Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Regents want to restore higher ed funding cuts

June 20, 2013


— Stunned by legislative cuts to higher education, the Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday discussed how to get the Legislature to change direction and restore the funding.

Regent Kenny Wilk, of Lansing, said perhaps higher education officials weren't doing a good job getting the message across that improving higher education will improve the state's economy.

Wilk said one of the main goals of the regents is to increase the number of Kansans who have a post-secondary credential from 50 percent to 60 percent.

"That objective is one of the most important things we can do for our state," he said.

And, he said, achieving that goal will cost money.

Republican legislative leaders, however, have gone in the opposite direction.

They approved a 2-year budget that cuts $44 million in state funding to higher education. Gov. Sam Brownback had proposed flat funding for higher education, but he signed the budget cuts into law.

Mary Jane Stankiewicz, a spokeswoman for the regents, said the message that higher education produces better jobs "is still sound." She added, "We just have to expand our messenger base."

On Wednesday, the regents approved $34 million in tuition and fee increases at the six regents universities. The board members slammed the Legislature for the cuts, saying much of the increased tuition was needed to cover those reductions.

At Thursday's meeting, Stankiewicz read a quote from House Appropriations Committee Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, who called the regents' criticisms "baloney."

After hearing that, Regents Chair Tim Emert, of Independence, said, "No comment."

The regents will conduct a work session next month on higher education's next budget request.

Incoming chairman, Fred Logan of Leawood said, "We think all of those cuts need to be restored."

He added, "You cannot have economic growth if you are cutting university budgets. You are not going to have economic growth in Kansas if the University of Kansas Medical Center is getting hammered the way that it did. It is a very important engine of economic growth."

KUMC was cut $8.3 million in the budget.


yourworstnightmare 10 months ago

"At Thursday's meeting, Stankiewicz read a quote from House Appropriations Committee Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, who called the regents' criticisms "baloney.""

Keep it classy and professional, Mr. Rhoades.

Kansas has been overtaken by ideological anarchists who want to destroy government and public institutions. They don't want to make public institutions better and more efficient. They want to do away with them.


toe 10 months ago

The trade school universities in Kansas, like Emporia, should be state supported and cuts restored. KU in particular, the only AAU school in Kansas, should rely heavily on private support and pay teachers instead of building new structures on campus. Donors should be trained to support research and faculty instead of monuments and sports. This will take some time, but is very much possible. In the mean time, the faculty of KU should leave for schools with good leadership and a solid mission of excellence. An AAU school would be happy to have a few of them. Most are pretty much stuck at KU.


irtnog2001 10 months ago

Just noticed it has already occurred. Congrats to the board of regents! Does not appear Kansas offers the BS in Nursing yet (takes time to set up clinical partnerships) but it will come.


gatekeeper 10 months ago

The Kock brothers, Brownback, etc... want a dumb population. It's easier to control the masses and use them for your own benefit if they aren't educated. They've underfunded public schools. Now stripping money from the universities. There was a reason why African American slaves weren't allowed to be taught to read. There was a reason why serfs weren't allowed to learn to read. Look back through history, those in power always did their best to keep the lower classes poor, uneducated and fearful.

Welcome to the feudal system of the 21st century.

What's next, prima nuptia?

It isn't just in KS, it's nationwide.

Look into the Bilderberg group and you'll understand. The goal is to have only two classes, the ruling, wealthy class and serfs.


irtnog2001 10 months ago

Not sure how increasing college graduate rate from 50-60% does much unless they are in valuable majors that add something to the economy. If that is the goal, why doesn't Kansas join the states offering online degrees thru Western Governors University. My understanding is they offer excellent online degree programs with good majors such as nursing at more reasonable cost than KUMC.


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