K-State president bracing for deepest budget cuts since 2009

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Kansas State University’s top official is asking community members to reach out state officials as it anticipates some of its deepest budget cuts in over a decade.

President Richard Myers, in a letter to the K-State community Tuesday, says Gov. Laura Kelly’s 5.5 percent cut outlined in her 2022 budget proposal to the legislature last week would be the biggest cut to its budget since 2009.

The cuts come amid a disastrous 2020 that saw budget reductions, furloughs and layoffs as revenues declined amid the coronavirus pandemic. Myers estimates that because of the dynamics of the legislature, the cuts could potentially change even more dramatically. He says officials plan to continue work with the governor and the legislature to provide necessary funding to fulfill K-State’s land-grant mission.

Myers is encouraging members of the K-State community, as private citizens, to reach out to local state representatives and senators to advocate for higher education. Myers adds that “a long-term disinvestment in higher education does not bode well for the future of the state, nor the health of its universities.

The spring semester starts Jan. 25 and will remain in a fully remote setting until Feb. 8.

A recap of the governor’s proposal for higher education is below.

The governor’s budget proposal calls for $178.7 million in state general fund money to be allocated to K-State for the 2022 fiscal year, which is about a $500,000 decrease from the current fiscal year. K-State’s overall operating budget is around $900 million.

Under the plan, the main campus would receive $107.5 million from the state general fund, an increase of close to $2 million from fiscal year 2021.

* The Polytechnic campus would receive $6.8 million, unchanged from this year.

* K-State Extension would receive $48.9 million, down from $51.1 million from this year.

* The College of Veterinary Medicine would receive $15 million, down from $15.2 million from this year.

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Brandon Peoples

KMAN News Director and host of In Focus. Contact Brandon at Brandon@1350KMAN.com

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