K-State signals $15 million in budget cuts

Anderson Hall and the grand lawn open up to the rest of campus as the sun sets on Aug. 9, 2016. (File Photo by Evert Nelson | The Collegian)

Due to continued declines in enrollment, K-State will implement a $15 million budget reduction, the university reported Thursday.

At the end of the 2018 legislative session, Kansas lawmakers agreed to return a portion of the funds taken from the state university system in recent years. According to the Kansas City Star, public colleges and universities will receive a partial restoration of $15 million, or about 64 percent of the cuts that former Governor Sam Brownback had made to funds for the state’s higher education system. However, K-State’s share of that restoration — approximately $3 million — is not enough to cover all of the gaps in K-State’s finances.

“We have experienced record graduation rates with declining enrollment in recent years,” Thursday’s K-State Today read. “The subsequent loss of tuition revenue will require 5.72 percent, or approximately $15 million, in budget reductions for the university for Fiscal Year 2019.”

The university plans to distribute the $15 million reduction across institutional units, with each college receiving a 4.85 percent base budget reduction. In addition, no adjustments will be made to centrally funded merit or cost of living salaries. There will also be no targeted faculty salary enhancements.

As the College of Veterinary Medicine and K-State Polytechnic manage their tuition revenues separately, these reductions will not be applied to their budgets.

Now that the state’s budget is settled, K-State will submit its tuition proposals to the Kansas Board of Regents. The proposals will be available on the board’s website on May 16. The board will take final action on tuition proposals June 20.

K-State’s tuition proposals will seek the approval of a tuition increase ranging between 0.8 and 2.65 percent, with the most likely increase clocking in at 1.4 percent, said Cindy Bontrager, vice president for administration and finance, during last week’s Tuition Fees and Strategies Committee meeting.

Whichever proposal receives the board’s approval, K-State Today reports that the tuition increase and restored funding will be used to cover increases in fringe benefit rates and institutional scholarship costs, faculty promotions and professorial performance awards, adjustments to salaries and the hiring of two “critical” staff positions.

Hey, hi, hello! I’m Rachel Hogan, the copy chief for The Collegian. I’m a senior in journalism from Olathe, Kansas. When I’m not at work in the newsroom, I like to spend my time cuddling with my dog, working as a barista and laughing with my friends.