Dear Jayhawk for Higher Education,
Thank you for your continuing advocacy on behalf of the University of Kansas and higher education. In January, Governor Laura Kelly released her budget proposal for fiscal year 2020, which recommends an additional $8.9 million for public higher education, including an additional $2.8 million for KU. She also has proposed a 2.5 percent state employee pay increase plan that includes University employees. We appreciate her support, and we are working with her and the Kansas Legislature to continue on the funding restoration path.
The Kansas Board of Regents has requested a fiscal year 2020 increase of $50 million in base funding, which would restore support for the state’s universities to 2008 levels. Regents Chair Dennis Mullin’s Feb. 13 letter to the Legislature outlines the impact of the state’s decade of disinvestment in its public universities.
For KU, state support has decreased $28 million since 2008—a dramatic decline that has shifted more of the cost of higher education to Kansas families and hampered KU’s ability to serve the state. As the Legislature begins its budget deliberations, University leaders are presenting KU’s needs to legislative committees. Vice Chancellor Reggie Robinson met Feb. 6 with the House Appropriations Committee, and yesterday, Chancellor Doug Girod shared a similar presentation with the House Higher Education Budget Committee.
These presentations and a KU fact sheet offer helpful talking points to use in conversations with your local legislators. Please follow your representative and senator via social media and subscribe to their email newsletters for details on legislative events in your community.
We’re grateful for your loyalty; Jayhawk voices will be vital as the budget process continues.
Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09
President, KU Alumni Association