Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Executive Division > Bulletin 1-14-09
Jan. 14, 2009
Kathleen Sebelius talked in general terms about the Kansas economy in
her State of the State address on Monday night and then released her
detailed budget recommendations on Tuesday. As promised, I will give a
brief analysis of her recommendations for Fiscal Year 2009 and Fiscal
Year 2010 and the possible implications for Fort Hays State University.
First, though, it is important to emphasize that none of this is final.
These are the first steps in a long dance.
The governor has recommended a 3-percent cut in the FY09 operating
budgets for the state's public higher education system (7 public
universities, 19 community colleges and 6 technical colleges), which
equates to a reduction of $24.3 million. That 3 percent would be
carried forward into the next year, and an additional 4-percent cut
would mean a total reduction of 7 percent in FY10, which equates to a
reduction of $56.3 million.
As I have explained earlier, we have some one-time money set aside to
cover the anticipated reductions in the FY09 budget, which ends June
30. The exception is funding for the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and
Science. The governor has recommended eliminating the $300,000 for this
year that was already approved by the Legislature last session. This is
disappointing because we already filled staff positions in KAMS. We
have them under contract and will continue to pay them.
Gov. Sebelius has also recommended elimination of the $713,000 for KAMS
that was expected to be part of the FY10 budget. She is not proposing
that KAMS be eliminated. Rather, she wants to postpone it for a couple
years. It does not appear that there is much legislative support for
that idea. KAMS was developed by the Legislature, and it has lots of
support in both the House and the Senate. Other than KAMS,
we believe we have cuts in the FY09 budget pretty well managed. The
FY10 budget poses a more difficult challenge. The governor's
recommendations in total would mean a 12-percent cash reduction --
about $4.3 million -- for FHSU. Because some of those cuts could be
"back-filled" in the FY11 budget, the governor's recommendations might
translate to an operational reduction of just 9 percent.
The governor recommended a 1-percent salary increase for state
employees that would not be funded by the state. We would have to take
other money from our budget to fund the salary increases, or we could
choose not to implement the salary increases. The governor also recommended a
reduction to $13.7 million from the original $15 million for deferred
maintenance on campuses, but the reduction in FHSU's share of that
money would not be significant.
I cannot repeat too often that all of this remains speculative. We
anticipate a $1 billion problem in the state by FY10. If cuts were
implemented across the board, it would translate to 15 percent for all
state agencies, including FHSU. The governor has recommended protecting
K-12 education, which represents 51 percent of the state budget. If
that happens, all other budgets would have to be cut by 30 percent. The
K-12 budget has grown by about $1 billion recently, and many
legislators believe that protecting K-12 would place too much of the
burden on the budgets of other agencies.
I believe the Legislature will look at an alternate proposal possibly
involving 4- to 5-percent cuts in the FY09 budget, and that it will
consider that alternative either next week or by the following week at
the latest. I don't expect the Legislature to make a final decision on
the FY10 budget until late April or early May, after new economic
projections have been issued. Please watch for new Budget
Bulletins as additional information comes to light, and continue to
post your suggestions and questions on Budget Watch, which can be found
on the home page of the FHSU Web site. I have been extremely pleased by
the thoughtful input you have provided, and I will respond to your
suggestions and questions when we know more.
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