To the Editor:
I strongly urge everyone associated with Kansas State University, the Manhattan community or living in Kansas to view the video stream of KSU President Kirk Schulz’s on-campus town hall meeting. The meeting I am speaking about was held in the KSU Alumni Center on the afternoon of Nov. 4. It can be viewed at http://www.k-state.edu/altservcomm/planprogress/townhall-2013-11-04b.html.
The meeting dealt with the upcoming vote on moving all state service employees into an alternative service program that would be administered by Kansas State University. The video has President Schulz’s replies to questions from K-State classified employees regarding the proposal.
There are many extremely troubling aspects to this plan being pushed by the current administration. The Civil Ser-vice system has safeguards in place to prevent nepotism and cronyism in hiring, work practices, promotion and wage allocation that have served this state well for generations. These will virtually disappear under the new alternative service plan.
Even more disturbing are President Schulz’s comments outlining his vision for K-State. As a land grant university, Kansas State is charged with providing affordable higher education opportunities to the young people of our great state. As expressed at that meeting the president’s views on that commitment that were most distressing to me were those that seem to signal abandonment of that mission in order to make Kansas State University a private university in the next 20 years. He said, “If Kansas stu-dents want a cheap education, they can go elsewhere.”
As a proud Kansas Civil Service employee, a lifelong Kansas citizen and taxpayer and an alum of Kansas State University, I hope you will take the time to view the video stream of the town hall meeting. Consider what is at stake in the upcoming vote by Kansas State classified staff.