University of Kansas 2016 State Agenda

The University of Kansas’ mission is to educate leaders, build healthy communities and make discoveries that change the world. To ensure we are able to continue fulfilling this mission, the university will ask state legislators to consider two key priorities during the 2016 Legislative Session:

Stable Funding for the University of Kansas
The university is very appreciative that the Legislature has provided us a stable funding appropriation for the past two years, and we ask lawmakers to do the same this year.

When adjusted for inflation, per-student state appropriations to KU have been reduced nearly 40 percent over the past 16 years, severely straining the university’s ability to serve students and Kansans. It would be difficult for the university to absorb additional cuts without it negatively impacting the students we educate and the citizens, communities and companies we serve.

Merit-Based Salary Enhancements for KU Medical Center ($3.4M)
KU seeks support for a 3-percent merit-based salary enhancement for faculty and staff at the KU Medical Center to help recruitment and retention of top employees.

Many medical center employees have not received annual merit raises in six of the past seven years. Centrally funded cumulative salary increases at KU Medical Center between 2008 and 2015 were less than half the rate of inflation during that period.

Since 2008, state funding for medical center operations has decreased 12.5 percent. To absorb these cuts, the medical center has become more efficient and eliminated positions and programs. At the same time, the medical center has grown its education and research mission to meet the state’s need for doctors and bring external research funding to Kansas.

An example of the challenge caused by our below-market salaries can be seen in the School of Nursing, where 72% of faculty are paid below the national average. In the next eight years, more than half of our nursing faculty will be over 70 years of age. To replace retiring faculty, we expect successors to command higher compensation in line with market rates, which will significantly stress our budget without new funding.

For more information, contact Kelly Reynolds, director of state relations, at 785-864-7100 or

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