Wichita State joins unprecedented effort calling for no additional cuts to higher ed
Wichita State University and the WSU Alumni Association joined with universities and colleges across Kansas as part of an unprecedented effort to emphasize the importance of higher education to the state's future.
President Don Beggs joined leaders of Kansas' universities, community colleges, technical colleges and the Kansas Board of Regents in a statewide opinion column calling on legislators to invest in the future of Kansas by supporting higher education.
"We will continue to be prudent and spend our limited resources wisely in order to ensure that our students continue to receive a high quality education," said President Beggs. "The long-term future of Kansas depends on education, and additional cuts pose clear risks."
Wichita State enrolls about 14,700 students per year and has more than 53,000 alumni throughout Kansas. During the budget crisis, WSU has taken about $10 million in cuts and unfunded mandates. This has led to reduced class offerings and larger class sizes and limits on enrollment in some academic programs.
The leaders of seven university alumni associations, including Collin Stieben of Wichita State, collectively sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to avoid additional cuts to higher education.
"If we sustain further cuts, our enrollment capacity and class offerings will continue to be constricted. Students will face limited opportunities and businesses will have to go elsewhere for talented employees. Kansas' long-term prosperity will be threatened," the leaders wrote.
"We understand these are challenging times," the seven leaders wrote, "but only by investing in our state's universities can we ensure Kansas is ready for the economic recovery. If that requires new revenue, we know our members would support such a move because they believe in the power of higher education to improve lives and grow the economy."