Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Executive Division > Bulletin 1-6-09
Jan. 6, 2009
I alerted all of you to the pending budget challenges last semester, I
invited you to use the Budget Watch site on the FHSU home page to post
creative ideas and thoughtful suggestions for how the university can
deal with the expected budget cuts. The response has been tremendous,
and it has been especially interesting to see that many of you have
generated similar suggestions.
I also invited you to post questions on the Budget Watch site, and here
are answers to some of the questions we have received so far. First,
though, I should remind you that we still do not know exactly what to
expect. We're waiting to see the governor's budget recommendations next
week. Then we will have to wait for final action by the Kansas
Legislature. The wait is difficult, but I ask you to be patient.
Q. What is the status of funding for the new Tourism and Hospitality Management degree program?
A. The program has been funded and it is up and running.
Q. Should the new soccer stadium and soccer program be delayed?
A. Construction of the university's soccer stadium remains on track.
The $2-million cost will be funded by one-time money. That money cannot
be used to solve our base budget problem, and suspending the project
would cause an immediate reduction in the university's impact on the
local economy. We did alter our original plans by entering a
partnership with the city of Hays to build the stadium as part of the
Hays Sports Complex, which will maximize savings for both the
university and the city.
As for the soccer program, we had budgeted to hire coaches this spring
to join the Athletic Department staff in the fall of 2009, but we have
frozen those positions. We still plan to launch competitive soccer
teams for both men and women in 2010, but the plan is now that the
coaches will be hired next year at the earliest and will not have a
year to prepare as we originally planned.
Q. What impact will the budget cuts have on the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science?
A. The Legislature approved funding for KAMS for five years, but the
state budget director recently recommended that those funds should be
cut. We hope to move ahead, but we are waiting to see whether the state
funding survives. If we lose the state funding, we will try to find
another way to finance it because of the great benefit KAMS represents
both to our university and to the people of Kansas.
Q. If the campus is closed on Fridays next summer, will we work 8-hour days, 9-hour days or 10-hour days?
A. We have made a firm decision to reduce the workweek to four days
next summer, but no final decision has yet been made about work hours.
We are aware of complications regarding childcare and second jobs, and
we will accommodate those needs insofar as possible. I understand that
many of you have an urgent need to know what the work schedules will
be. We will inform you as quickly as possible, but there simply is no
way to make the final decision until we know what budget cuts the
Legislature will require.
Q. Will all on-campus classes be canceled for the 2009 summer term?
A. When I announced the cancellation of on-campus classes during the
summer term, I emphasized that some exceptions would be made. In this
as in other areas, we will do everything we can to accommodate our
students. We are reviewing classes now, and we will make an
announcement about on-campus classes as quickly as possible. However,
it is certain that we will move some of the on-campus classes to the
Virtual College next summer and we will have fewer on-campus classes.
Q. How much money could be saved by sending the pay stubs through campus mail instead of using postage?
A. This question and some of the suggestions posted on the Budget Watch site would require changes at the state level. We will
forward the suggestions to the officials who have the authority to make those changes.
Q. Will there be significant energy savings by closing the campus on
Fridays during the summer? Should we install solar heating for water?
Should we turn off the chillers on the drinking fountains across
campus? Are the efforts continuing to build wind turbines on university
A. We are looking at various energy savings and we'll give notice when
decisions are made. The wind energy efforts are continuing, but that is
not going to happen in the near term. We are working through various
legal issues, such as proposed restrictions in the city's three-mile
Q. Would it be possible to post the list of creative ideas and thoughtful suggestions so that everyone can see them?
A. I have considered doing that, but it is extremely important that I
hear from as many of you as possible. If you see that someone else has
already posted your suggestion, you may not post it yourself. It is
helpful to me see which suggestions are widely shared and to see them
presented in various ways. I will continue to use these Budget
Bulletins to keep you informed on a timely basis.
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