I see that the private school options for my kids cost more than double KU tuition, so even with no state support, KU is a great option for my kids. When good faculty leave, "cheap" education becomes like cheap heart surgery.

notaubermime 4 years, 11 months ago

Do you know what percentage of KU's costs go to administration and what a reasonable percentage should be, or are you just parroting something you heard because it sounds good?

Patricia Davis 4 years, 11 months ago

Will the Board of Regents sue the legislature for inappropriate micro managing of KU?

lawslady 4 years, 11 months ago

Actually, the Kansas Constitutions "Created" the Board. It is the Legislature that carries out the Constitution's mandates: § 2: State board of education and state board of regents. (a) The legislature shall provide for a state board of education which shall have general supervision of public schools, educational institutions and all the educational interests of the state, except educational functions delegated by law to the state board of regents. The state board of education shall perform such other duties as may be provided by law. (b) The legislature shall provide for a state board of regents and for its control and supervision of public institutions of higher education. Public institutions of higher education shall include universities and colleges granting baccalaureate or postbaccalaureate degrees and such other institutions and educational interests as may be provided by law. The state board of regents shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law. (c) Any municipal university shall be operated, supervised and controlled as provided by law.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 11 months ago

Maybe the legislature should pass a law limiting Bill Self's salary to what they think is acceptable.

fiddleback 4 years, 11 months ago

KU Athletics is a separate corporation. No state money involved.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 11 months ago

KU should be allowed to absorb these cuts as it sees fit. If the Salina medical school is a redundancy and not part of the KU core mission, then it should go.

Budget cuts usually mean that "extras" and "it would be nice if we coulds" are the first to go. It would be nice to have a medical school in Salina, but it might need to go.

For the legislature to tie KU's hands like this about cuts is outrageous and is an overbearing act of intrusion by anti-intellectual and ill-informed legislators, who are certain they know what needs to be done at KU without ever having facts or studies or having done the research to back up their claims. Ideology pure and simple. Belief in the absence of facts.

Then again, this is how they operate with regard to every other issue, so why should KU be different. These right-wing ideologues are ruining the State of Kansas.

jaydocky 4 years, 11 months ago

KUMC accreditation site visits are coming up. LCME will be looking for state support, plans for a new teaching building with a construction start date, adequate support staff in Wichita and Salina, and a whole laundry list of expensive items. After so many cuts for so many years, it seems likely that something will be missing.

KSWingman 4 years, 11 months ago

OK retard Democrat: how many KU grads are "qualified" in a trade (the 'trained workforce" you talked about)?

Raw number, or percentage, your choice.

notaubermime 4 years, 11 months ago

There are an increasing number of jobs that require applicants to have a college degree (any college degree), so the percentage of KU grads who are qualified in a trade is 100%.

A more intelligent question would have been "what percentage of Kansas' trained workforce got their degrees from a Board of Regents university in Kansas?" The answer is the overwhelming majority. Putting these cuts in place will only undermine the ability of Kansans to compete for jobs in Kansas.

KSWingman 4 years, 11 months ago

Is your question "more intelligent"? Or does it presume that a majority of unfilled jobs in Kansas, and a majority of potential new jobs, require a liberal arts degree?

Here's a realistic example: Company X receives a contract to rebuild an overpass and build 10 miles of 4 lane highway. To complete the project (which will take 2 years), Company X will need 30 drivers with Class A CDL and HazMat certification; 30 heavy equipment operators to operate bulldozers, graders, rollers, and roadbuilding machines; 20 welders;10 sandblasters; and 100 laborers to work steel, concrete, and asphalt. Average pay is $25.00/hr. ($51,000/year) before overtime.

How many KU graduates are qualified to be part of this real-life "trained workforce" (which was the term lawrenceloser used)? If you say any number greater than "zero", specify the actual trades from my example which are qualified by a liberal arts degree.

notaubermime 4 years, 11 months ago

So, you think that construction makes up the majority of potential new jobs in Kansas? I am curious as to how you came to the conclusion since construction has been one of the slowest growing areas of the US economy over the last 5 years.

One of the fastest growing areas of the US economy is, without a doubt, healthcare. That field requires increases in doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, etc... all of which are predominately supplied by the University of Kansas and Wichita State University. Board of Regents universities in Kansas supply healthcare workers, legal workers (lawyers, judges, paralegals, etc.), engineers, architects, veterinarians, business management, teachers, etc. Without those jobs, there would not be any work for those without college degrees.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

" Kansas residents can now pay in-state tuition at UMKC."


And JCCC will likely see an increased enrollment as well. Probably so will Vo-Tech institutions.

At his point in history 4 year degrees are over rated directly due to our state and national legislators. The educational value cannot be disputed.

However between politicians and corporate America teaming up and sending millions upon millions upon millions upon millions jobs abroad make it difficult for job prospects as a result of a college education.

Not to mention the Student Loan Program looks a lot like the BUSHCO fraudulent home loan debacle. Created by the same sources. Too bad students cannot put their degrees on the market in hopes of some relief.

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