KSU officials say enrollment cap is up for discussion following legislative reductions

By Bryan Richardson

Kansas State University will start discussions that could lead to an enrollment cap in the fall .

If that does occur, KSU President Kirk Schulz said the blame goes to the legislators for not providing enough money for higher education institutions.

Kansas State officials estimated an approximately $6.6 million cut in state funding for the 2013-14 academic year due to a 1.5 percent across-the-board cut and a salary expense reduction. The fiscal year 2015 budget already includes a 1.5 percent cut and salary expense reduction.

“I think we have to look at a cap on enrollment”, Schulz told reporters. “We just got to say, ‘Look, if this is the money we’re going to get, this is the maximum number of students we can take in,’ and those discussions will be occurring at K-State this fall.”

Pat Bosco, KSU vice-president of student life, said the university needs to have discussions at all levels on how to address the financial situation.

“For K-State to respond to budget cuts, the need to increase faculty and staff salaries and to continue the quality of instruction both in and outside the classroom and to respond to affordability and accessibility, all simultaneously, we have to examine and consider all options,” he said.

Bosco said it’s an “incredibly difficult assignment” that KSU has handled well, but he isn’t sure how much more the university can handle.

“We cannot continue to do more with less,” he said. “Tuition is going to be an incredibly important part of us being able to respond to all of these issues and more.”

Bosco said these discussions will also involve an ongoing commitment to becoming a top 50 public research institution by 2025. That commitment includes undergraduate and graduate students.

There isn’t an enrollment goal attached to the K-State 2025 plan, but student measurements that need to be improved to reach the goal include freshman-to-sophomore retention rate, six-year graduation rate, and percent of undergraduate students involved in research.

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