Now that Gov. Sam Brownback has approved a budget, Kansas University leaders have about two weeks to determine just where the damage will fall from about $7.5 million in state funding cuts for the coming year.
Details are still sketchy about what cuts will occur: Officials said today that the KU Medical Center will lose 31 combined student and residency slots on its Kansas City, Kan., campus, while decisions about what to cut at KU’s Lawrence and Edwards campuses are currently in the hands of deans and other leaders.
“This is something that the deans or other leaders have been thinking about now for some time, based on different ranges of what possible cuts might be,” KU spokesman Jack Martin said.
Now it’s time for those plans to move from the hypothetical to reality.
Altogether, KU's campuses will lose a combined $13.5 million in state funding over the next two years.
For the Lawrence and Edwards campuses, KU leaders have until July 1, when the 2014 fiscal year begins, to determine how to make $3.3 million in cuts for the year. Another $2 million must follow in 2014-15.
One casualty of the cuts is clear, Martin said: About $460,000 in projects recommended by KU’s Tuition Advisory Committee, a group of students, faculty, staff and administrators that recommends tuition rates. Those were to include funds for undergraduate research, multicultural scholarships and learning evaluations, and those will now be postponed indefinitely.
The rest of the cuts are still to be determined by deans and other leaders.
Those cuts will not be made evenly across all departments, Martin said. They'll be made in accordance with KU's strategic plan, "Bold Aspirations," which aims to increase research funding, student retention and graduation rates, among other goals.
Because those decisions remain to be made, it’s not clear if layoffs will be necessary. Martin said it is certain that some KU units will have to leave open positions unfilled, including faculty jobs, and the university will delay some infrastructure improvements.
The Medical Center, meanwhile, will have to make larger cuts to a smaller budget.
Its revenue was less than half those of KU’s Lawrence and Edwards campuses — $365 million compared with $797 million — in the fiscal year that ended last June. State funds accounted for about 30 percent of that revenue, compared with 17 percent for the other KU campuses.
But KUMC’s share of the state cuts is larger: $8.3 million over two years, including $4.2 million for the coming year.
Medical Center leaders have determined that cuts there will cause the Kansas City campus to lose 20 spots for nursing students, plus five students in its School of Health Professions, four medical residency spots and two M.D. or Ph.D. students. Those enrollment reductions will be necessary because of faculty and staff reductions.
But C.J. Janovy, a spokeswoman for the Medical Center, said its leaders also are juggling different options for implementing the cuts, and no further details were available today. They will have a bit more freedom in making those decisions after Brownback vetoed a budget provision that would have required KUMC to cut enrollment or programs at an equal percentage on all of its campuses, including those in Wichita and Salina.
Still, though, no enrollment or program cuts are planned for the Wichita or Salina campuses, Martin said.