FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2016
Stable Funding Critical to Higher Education
(Topeka, Kansas) - When the legislature began the 2016 session, the Board of Regents clearly communicated the Board’s first priority as the preservation of current levels in state support to the system, along with strong opposition to any reallocation of funds among the universities.
“It is disappointing to have already received $17 million in state appropriations cut to our six state universities in this current year,” stated Shane Bangerter, Chair of the Board of Regents. “To extend any cuts into next year would be detrimental to the future prosperity of Kansans.”
At this time there have been no additional cuts, but language included in the legislature’s recently approved budget bill instructs the Governor if he is going to make cuts to higher education, to do so in a disproportional way that will take over $1 million more each from Kansas State University and the University of Kansas.
Article 6 of the state constitution grants control and supervision of Kansas public institutions of higher education to the Board of Regents, whose current membership was exclusively appointed by Governor Brownback.
“Managing the budgets of these complicated, mission-driven, institutions in a way that coordinates their efforts as a single system for the betterment of the state is without question a job that should be left to the Regents – not prescribed by the legislature,” stated Bangerter. “Higher education provides the workforce that keeps Kansas companies competitive and our state economically strong. Reducing state funding to our state universities transfers the cost of education to students and their families.”
Chairman Bangerter concluded: “As Governor Brownback begins taking the necessary steps to move our state forward, making the hard decisions required to balance the state’s budget, we need to see a commitment to grow the Kansas economy translated in-part by the provision of stable state funding to higher education in Kansas. There should be no additional cuts to higher education.”
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 (six state universities, one municipal university, nineteen community colleges, and six technical colleges). In addition, the Board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, high school equivalency, and career and technical education programs. Private proprietary schools and out-of-state institutions are authorized by the Kansas Board of Regents to operate in Kansas.
Stable Funding Critical to Higher Education (PDF download)