Archive for Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tuition, fees going up; regents blame Legislature

June 19, 2013


— Higher education officials on Wednesday approved raising university tuition, blaming legislators who cut post-secondary education for much of the increased cost of going to school.

For Kansas University, effective this fall semester, tuition and fees will increase 4.4 percent at the Lawrence campus, and 7.6 percent at KU Medical Center for Kansas residents. Non-resident students will see a 4.7 percent increase in Lawrence and 6 percent increase at KUMC.

However, since KU operates under a tuition compact, in which entering freshmen keep the same tuition rate for four years, most returning KU undergraduates will not be affected by the tuition increase.

The Kansas Board of Regents approved increases at KU and the other five regents universities, and attributed a specific portion of each school's increase to cover recent legislative cuts to higher education.

"The Legislature is forcing us to do this," said regent Dan Lykins, of Topeka.

Both Republicans and Democrats on the board slammed the higher-education budget cuts, which were approved with only Republican votes in the Legislature. They said they feared the cuts could damage the Kansas economy.

"This is exactly the direction we don't want to take in this state," said Regent Vice Chairman Fred Logan, of Leawood.

Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law cuts to higher education that total $8.3 million to the KU Medical Center over two years and $5.3 million to the Lawrence and Edwards campuses.

"Cuts of this magnitude cannot be offset by tuition increases alone; however, increased tuition has to be part of the solution," KU officials wrote in their tuition proposal to the regents.

Logan and regent Kenny Wilk of Lansing said the cuts to the KU Medical Center were especially troubling because they could result in fewer doctors and nurses and hurt the recruitment and retention of top faculty.

At Wilk's request, the regents approved a motion requesting that legislative leaders hold public hearings at each of the schools to learn more about the complexities of their budgets.

Lykins said surrounding states were increasing higher education funding. The Kansas Legislature, he said, "made some really poor choices."

But conservative Republican legislators have questioned whether universities are being run efficiently and have criticized the schools for raising tuition.

Marcus Tetwiler, president of the KU student body, said the increasing cost of school was pricing students out of going to KU. Tetwiler, a Paola senior, blamed legislators and said students needed to organize and register to vote. "It's up to us to hold our legislators accountable," he said. He said students need to "take a hard look at the legislators behind this and ask them 'Why?'"

The tuition increases will generate $7.8 million for the Lawrence campus. Nearly $2.6 million will go into a merit pool that will provide a 2 percent average pay increase for key faculty and staff, and another $2.6 million will be used to offset some of the budget cuts.

In its tuition request, KU said it has lost key leaders to other schools that are increasing funding.

The tuition increases at the medical center will generate almost $1.8 million and be used to cover required expenditures such as faculty promotions, utility costs, and budget cuts.


Maracas 5 years ago

It's part of Brownback's and his brown shirts' plan to attract big business and have a minimum wage, under-educated work force ready to roll.

Mike1949 4 years, 12 months ago

People need to vacation in the south, making sure you take the country roads through the heart of the states like Georgia, Louisiana, etc. because Kansas is going to be just like those places.

Thinking_Out_Loud 4 years, 12 months ago

angelus, only 1/3 of that amount is backfilling what was cut from the budget. The balance is for things that were not part of the budget request (such as the merit pool). Your swipe at "KU officials" (needing remedial math) is sophomoric and, quite honestly, beneath you. How would it seem to you if, given the incomplete understanding your post indicates, one of our less gentile posters suggested you needed a remedial reading comprehension course? I suspect that such a personal attack on you would be as untrue as it would be unkind. Or, as I suspect your mother told you, "if you can't say something nice about someone, then say nothing at all."

chootspa 4 years, 12 months ago

Even when budgets remain static, inflation does not.

Thinking_Out_Loud 4 years, 12 months ago

angelus, this is a much better post because it has substance, rather than making personal attacks.

jhawkinsf 5 years ago

Brownback is a buffoon and cuts to education are ill advised. That said, tuition has been going up at an alarming rate for decades now. I suspect that if this governor and this legislature had made no cuts at all, tuition rates would have gone up anyway.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 12 months ago

Mere speculation. You might be correct, but we will never know, because KU's budget was in fact, not in speculation, cut.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 12 months ago

Mere speculation? Well, if something happens in a given year and again the next, and the next and the next, and again the next and the next, next, next and next. And the next and the next. And the next. And the next.

I see your point. It was "mere speculation" on my part.

elliottaw 4 years, 12 months ago

You do realize that the states funding of the STATES public universities has been going down at an alarming rate also

jhawkinsf 4 years, 12 months ago

As I said, I think cuts to education, whether it's to K-12 or universities, is an ill advised policy.

Matthew Herbert 4 years, 12 months ago

@Jhawkins- EXACTLY. The latest Brownback move seems like little more than a convenient excuse to do what they've been doing for the past 10 years. The tuition rate when I was a freshman in 2001 compared to today is unrecognizable

elliottaw 4 years, 12 months ago

So is the State funding, tuition has skyrocketed and public funding has been nose diving, they go hand in hand

Thinking_Out_Loud 4 years, 12 months ago

This is true, Perses. We get law made at the best ability of the people we elect to make it. If we want better law, we need to elect better lawmakers.

sciencegeek 4 years, 12 months ago

The Koch-libertarian ideal is private education only, creating de facto selection of the wealthy for higher education. A minimally-educated lower class is acceptable under this model. This has precedent in history: through most of human history, only the nobility and the wealthy have been educated.

"The middle class" is a relatively new concept. The plutocracy that runs this state is fed up with it, and is well on its way to destroying it. Serfdom is coming to Kansas.

chootspa 4 years, 12 months ago

Cutting public schools off from public moneys also mean that large moneyed interests can purchase the research they desire. Earmarked funds with faculty appointments means that climate change isn't happening, tax cuts to the rich are the solution to all economic ills, and disruptive political movements are nipped in the bud.

This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.

TalkSense 4 years, 12 months ago

It's worth pointing out, as this article does not but today's Kansas City Star does, that "At Kansas State University, tuition and fees will go up 6.7 percent for full-time undergraduate students who are Kansas residents, to $4,292.70 per semester." KU itself has stated "For the second year in a row, the proposed 4.4 percent increase in tuition and fees for new Kansas undergraduates is the lowest since 1999-2000," and " are among the lowest at Regents universities this year." Ironically, the June 19 USA Today ran an article with the headline "States boost college funding, rein in tuition costs." In that article, an official with a Washington-based higher education association said "Most states have provided modest funding increases and as a consequence, the rise in tuition prices at public universities will likely be lower than what we've seen during the past decade." Kansas is bucking this trend.

fiddleback 4 years, 12 months ago

AKA a cost of living adjustment...but only for some.

HutchSaltHawk 4 years, 12 months ago

Maybe the Board should re-evaluate the structure of Higher Ed in Kansas and consider adopting a system approach similar to that established in other states, potentially reducing administration and duplication of efforts. Also, consider whether we really need to have the large number of community colleges, such as in the southeast corner of the state, with easy access to a four-year university.

Patricia Davis 4 years, 12 months ago

I agree. I also think, given this current environment, it is time to shutter the "medical schools" outside of Kansas City.

Lynn Grant 4 years, 12 months ago

Love the way the all-inclusive "Legislature" always gets the blame. Anyone who is vaguely aware of the contentiousness of the current Legislature knows that cuts to funding for higher ed ( and many other programs) were not a product of the entire Legislature. Please don't include the Democrats and wiser Republicans in the blame for this mess of a budget. The blame lies squarely with the governor and the extremists in the majority party. Brownie faked a tour of Regent's universities to try to make himself look like the reasonable one, but in reality let the his followers do the dirty work. Whether you approve of the cuts or not, the issue is the result of lies and no leadership from the governor.

George_Braziller 4 years, 12 months ago

Seems like really bad timing for KU to announce a 4.4% tuition increase because of cuts in state funding and on the same day announce that the Chancellor is getting a $60,000 pay increase.

This is directly from the KUEA website: "The support of donors helps make KU a world-class institution. State financing covers only about 21 percent of KU’s total operating expenses. Therefore, private gifts play a major role in virtually all activities of the university."

Covering some of the expenses or budget short-falls is what endowments are supposed to be for.

newmedia 4 years, 12 months ago

And the excuse for the last 20 years would be?

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