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JackMartin_KUCommunications (Jack Martin)

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Rhetoric heats up over KU as Senate committee approves plan that deletes some funding proposals for the school

Only by mixing different budget years and different sources together can one create an apparent gap where it does not actually exist.

The $184 million figure can only be arrived at by comparing two different reports on two different fiscal years at KU. In the current fiscal year (FY 2014), KU's revenues and expenditures are both $1.17 billion - i.e. no gap.

The $986 million expenditures figure cited by Sen. Arpke comes from a Kansas Legislative Research Department summary of the Governor's FY 2015 Budget. That KLRD summary leaves out many tens of millions of dollars in expenditures that are accounted for in the Governor's Budget.

March 19, 2014 at 8:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

House committee rejects bonds for Allen Fieldhouse apartments; another panel OKs help for medical building

No worries. The story doesn't make the funding source clear.

February 14, 2014 at 9:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

House committee rejects bonds for Allen Fieldhouse apartments; another panel OKs help for medical building

Nothing has changed from the original proposal. Private donations would be used along with the money generated by the apartment building itself to pay off the bonds.

No taxpayer or tuition funds would be used.

February 14, 2014 at 6:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Saturday Column: University faculty could be great legislative resource

I forgot to mention that if one is looking for a list of KU distinguished professors and their areas of expertise http://distinguishedprofessors.ku.edu/ is a great resource.

Additionally, http://kuworks.ku.edu/ has details on the statewide reach of the university's faculty, staff, students, and programs.

February 1, 2014 at 10:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Saturday Column: University faculty could be great legislative resource

There is no policy requiring faculty and staff to get permission from the Chancellor's Office or Public Affairs to interact with legislators, but Public Affairs does send an annual e-mail reminding faculty and staff of a couple of things.

First, the University of Kansas has reporting obligations for federal lobbying. Second, KU's government affairs team is available to provide assistance when faculty and staff are contacted by policymakers. Many faculty and staff appreciate having background on the members or committees they’ll be appearing before, particularly if it is their first time testifying at the Legislature.

In the Statehouse, KU's state relations director is the primary point of contact for legislators, and is often approached with follow-up questions after testimony. By maintaining coordination, the university can quickly respond and keep building relationships. For example, earlier this session Rick Levy, JB Smith Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law, briefed legislators on Kansas' corporate agriculture statutes. And this past week, John Poggio, professor of educational psychology and research, testified to a joint House-Senate committee about predictors of post-secondary educational success.

Now, in terms of the spotlight placed on academics, I will again ask how many staff members this newspaper is sending to cover the basketball game in Austin, Texas, versus the one reporter assigned to cover all other aspects of KU.

The university has a news service dedicated to covering academics and research, and if the LJW's coverage is leaving you wanting, then might I suggest signing up for KU Today? You can do so at http://news.ku.edu

February 1, 2014 at 10:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: KU priorities

Great universities move forward on several fronts at once. Across the street from the proposed Fieldhouse Apartments we’re preparing to build a privately-funded School of Business building, and up the road work is underway on state-supported School of Engineering expansion. On Daisy Hill, we’re on track to build two new residence halls, which come after recently completed renovations at GSP. And when it comes to recruiting talented students, on top of the four-year renewable scholarships for undergraduates, we just announced new fellowships for doctoral students.

In short, we aspire to be excellent in everything we do.

But if we want to talk about priorities and academics vs. athletics, how many staff members is the LJW sending to Norman today? If KU had a dozen faculty members presenting at a conference at the University of Oklahoma, could we expect similar coverage?

January 8, 2014 at 10:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Saturday Column: KU should explore medical research opportunity

The University of Kansas Medical Center is a national leader in translational research. In June 2011, KUMC received a $20 million Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health. The five-year grant puts the medical center among an elite, 60-member group of universities collaborating on clinical and translational research, which transforms laboratory discoveries into treatments and cures.

This grant was used to create Frontiers: The Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. It is working with more than two dozen partners in the region to speed the delivery of discoveries to patients.

You can learn more about Frontiers here: http://frontiersresearch.org/frontiers/

See the list of partners here: http://frontiersresearch.org/frontier...

And read about the grant here: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/jun...

November 9, 2013 at 8:21 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Regents propose keeping tuition flat next year if Legislature restores funds that were cut

I recommend that you review the fact sheet that was put together by individuals who have experience in managing the finances of a university with a $1.2 billion budget. I'll quote it here, as it directly addresses your statement:

"Prior to 2010, the university maintained too small of a balance in the [General Fees Fund], which often led to problems covering payments until tuition collections in September. The university's current policy aligns with standard accounting practices of maintaining two months' expenses in the operating fund. Payroll on the Lawrence campus for July and August 2012, for example, was approximately $15.4 million."

I know that it is your contention, as it was a couple of years ago when similar statements were made about K-12 schools, that universities should essentially operate hand-to-mouth. Doing so would have left the university unable to pay many millions of dollars in expenses last summer.

August 15, 2013 at 5:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Regents propose keeping tuition flat next year if Legislature restores funds that were cut

An annual snapshot that is taken at a time when a fund is near its peak because it is needed to pay expenses during the weeks and months prior to revenue being received creates an inflated sense of what is available to spend. As does conflating the General Fees Fund with a "reserve" that is not committed.

August 14, 2013 at 10:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Regents propose keeping tuition flat next year if Legislature restores funds that were cut

In FY 2013, only $3.7 million at the Lawrence Campus and $600,000 at the KU Medical Center could be considered "reserve" funds that can be used for unexpected expenses. The General Fees Fund cited above is used to maintain university operations - including paying employees and vendors - during the summer before tuition payments are received in the fall. As a result, taking a snapshot at the start of the fiscal year does not provide an accurate picture.

More facts about KU fund balances are available in this fact sheet from April 30 of this year: http://publicaffairs.ku.edu/govrelati...

August 14, 2013 at 9:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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