Kansas Board of Regents

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Students at the University of Kansas could see their in-state tuition rise next year by 5 percent, not 4 percent as they might have been anticipating after last month's Board of Regents meeting. Likewise, students at Kansas State University could see a tuition jump of 5.8 percent, not 5 percent. 

Most public universities in Kansas now plan to ask for tuition increases at Wednesday's Board of Regents meeting bigger than what was requested at last month's meeting.

Dyche Hall, University of Kansas
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The regular meeting of the Kansas Board of Regents Wednesday already had a bit of a somber tone; all six universities came in with tuition hike requests between 3.3 percent and 5 percent. In a 109-page document the schools detailed increased expenses and an anticipated 3 percent cut from the state.

For those who don't closely follow college sports, and even for those who do, there are some things that might strike you as unusual about coaches’ contracts.

Rarely is their salary what they really make.

Bill Self's contract at the University of Kansas is a good example.

The Kansas Board of Regents Monday issued a strong statement after the Legislature approved a budget that cuts $17 million out of higher education next year. The Regents say the cut is shortsighted and will damage the state's economy.

“To extend any cuts into next year would be detrimental to the future prosperity of Kansas,” Chairman Shane Bangerter said.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Estimates for Kansas tax collections were ratcheted down sharply Wednesday. The state’s projected revenues dropped by a quarter billion dollars over the next year-and-a-half. That leaves Kansas with a budget deficit, and Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing plans for erasing the shortfall.

Kansas will need to find $140 million in the current fiscal year to get out of the red. Next fiscal year, which starts in July, will need another $151 million in cuts or new revenue. Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, laid out three options for filling the hole.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

  How much does a college degree cost? What kind of salary will an engineering student make when they graduate? What about an English major?

Starting Wednesday crunching those numbers will get a lot easier for students who are looking at a state university in Kansas. There’s now one-stop shopping for students and parents looking at Kansas universities.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

July 2017 may seem like a long ways away, but when you’re planning to allow guns on college campuses, it might as well be just around the corner.

How Kansas colleges will comply with the law allowing guns on campus while maintaining security is complicated.

But it’s perhaps most complex at the KU Medical Center and the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas.

Since Kansas lawmakers passed a bill that would allow almost anyone to carry a concealed gun on college campuses, we've been hearing the arguments against it.

University of Kansas Hospital

The University of Kansas and KU Medical Center stand to lose the most from $17 million worth of cuts announced by Gov. Sam Brownback Tuesday. 

The state Board of Regents itemized those across-the-board cuts Wednesday.

Kansas Board of Regents

Although some tried to stop it and many don’t like the idea, the Kansas Board of Regents is expected to approve a new conceal-and-carry weapons policy at its regular meeting Wednesday.

As it now stands, come July 1, 2017 anyone will be able to carry a gun on a public school campus in Kansas.

But the vast majority of faculty and staff oppose the change.

Kansas Board of Regents

In 18 months, almost anyone will be able to carry a concealed gun on a Kansas public university campus but the Board of Regents is already working on new safety procedures.

Later this month, the Regents Governance Committee will meet in Wichita to discuss a draft policy on weapons possession that was just released. Regents spokesperson Breeze Richardson says the Board hopes to vote on the new policy at its December meeting.

College students in Kansas will see their tuition bills increase next year after the Kansas Board of Regents voted Wednesday to raise rates. 

The overall tuition and fee increases for undergraduate resident students in Kansas range from 2.5 percent at Fort Hays State University to more than 5 percent at Kansas State. Regents Chairman Fred Logan says this is the lowest increase in 13 years.

"It's always a tough job balancing access and excellence and I think we've done a pretty nice job of that here," says Logan.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday finalized a controversial social media policy that places broad limits on employees and is being criticized as one of the most restrictive in the country.

Regents Chairman Fred Logan, speaking to a packed meeting in Topeka, defended the policy, claiming it will shore up academic freedom by creating more specific guidelines.

Wikimedia -- CC

The Kansas Board of Regents has decided to add a free speech provision to a controversial social media policy, a decision criticized as “window dressing.”

Regent Chairman Fred Logan, who along with the rest of the board has come under fire nationally from professors and First Amendment advocates, said during a board meeting this week that he does not believe the policy restricts staff and faculty from openly expressing their opinions, the Lawrence Journal-World reports.

Alyson Raletz/KCUR

 The line between individual social media activity and employment status isn’t a clear one, according to feedback we received this week from listeners.

When we asked “Should your boss be able to fire you for what you tweet?” on the air and online, the responses showed the issue of social media and the workplace as a divisive one in Kansas City.  

We received many emphatic yeses, citing personal responsibility.

The Kansas Board of Regents’ new social media policy for university personnel is at the center of heated debate, both inside and outside the education world.

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk about the pros and cons of the policy.

Guests:

Laura Spencer / KCUR

The Kansas Board of Regents this week approved the renovation and expansion plans for the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas.

The building where the museum is housed opened to the public in 1978, and according to a news release, the collection has grown by more than 250 percent. This includes the nearly 10,000 objects transferred to the Spencer's holdings in 2007, with the closing of the KU Museum of Anthropology, and other acquisitions.

The Kansas Board of Regents has approved a budget request that asks for restoration of millions of dollars in cuts. Lawmakers cut more than $30 million from the higher education budget last legislative session.

The cuts to higher education were made to across-the-board spending, and funding for salaries.

Lawmakers passed a two-year budget last session, but members of the Board or Regents said they have a responsibility to advocate for increased investment in higher ed. The regents backed off a proposal that would have promised flat tuition if the cuts were reversed.

The Kansas Board of Regents will be talking about budget issues this week. This comes in the wake of funding cuts to higher education made earlier this year.

Writing a budget proposal for something as large and complex as the university system takes multiple steps. Mary Jane Stankiewicz with the Board of Regents says university officials have made their proposals to the board. Now the regents will work on distilling that into one plan.

“This will be a discussion and a determination of what items should be forwarded to the governor for consideration,” says Stankiewicz.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

After more than 20 years of showing rotating artwork, mostly of local artists, an exhibition program at University of Kansas Medical Center has closed. Officials say it’s the impact of steep cuts to state funding. And the KU Chancellor defended the school's commitment to free speech Tuesday. But others are calling it censorship. 

Inside and outside the library

A Democratic state senator from Topeka says Gov. Sam Brownback is packing the Kansas Board of Regents with too many Republicans.

State law requires that no more than five of the nine regents belong to the same political party. The senator says Brownback's recent appointments violate the spirit of that law.

Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley said this week that the governor is skirting the rules because one of the new appointees changed his registration from Republican to unaffiliated in February.

Brownback says Hensley’s criticism is not accurate.

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.

Kansas Board of Regents members say they will study the issue of allowing guns on campuses, but for now they'll continue barring concealed weapons.

A bill signed into law this week by the governor would allow legally carried concealed weapons in most public buildings, unless the buildings meet certain security requirements. The new law takes effect July 1st, but universities can exempt themselves from the requirement for four years.

Regent Fred Logan says they don't have time to thoroughly study the issue by July 1st.