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Archive for Monday, June 3, 2013

KU officials evaluating effects of Legislature’s budget cuts

June 3, 2013, 4:33 p.m. Updated June 3, 2013, 4:57 p.m.

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— After the Kansas Legislature approved higher education budget cuts that one Kansas University official called "devastating," KU leaders are working to figure out just where those cuts are going to fall.

Because the cuts are different from the proposed plans presented earlier by the state House and Senate, and because they come with additional stipulations about areas where KU cannot make reductions, it's not yet clear what the specific budget effects will be at KU, spokesman Jack Martin said Monday.

"Any cutbacks that will result will be in accordance with the strategic plan," Martin said. "We want to be deliberate about how we implement the cuts that the Legislature has made."

Martin said it's not clear exactly when KU officials will determine the precise effects of the cuts, though the start of the next fiscal year on July 1 provides a deadline less than a month away.

In the legislative session that ended early Sunday morning, the Kansas Legislature approved a $66 million cut to higher education over two years. The cuts included a 3 percent across-the-board budget cut and a cap on salary expenses.

Tim Caboni, KU's vice chancellor for public affairs, said over the weekend the cuts would be "devastating." Over the two years, the cuts total about $5.3 million to KU's Lawrence campus and $8.3 million for the KU Medical Center.

Caboni said the cuts would cause KU's Lawrence campus to lose 38 faculty positions and force the Medical Center to lose at least 30 nursing student slots and 15 residency positions.

In addition to the broader budget cuts, the appropriations bill approved by the Legislature early Sunday morning fell far short of what Gov. Sam Brownback had proposed for the Medical Center.

When the session started, Brownback recommended $35 million in bonding authority and $10 million from the state over two years to build a new medical education building and training facility.

The total cost of the building is estimated at $75 million, and KU has made its construction a priority, saying the current facility is outdated.

But as the request went through the legislative process, it got whittled down substantially. KUMC did not receive any state general fund support for the project, but the appropriations bill adds $1 million from the state education building fund for the proposal.

Meanwhile, the Kansas Board of Regents will consider tuition and fee proposals from the state's universities on Thursday.

Board members wanted to wait until after the 2013 legislative session to hold the initial discussion on tuition. The board will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday in its boardroom in the Curtis State Office Building.

Last year, the regents approved a 4.9 percent increase in tuition and fees at KU for incoming freshmen under a compact that guarantees that rate for four years.

KU has not released its tuition and fee proposal yet.

Comments

chootspa 1 year, 6 months ago

1% of tuition does not equal 1% of budget.

yourworstnightmare 1 year, 6 months ago

Right. And with fixed costs that are unable to be cut, a tuition increase greater than 12% is probably appropriate.

chootspa 1 year, 6 months ago

I really hate that the legislators would rather tax young people and middle class parents instead of the Kochs.

Thinking_Out_Loud 1 year, 6 months ago

nightmare, don't forget that the legislature specifically mandated that KU neither cut programs nor reduce its number of students to deal with the budget cuts. Either they have to raise tuition to cover the difference, or they cut more from things like maintenance, close some residence halls, reduce support services, etc.

elliottaw 1 year, 6 months ago

there is a difference between money from an endowment and operating funds

viva_la_revolucion 1 year, 6 months ago

So guess how much state funds are being used to fund the new building? Wait for it...$0.00, all privately funded. Facts? Who needs facts?

Keith 1 year, 6 months ago

Toe is nearly 100% fact free, all the time.

Larry Sturm 1 year, 6 months ago

I think all kansas public schools in the state of kansas and all puplic funded higher education should sue the state over budgets cuts after giving the rich all the income tax cuts.

Thinking_Out_Loud 1 year, 6 months ago

Right! Because computer infrastructure is so cheap!!

chootspa 1 year, 6 months ago

You don't even need computer infrastructure anymore. Udacity hosts it for them.

konzahawk 1 year, 6 months ago

KU should cut where they want to cut. I would start with closing the Salina and Wichita branches of the medical school. I would also refuse to build the Adult Stem Cell Research Center. Finally, tuition needs to be raised, significantly. It is unfortunate that students and families have to pay for the lack of funding from the state, but KU is still one of the cheapest AAU universities in the nation. Of course, how long we remain an AAU university remains in doubt. Topeka is hellbent on making sure that we are kicked out, just like our friends in Nebraska.

Thinking_Out_Loud 1 year, 6 months ago

konzahawk, KU CAN'T cut where they want to. The legislature didn't simply direct them to leave programs alone, it wrote into law requirements that KU must meet. What they SHOULD do is irrelevant. The legislature has made what they should do impossible.

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