Kansas budget update

January 17, 2013

Steven Stites
Steven Stites Acting Executive Vice Chancellor, Acting Dean, KU School of Medicine

Knowing that Kansas is facing extremely challenging budget times, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, soon-to-be Executive Vice Chancellor Doug Girod and I had been eagerly awaiting Gov. Sam Brownback's budget recommendations for fiscal year 2014, which he released on Wednesday after his State of the State speech on Tuesday night.

We were pleased to learn that Gov. Brownback's budget included support for a good portion of what we have been calling the KU Health Education Initiative. To further our efforts to address Kansas' looming shortage of health care providers and meet Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation standards, we hope to build a new, state-of-the art education building on the northeast corner of 39th and Rainbow, on what is currently the parking lot in front of the Hemenway Life Sciences Innovation Center. This new building would allow us to educate future health care providers in the high-tech, multidisciplinary setting that modern curricula demands - a learning environment that emphasizes small-group, interdisciplinary problem solving, with students from medicine, nursing and health professions training as a team. The enhanced facilities would allow us to add at least 75 and potentially as many as 100 medical, nursing and health professions students every year. We had also requested increased funding to support operations at the School of Medicine-Wichita.

While the budget does not recommend funding everything we had asked for, we are grateful for the governor's affirmation that providing a strong health workforce for Kansas is a fundamental and unique responsibility of the University of Kansas, and for his recognition of the vital role KUMC plays in training the state's future physicians, nurses and other health professionals.

Moreover, we are committed to matching the state budget funds identified for the KU Health Education Initiative with private sector dollars and university investments. Here at KU Medical Center, as in Lawrence, we are making sure every dollar we receive is put to good use. The financial reorganization we are undertaking at the medical center, as well as the entire university's ongoing efficiency measures, are critical in helping ensure that all of our financial resources - tuition dollars, state revenues and private donations - are well-spent.

As the 2013 legislative session begins, we look forward to working together with policymakers to meet the challenges ahead.

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In past issues of News from the Leadership Team, we have included items about campus events, faculty news and other happenings in these blue boxes. However, with the launch of our new internal newsletter this week, KUMed Central, we have a great new publication to keep you informed about what's going on around KUMC. I strongly urge you to read KUMed Central every Monday to keep up with our vibrant and rapidly changing institution.

Last modified: Jan 31, 2013
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