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Archive for Thursday, June 27, 2013

Brownback names new Regents, vows to fight for restored higher education funding

June 27, 2013, 10:02 a.m. Updated June 27, 2013, 10:49 a.m.

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New Kansas Board of Regents members, from left: Shane Bangerter, of Dodge City; Helen Van Etten, of Topeka, and Ann Murguia, of Kansas City, Kan., await the announcement of their appointment by Gov. Sam Brownback, Thursday, June 27, 2013, on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/John Milburn)

New Kansas Board of Regents members, from left: Shane Bangerter, of Dodge City; Helen Van Etten, of Topeka, and Ann Murguia, of Kansas City, Kan., await the announcement of their appointment by Gov. Sam Brownback, Thursday, June 27, 2013, on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/John Milburn)

— Gov. Sam Brownback today appointed three new members to the Kansas Board of Regents and vowed to work to restore recent funding cuts to higher education.

Shane Bangerter, an attorney from Dodge City; Ann Brandau-Murguia, a commissioner for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan.; and Helen Van Etten, a Republican national committeewoman and audiologist with the Topeka school district were appointed to the regents.

They are replacing Christine Downey-Schmidt, a former state senator from Inman, Janie Perkins, a school district administrator and former mayor of Garden City, and Dan Lykins, a Topeka attorney.

The nine-member board oversees the six state universities, 19 community colleges and six technical colleges.

Brownback described his appointees as an "all-star team," who are passionate about the state.

Incoming Regents Chairman Fred Logan said to Brownback "You've knocked a home run."

The three come onto a board that has been highly critical of recent cuts to higher education, totaling $44 million over two years, approved by the Legislature.

When asked about those cuts, the three appointees shied away from making a definite statement, agreeing they needed to learn more about the budget issues.

Brownback said he disapproved of the cuts, but he signed them into law. On Thursday, he said, "I'm going to fight to get that restored."

Brownback said he has been meeting with legislators about higher education funding. "I think we have a good shot of getting stable funding for our four-year institutions."

In comments during a news conference, Bangerter, who is vice chair of the Dodge City community college board, said he wanted to make sure that higher education remained open, accessible and affordable.

Murguia agreed, noting the high poverty in her area, and Van Etten said her primary passion was education.

Comments

Roger Tarbutton 1 year, 3 months ago

Doesn't sound like any of them are heavy hitters that will command respect from the legislature. BOR needs members with a national or at least regional reputation in business or education who are impartial and have the respect of both the legislature and higher education.

3

Jim Washington 1 year, 3 months ago

Ms Van Etten is a heavy hitter - Dr. of Audiology - has been a National Committeewoman for sometime - legislature will absolutely pay attention to her.

0

ku99 1 year, 3 months ago

Brownback will take people for a ride again and again. No restoration is possible without undoing his tax plan. Raise taxes on Koch brothers.

5

Lane Signal 1 year, 3 months ago

If Brownie did not like the cuts to higher education funding he could have vetoed them. His words are hollow. His actions speak for themselves.

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Lefty54 1 year, 3 months ago

The next time Brownback keeps a promise about funding education will be the first time. He hates public education.

4

Centerville 1 year, 3 months ago

"Doesn't sound like any of them are heavy hitters that will command respect from the legislature." You mean like that dynamo KU Chancellor - who made such an non-compelling case for higher ed?

1

Lefty54 1 year, 3 months ago

Wefald and Budig are great suggestions. Both would be perfect. Which means Brownback would never consider either one of them.

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jesse499 1 year, 3 months ago

Chancellor Budig would have to do a better job then he did when he was on the board at Westar.

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April Fleming 1 year, 3 months ago

It's all well and good to wish for restored funding but you can't take money out of a bank THAT HAS NO MONEY.

1

Orwell 1 year, 3 months ago

You may not be aware of this, but the legislature and the governor together have the power to make people put money in the bank. They just enacted laws that will require most Kansans to pay more, through increased sales taxes and reduced income tax deductions. Dave and Charlie, of course, got another free pass.

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oldexbeat 1 year, 3 months ago

Lawyer Bangerter, longtime supporter of Brownback -- his office was one of the first places that Sam announced for governor -- is deep in the tea party and in some cult church, too. He lead the white flight from Dodge City -- to a ugly windblown snake filled suburb miles north of the city -- but funny thing. Immigrants followed him out. His legal specialty is fighting against workers in injury cases. A graduate of the 600 foot tall Oral Roberts University, his law firm anti-worker profile reads:

"His cases have made new law in Kansas regarding such work issues as determining accident dates; issues regarding employee termination for cause and whether a work disability should be granted; consideration of overtime when determining qualification for work disabilities; the applicability of the agricultural pursuit exemption, and the impact of a person’s legal status on work benefits."

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Orwell 1 year, 3 months ago

Just because someone has a degree in audiology doesn't mean she will listen to the public.

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verity 1 year, 3 months ago

Didn't Brownback just sign a bill cutting funding for higher ed? Did I misunderstand?

Please, someone give me an example of when Brownback has spoken the truth. I'm serious, I really want to know.

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gcccstudent 1 year, 3 months ago

What do you expect from a state that is rated #10 in the nation for political corruption? Just try to get someone to look into shady political dealings. AG office has told me that you can file a legal action at your expense but there is not an agency in the state of Kansas that will look out for the citizens. Only alternative is FBI Political Corruption Division, good luck with that!!!

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