Jayhawks for Higher Education: January 13, 2016

Away We Go

Once again, the opening of the Legislative Session is upon us. Legislators convened in Topeka on Monday, and Gov. Sam Brownback delivered his 2016 State of the State speech on Tuesday. The governor released his budget recommendations earlier today, and we were pleased to see that these recommendations call for stable funding for KU.

We recognize that the state continues to face difficult budget challenges and that lawmakers will have some tough choices to make in the months ahead. Our two main 2016 legislative priorities are designed with that in mind:

Stable funding for the University of Kansas: The university is very appreciative that the Legislature has provided us a stable funding appropriation for the past two years, and we ask lawmakers to do the same this year. When adjusted for inflation, per-student state appropriations to KU have been reduced nearly 40 percent during the past 16 years. Additional cuts would be difficult to absorb without negatively impacting the students we educate and the citizens, communities and companies we serve.

Merit-based salary enhancements for KU Medical Center: KU seeks support for a 3-percent merit-based salary enhancement for faculty and staff at KU Medical Center to help recruitment and retention of top employees. Many medical center employees have not received annual merit raises in six of the past seven years. Centrally funded cumulative salary increases at KU Medical Center between 2008 and 2015 were less than half the rate of inflation during that period.

We appreciate the efforts of Jayhawks like you in assisting us to further our goals in Topeka and helping legislators understand the ways KU contributes to the prosperity of our state. As the session continues, we’ll be providing you with regular website and email updates to help you advocate on our behalf. You may also contact Kelly Reynolds, our state relations director, with questions at kelly@ku.edu.

Thank you for your ongoing support of KU.

Rock Chalk!

Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09
President, KU Alumni Association

Tim Caboni
Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs