Bulk Of Kansas Higher Education Cuts Coming From KU, K-State

Mar 2, 2016

On Tuesday, Gov. Sam Brownback ordered state budget reductions in response to lower-than-expected tax collections. That included a 3 percent, or about $17 million, cut to higher education in Kansas that will take place over the next four months.

The cuts came after tax collections fell $54 million short of expectations in February. In a statement, Wichita State University President John Bardo said the impact at WSU will likely be a spending reduction of about $2 million from now through June. Bardo said all noncritical spending at Wichita State has been frozen and added that he is committed to preserving the jobs of WSU employees.

Noncritical spending is anything that is not absolutely required to keep the university running. The cuts will not impact the Innovation Campus because construction there is not reliant on state funds.

The board released figures Wednesday showing that the University of Kansas and the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, together will lose almost $7.2 million.

Kansas State University, its veterinary school and its agricultural extension research programs will lose $4.9 million.

The regents said Pittsburg State will lose almost $1.1 million; Fort Hays State, $992,000; and Emporia State almost $922,000.

Kansas has struggled to balance its budget since personal income taxes were slashed in 2012 and 2013 in an effort to stimulate the economy. Democratic legislative leaders blamed revenue shortfalls on what they described as the governor's fiscal mismanagement. Brownback argues the drop is caused by economic trends, not the state’s tax policy.

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