Kansas Universities Brace for more Budget Cuts

By: KAKE News
By: KAKE News

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The budget at Wichita State will possibly be getting smaller and smaller.

As higher education braces for the next found of budget cuts, lawmakers get a first hand look at the state of Kansas universities.

A group of legislators stopped by Wichita State on Monday, touring the facilities and taking a look at the needs of the university. It is one stop out of five including trips to KU and K-State.

Wichita State University President Don Beggs says this year Wichita State was counting on $65 million from the state. About a half million of that was already cut in August and there's more on the way. With student class enrollment up this fall the university does have $700 thousand it's holding on to.

But higher enrollment is a "catch 22." It brings in more money to offset a shortfall, but also means more students who need services. While Beggs says there are no plans to cut back the teaching staff -- there could be a hiring freeze, low enrollment programs could eventually be faded out, money spent on student's supplies and marketing could go way down, and there's no question about student's paying more tuition.

Money from spring enrollment could be key in loosening up funds at Wichita State as they brace for this next round of state budget cuts.

Statewide, higher education makes up about 16% of the budget. Beggs says out of that Wichita State makes up about 11%.

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