Jayhawks for Higher Education: March 5, 2015

Update on Senate activity impacting the University of Kansas


Dear Jayhawk for Higher Education:

Yesterday, we wrote you and asked you to contact Kansas legislators as they considered a proposal involving the University of Kansas. Thank you to those who took action and contacted members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. We truly appreciate your efforts. We are writing now to update you on the Legislature’s activity.

Earlier today, the Ways and Means Committee endorsed a recommendation that would take $4.7 million from the Lawrence campus and redistribute it to KU Medical Center, specifically for the KU School of Medicine-Wichita, for each of the next two fiscal years. (Links to news coverage are below.)

As we told you yesterday, we do not support this recommendation. The proposed redistribution is not helpful to the University of Kansas as a whole, and in fact would be harmful to many of our students. This includes our future medical, nursing and health professions students, many of whom do their undergraduate work at our Lawrence campus.

Additionally, we do not support this proposal because it represents an unprecedented intervention into the budgeting priorities of a single university and specifically targets KU.

We have – and will continue – to advocate for support for the KU Medical Center, including both the Kansas City and Wichita programs. Kansas has a severe shortage of healthcare providers, and no institution is more committed or better positioned to address that shortage than the University of Kansas. But the Ways and Means Committee’s proposed redistribution does not help us address that challenge.

Remember, allotments issued by the Governor in February have already cut higher education 2 percent for the rest of the fiscal year — a $4.8 million cut for KU. Additional cuts would increase the damage done to KU’s ability to serve students and the state.

We will keep you updated throughout the session. In the meantime, we encourage you to participate in the legislative process through Jayhawks for Higher Education. We also encourage you to contact lawmakers and tell them this proposed redistribution of funds is not helpful to the University of Kansas or the Kansas communities that rely on us.

Sincerely,

Kevin J. Corbett, c’88
President, KU Alumni Association

 

NEWS COVERAGE:
Medical school officials want legislators to stay out of budget deliberations (Wichita Business Journal)
Senate panel endorses $9.4 million swap from KU Lawrence to Wichita medical school (Lawrence Journal-World)