Dear Jayhawk for Higher Education,
This week, all Kansas legislators will receive a joint letter from KU Chancellor Doug Girod, Kansas State President Richard Myers and Wichita State President John Bardo, asking for restoration of $24 million in recent higher education funding cuts. A copy of their letter appears below, or click here for a printable version.
Please contact your representative and senator to echo our university leaders’ message. Legislators are currently in their home communities; they will return to Topeka April 26 to begin final budget deliberations. Please remind your lawmakers that investing in stable funding for higher education is essential to ensure that our colleges and universities can continue to:
- maintain affordable tuition for Kansas families
- enhance students’ educational experiences
- serve all Kansas communities through research and outreach programs
- prepare the future workforce
- drive economic growth in Kansas and the region
Now is the time for legislators to hear from you and fellow alumni, who know firsthand the enduring value and far-reaching impact that higher education provides for all Kansans. Please convey this vital message to your senator and representative. Thank you for your dedicated advocacy.
Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09
President, KU Alumni Association
Letter sent to legislators:
Improving the lives of our citizens and creating a more prosperous Kansas continues to be a priority at Kansas State University, the University of Kansas, and Wichita State University.
We are writing today to ask for your support of the Regents’ single budget request this year — restoration of $24 million for the system which was reduced under the FY 2017 budget allotments. For our three institutions, the total is $14,565,895.
Your investment in higher education would have immediate and long-term benefits for Kansas. Recent data indicates college graduates contribute more taxes, require less public assistance and achieve lifetime earnings of $1 million more than non-graduates and individuals without advanced degrees.
At our three institutions, first and foremost, restoration of FY 2017 budget cuts would help us to maintain affordable tuition for students and families. Additionally, restoration of the cuts would enable our universities to improve the educational experience for students, expand outreach and service to Kansas communities, enhance our research portfolios, and address retention challenges as other universities attempt to lure away our top researchers.
More broadly, stable and predictable State funding is essential for our universities to do any kind of long-term strategic planning and make prudent business decisions. We strongly believe that a robust higher education system with our state’s continued investment is a critical factor in our job to produce a well-prepared workforce and a productive citizen.
In closing, we want you to know we value the State as a partner in higher education in Kansas. We are responsible stewards of State dollars; we continue to achieve efficiencies in our operations; and we continue to be engines of economic growth for the state and region.
Thank you for consideration of our request. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact any one of us or our government relations staff.
Richard B. Myers
Kansas State University
Douglas A. Girod
University of Kansas
John W. Bardo
Wichita State University