University leadership from around the state met with the Kansas Board of Regents today to discuss how to adjust to nearly $49 million in cuts from the state’s higher education budget.
The move was approved by lawmakers over the weekend, and include cuts to the state’s six universities in addition to community colleges, technical colleges and Washburn University. Cuts were also made to student financial assistance programs, the Board of Regents Office, and adult education programs Board Spokesperson Vanessa Lamoreaux said.
The loss accounts for 6.3-percent of the total higher education budget.
Universities across the state all face an initial 1.5-percent deduction, but are dealing with varying amounts of loss. Tuition at all the institutions is expected to rise.
The KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., is facing an $8.2 million loss over two years.
Doug Girod, Executive Vice Chancellor of the Medical Center, said in a statement today that his “office is now in the painful process of determining what to eliminate while maintaining our No. 1 mission, which is to train doctors, nurses and other health professionals for the state of Kansas.”
KU proposed a tuition raise to nearly eight-percent for some medical students, but that may not be enough. KU Med officials told the Board that a 12-percent increase would be necessary to completely offset the budget cut.
“The cuts are devastating,” the Board said in a statement released Thursday afternoon. “They are in direct conflict with the pro-growth strategies, ideas and desires expressed by the governor and the Board of Regents.”
The Regents are calling on Governor Brownback to veto portions of the bill, and to immediately explore other ways to fund higher education in Kansas.
Tuition and fee raises are expected to be finalized by the end of June.