Regents Bemoan Kansas Higher Education Spending Cuts

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas higher education officials are frustrated and angry that state lawmakers have imposed budget cuts on public colleges and universities, calling the reductions harmful to the state's economy.

Members of the Board of Regents reviewed the budget cuts on Thursday and began hearing initial tuition and fee increase proposals from the six state universities.

The Legislature adjourned early Sunday after passing a budget that cuts higher education funding by 1.5 percent in each of the next two fiscal years. Legislators also approved salary and wage caps that will further reduce resources available to the campuses.

"Students at KU and K-State are now paying more to fund their Universities than the state of Kansas is," says Dan Lykins, Kansas Board of Regents member. "Student tuition pays about 27% of funding at KU and K-State. The state of Kansas pays about 23%, so already students are paying more than the state is."

Here's a look at the list of proposed increases for all six Universities:

1. Pitt State: 7.4%
2. University of Kansas: 4.95%
3. Fort Hays State: 3.42%
4. Kansas State University: 7%
5. Emporia State University: 6.49%
6. Wichita State University: 8.01%

The board told university officials last month they shouldn't expect approval of tuition increases that would completely make up for cuts by the Legislature.