Despite increased state funding, K-State will still need to cut its budget by 4.3%, president Richard Myers said in a letter this week to university faculty.
In the letter, Myers said the university would accomplish that cut by a 3.9% base budget reduction to main revenue centers — departments that directly work on the university’s teaching, research and extension missions — and a 4% reduction to main campus service centers, which support the revenue centers.
With overall decreased state funding in the past half-decade, K-State has cut its operating budget by $47 million in the past six years. Last year, K-State’s total budget was $899.7 million. Officials are still working on the total budget number for the 2019-20 academic year.
In June, the Kansas Board of Regents declined K-State’s request for a 1.5% across-the-board tuition increase and instead kept undergraduate tuition rates flat at all Regents schools. K-State was the only school to ask for an increase after the state legislature restored approximately $33 million to state higher education funding, of which K-State received $6.2 million.
Myers said that since state funding is only approximately 18% of the university’s bottom-line, university administrators will continue to focus on improving tuition revenue, which is approximately 26% of total university funding and is expected to decline with enrollment decreasing. The university’s three budget priorities for the 2020 fiscal year are faculty and staff salaries and benefits, student scholarships and strategic enrollment initiatives.
Despite the decrease in the overall budget, the university is pressing forward with partial funding of a $6.3 million, 2.5% cost-of-living adjustment for employees who were hired before June 16, 2018, as well as $2.6 million in fringe benefits, promotions and professor performance awards.
The university will add $2.1 million to its scholarship program and spend $1.3 million on marketing efforts, Myers said, with a focus on out-of-state students. That move comes in the second year of a five-year enrollment strategy revamp that university administrators hope will turn around a trend of declining enrollment.