25 years ago: Too many universities, Kansas senator says

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for July 16, 1990:

Sen. Wint Winter Jr., R-Lawrence, said today that if all six Kansas Board of Regents universities were wiped away by a tornado, they shouldn’t all be rebuilt. “If you were sitting down to design a university system in the state, it would not look like it is today and there would not be as many universities,” Winter said. “That’s pretty clear to me…. And I think the majority of legislators would tell you they agree with that, some of them perhaps not publicly.” Winter said if a new system were formulated, Emporia State and Pittsburg State would top his list of schools that ought to be reconsidered. “I think Emporia, geographically, would not hold up. You would have a University of West Kansas. Fort Hays is where you would probably have it,” he said. “You would ask whether Kansas State would be there (in Manhattan). You might put it at Wichita.” Regents chairman Robert Creighton said he wasn’t convinced there were too many universities, adding that the schools were “going to have to look at what their good programs are and focus in on them.” KU professor Robert Minor agreed with Winter that there were too many universities, “but the political reality is, that isn’t going to be changed.” Winter recalled when the regents had recommended Emporia State drop its graduate programs and focus exclusively on undergraduate education. “You’d have thought the regents were going to tear the place down brick by brick and tie up all the faculty and shoot them all at dawn. We met tremendous resistance,” Winter said.