September 15, 2010

$50 Million, 5-Part Initiative Would Boost the Kansas Economy

(TOPEKA) – Today the Kansas Board of Regents approved The Kansas Commitment, a $50 million initiative aimed at boosting the state’s economy.

“The Kansas Commitment protects the state’s historical investment in its higher education infrastructure, helps middle and low-income Kansans who can’t afford to attend college but who have the talent to succeed, and boosts the Kansas economy through targeted workforce development initiatives,” said Regent Gary Sherrer of Overland Park, Chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents. “In addition, The Kansas Commitment restores the Legislature’s deferred building maintenance funding promise and ensures Kansans in every corner of the state have access to high-speed broadband internet.”

The Kansas Commitment includes five components:

  • KAN-PROTECT ($20.5 million SGF request):
    The Board will request a 2.73% inflationary increase, based on the Higher Education Price Index, for all 32 public colleges and universities for Fiscal Year 2012.
  • KAN-BUILD ($15.75 million SGF request):
    To help balance the State’s budget, the Legislature cut funding for Years 3 and 4 of the 5-year systemwide deferred building maintenance funding plan it approved in 2007. The Board will request that Year 4 funding, for programs utilized by all 32 public colleges and universities, be restored.
  • KAN-HELP ($0 SGF request, $10 million other funds):
    The Board will request to re-coup the state sales tax collected on the six state university campuses. The Board will then create KAN-HELP, a need-based financial aid program for middle and low-income State University students. Kansans whose families are at or below the statewide median family income level (currently $50,174) would be eligible for a KAN-HELP loan that would be applied to tuition and fee costs. Students who receive a loan, and who live and work in Kansas following graduation, would be eligible for complete loan forgiveness. Students who receive a loan, and who depart Kansas following graduation or who fail to graduate, would be required to pay back what would become a low-interest loan.
  • KAN-GROW ($14.15 million SGF request will leverage $7.075 million other funds):
    The Board will request funding to create KAN-GROW, a 2-to-1 state-to-college/university matched funding program to grow the Kansas workforce and economy. Programs include a joint-initiative from Kansas State University, the University of Kansas, and Wichita State University to solve the state’s shortage of engineering graduates.
  • KAN-CONNECT ($0 SGF request, $10 million other funds):
    The Board will advocate for continued funding for Kan-ed, a program that connects almost 900 Kansas hospitals, libraries, higher education institutions, and K-12 schools to high-speed broadband internet.

A detailed Kansas Commitment PowerPoint presentation can be found on the Board of Regents website.  


About the Kansas Board of Regents:
The nine-member Kansas Board of Regents is the governing board of the state’s six universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions (seven public universities, 19 community colleges, and six technical colleges). In addition, the Board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, GED, and career and technical education programs. The Board also authorizes private proprietary schools and out-of-state institutions to operate in Kansas, and administers Kan-ed, a statewide network that provides broadband Internet access and distance learning capabilities for schools, hospitals, and libraries.

For more information contact Kip Peterson at (785) 296-3421 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Visit the Kansas Board of Regents online at