K-State seeks ways to help pay for 2025 plan

By Bryan Richardson

After spending the past year developing K-State 2025 goals, 2012 will be the time for a plan to fund it. Fund-raising is a key component in the university’s quest to become a top-50 public research institution by 2025.

K-State President Kirk Schulz said in a December letter on the president’s website, “There is no doubt that if we are going to be successful in achieving our top 50 goal that we will need to acquire substantial additional financial resources.”

The fund-raising plans include being active in securing state and federal funding. However, the biggest potential area for funding growth is through private funds.

The university has already been moving toward increasing its private dollars, setting a record for fund-raising in fiscal year 2011 with $107 million collected. A decade ago, K-State raised about $50 million a year in private funds, Schulz said.

He said it will take $150 to $175 million annually to help make K-State 2025 a reality. Schulz indicated this year that private dollars will be the source of funding for new buildings and expansions. Examples of this include the basketball practice facility, an upcoming Student Welcome Center, and a new wing for Justin Hall.

The Kansas State University Foundation Board of Directors approved a fund-raising campaign to further support the top 50 initiative. This vote came after Alexander Haas, a national fund-raising consulting firm, spent time gauging potential financial support for K-State 2025.

During 2012 and into the foreseeable future, the fund-raising campaign will be in the “flooring phase,” meaning the focus of efforts will be getting “transformational gifts” from alumni and friends of the university. It is envisioned that it will be several years before there is a more public phase of the campaign with an established financial goal.

The K-State 2025 planning process will continue throughout the coming year. Colleges and departments will develop strategic plans as a supplement to the university-wide plan. It is expected to be completed by the end of the spring semester.

Academic departments and similar units would follow with plans developed by the end of 2012.

K-State will have to continue working on improving the university with the knowledge that funding from student tuition has overtaken state appropriations money for the first time in FY12.

Student tuition is at $178.1 million, which is 26.2 percent of the university’s total budget. State funds represent 23.8 percent of the budget with $161.8 million coming in this year.

The governor’s budget recommendations when released in January will give an indication how far that trend will go.

There are several provisions under the Board of Regents FY13 requests that include KSU-related items:

• A 1.8 percent increase in the state operating grant.

• A 2.6 percent increase to state student financial assistance programs.

• A request to effectively double K-State’s current $4.3 million allocation to rehabilitation and repair projects.

• A request for an additional $20 million for system-wide deferred maintenance needs.

Discussion with the board is ongoing concerning a request for $5 million to improve the College of Veterinary Medicine by adding faculty, increasing graduate student support, adding research equipment and updating laboratory space.

Friday: A look at the city of Manhattan in 2012.

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