TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Board of Regents say the bulk of a potential 5 percent, or $28 million, cut in state aid for universities in the system would affect the University of Kansas, the University of Kansas Medical Center and Kansas State University.
The Topeka Capital-Journal (http://bit.ly/2dwZ5DI ) reports that the possible cuts were outlined in documents requested by Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration.
Brownback isn’t required to reveal his budget strategy until the State of the State speech in January. His budget director, Shawn Sullivan, told department heads outside the higher education system in an email Tuesday that Brownback would not propose across-the-board cuts.
If state lawmakers were to embrace new spending reductions on higher education, the adjustments would come on top of a 4 percent rollback approved in the current fiscal year by the governor.
Kansas State University officials say the loss of $4.9 million in state funding would trigger reductions across the institution. University of Kansas Medical Center officials say the institution intends to shield its cancer treatment and research program from a $5.1 million reduction.
“Further reductions in state funding will degrade the university’s ability to fulfill its land-grant mission for the state and to achieve our K-State 2025 vision of a top 50 public research institution,” Kansas State University said. “In addition, more financial burden will be placed on students in the form of increased tuition and fees.”
The Board of Regents is working to persuade the 2017 Legislature to restore the $30 million withdrawn from state universities.
“It is critical to the board that we do everything we can to communicate the role of our higher education system in addressing the workforce shortages Kansas will be facing if we don’t increase the number of Kansans who hold some type of post-secondary credential,” Board chairman Zoe Newton said.
Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com