President Kirk Schulz published an open letter Monday morning, giving his personal experience with the recent Kansas budget crisis.
As the possibility of furloughs loomed for state employees, Schulz recalled one particular day.
“Thursday, June 4 — the day before furlough notices went out — was the worst day of my presidency at K-State as we prepared notices to our faculty and staff,” Schulz wrote. “To me, we were getting ready to tell significant numbers of the K-State family they were ‘non-essential’ and their services and commitment to our students and the state of Kansas were not needed. With that came not receiving paychecks that they — and their families — were expecting until the Legislature finished its work.”
Schulz also wrote about the furlough process itself and the concept of what an essential employee is.
“First, let me say on behalf of our entire senior leadership team how sorry we are that we even had to go through the furlough process,” Schulz wrote. “The quality of our university is driven by the people who work at K-State and having to tell any members of our university community that they are ‘non-essential’ does not recognize the value each of you bring to Kansas State University.”
Schulz said that although the Seaton Hall project will be funded and there will not be any internal budget reallocations, there will also not be any across-the-board salary increases for faculty and staff.