Kansas Governor Sam Brownback paid a visit and many compliments to Pittsburg State University Wednesday during a stop to publicize his commitment to higher education funding.
“This is a fabulous campus,” Brownback told administrators during an open session. “Hats off to the leadership”
“To quote one of the university presidents from across the state, to cut the funding now would be a real momentum killer,” Brownback said. “We’ve really got some momentum going in our higher education in the State of Kansas.”
He said the state is asking for more from higher education and universities are living up to the challenge by turning out qualified graduates in many fields.
“We need to get stable funding,” Brownback said.
He advocated that new members of the legislature need to be out and seeing what the universities are doing.
Brownback was welcomed by university president Steve Scott, who thanked the governor for his ongoing support of higher education.
“We have a lot of momentum going on this campus and we do not want to see that momentum stop,” Scott said.
Student Body President Taylor Gravett thanked the governor for proposing a budget with level funding and said it makes a big difference for students who have to come up with tuition differences out of their pockets.
Board of Regents member Ed McKechnie said the governor’s budget helps keep tuition affordable, which is a major goal for the board.
“I’m here to support higher education. I think it’s critical for us as a state,” Brownback said.
He said higher education took a lot of cuts in the last round in 2008 and made adjustments, but that it shouldn’t have to do so again.
Brownback reiterated that he proposed a flat tax, doing away with exemptions and deductions and continuing the 0.6 percent sales tax, and that those would allow higher education to not take cuts.
Page 2 of 2 -
“We can do this. We can have a competitive tax structure and fund our core competencies,” Brownback said.
“I hope and believe something along this line will happen,” Brownback said. “It’s the best thing for the State of Kansas.”
During his visit, Brownback also met in a closed-door session with campus leaders and toured McPherson Hall.