Governor Brownback starts higher education tour at WSU

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WICHITA, Kansas — Kansas universities, community colleges and technical schools say they don’t want to lose any momentum.

They’ll each get a visit this week with Governor Sam Brownback to discuss the state’s funding of higher education.

Wichita State University kicked off that tour this afternoon.

“If we can stabilize our budget. it allows us to rearrange to have the money to go after those positions,” explains Wichita State University President John Bardo.

He says hiring quality faculty is getting more competitive, and Governor Sam Brownback’s proposed flat-funding of higher education will help the university put money where priorities are.

“We have to be much more active in technology development, health care, core education and make sure that those are really solid,” says Bardo.

The governor says his flat funding proposal is also about momentum.

“It really hurts momentum. It’s a momentum killer. You’ve got nice momentum at WSU after the tournament you want to build on that and we can build on things here and we don’t need that momentum to subside,” explains Governor Sam Brownback.

Members of the Board of Regents say funding for higher education in Kansas is at the same level as it was in 2002, due to previous funding cuts.

According to the university, a year of flat funding will help them accomplish more.

“This isn’t just, ‘Can you find efficiency?’ It’s a questions of what you want higher education to do, what kind of role it has and what we know is states that invest have competitive tax policies and are gonna grow,” says University President Bardo.

The governor says if his budget proposal isn’t passed,state funding for higher education in Kansas will be in serious jeopardy.

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