Dear Jayhawk for Higher Education,
Governor Jeff Colyer, a 1986 graduate of the KU School of Medicine, took the oath of office Wednesday in the Capitol rotunda as the 47th Kansas governor; he soon will outline his vision for the state and announce his staff and cabinet.
Next Tuesday, Feb. 6, Chancellor Doug Girod will present KU’s budget to the House Higher Education Budget Committee. The top priority for KU and the Regents universities remains restoration of recent cuts to higher education funding: $24 million for all universities, including $7.4 million for KU.
Although revision of the K-12 education funding formula currently dominates legislative discussions, it is important that higher education advocates continue to urge the restoration of universities’ funding. These reminders will help ensure that higher education’s needs remain part of the final budget debate in April and May. To help frame your conversations with legislators, the KU Office of Public Affairs has published a new fact sheet showing that state funding for higher education continues to lag behind pre-recession levels and the rate of inflation.
Local legislative forums provide opportunities to thank lawmakers for their service and remind them of the necessity to restore vital funding to our universities. I hope you will participate in these events, which legislators announce on social media and in their email newsletters. Please watch for upcoming forums in your community.
We will send our next update on Friday, Feb. 16. Thanks for your loyalty!
Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09
President, KU Alumni Association