Plan would partially restore salary cuts

By Bryan Richardson

TOPEKA — There won’t be a full restoration of the $66 million cut higher education sustained last year, according to Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget proposal.

Brownback’s proposed adjustments to the fiscal years 2014 and 2015 budgets does provide partial restoration of the salary caps.

Half of the cuts would be restored in FY14.

Jon Hummell, interim budget director, explained that it would be too late in the fiscal year for full restoration by the time a budget is passed. In FY15, Brownback proposed full restoration.

For K-State, the proposal means an additional $949,829 for the university and $1.5 million for KSU extension in FY14 and $1.2 million for the university and $1.4 million for extension in FY15.

Sue Peterson, governmental relations director for Kansas State, said the Board of Regents placed the restoration of the salary cap cuts as the highest priority.

“They’re important funds to operate the institution,” she said. “We would like to see them restored.”

Rather than restore the 1.5 percent cuts across the base, Brownback is proposing additional targeted funding for Regents institutions. The budget proposal gives $1.5 million to the Kansas State’s College of Architecture, Planning and Design in FY15 and $5 million annually beginning in FY16.

The school received $1 million for this project in the FY14 budget.

The college has planned an expansion of Seaton Complex.

Damon Fairchild, the college’s development director, said the money for FY14 and 15 would go toward the design and construction document phase of that project.

The annual $5 million starting in FY16 would go toward scholarships, endowed chairs, program enhancements, and upgraded technologies and facilities.

Peterson said K-State made this funding its highest priority.

“This is an important piece of the university in the middle of campus,” she said.

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