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Kansas university chancellor asks for more funding

October 5, 2018

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas’ chancellor is asking gubernatorial candidates and lawmakers to provide more funding to higher education.

KU Chancellor Douglas Girod has been holding meetings to urge legislators to approve the Kansas Board of Regents’ $85 million budget request, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. University of Kansas campuses would receive about $33 million if the budget is approved.

“A new governor in January will define what this legislative session will look like,” Girod said.

The university has faced challenges since announcing plans to cut $20 million from its budget by leaving many vacant faculty positions unfilled and implementing a buyout program for older faculty members, Girod said.

“We are simply asking for the funding back that was cut by the Legislature in 2008,” he said. “We have been asking for that money for the past 10 years and haven’t had much luck.”

The state’s Board of Regents reported this week that the university’s total 2018 enrollment is at 24,246, marking a 0.6 percent decline. The university has reported its head count at 28,510 students across all campuses, which is an increase of 63 students from last year. The state board uses a full-time equivalency metric instead of the university’s approach of counting heads.

“In reality we are flat,” Girod said.

The chancellor remains hopeful that the university will be able to prioritize funding faculty and staff once the budget is balanced.

“Once we balance the budget, anything we bring to the table will go to our priority,” Girod said. “We have to keep taking care of our people or we won’t have the incredible people we have.”

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

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