Letters to campus

January 28, 2011

Dear K-State Faculty and Staff,

Greetings from Anderson Hall. Spring semester is an extraordinarily busy time, so I will occasionally send out a short note to supplement my regular monthly Dear Colleague Letter focused around current events.

Two things always happen which make the spring semester exciting and potentially stressful — the legislature meets and we start preparing our budget for the upcoming year. As we have done in past years, Bruce Shubert will send periodic notes to campus keeping you informed of how we are planning to structure our budget for the next fiscal year. As many of you know, there are a significant number of moving parts to our budget so aspects of our financial picture will certainly change over the next several months. We will send updates as we have new information. Bruce will send his first budget update next week. As always, if you have questions about any aspect of our budget, please do not hesitate to contact me, or Bruce

The current legislative session promises to be an interesting one. In Topeka, we have a new governor and a significant number of newly elected legislators. Thus, you should expect that a significant amount of new legislation will be proposed and reported on by various media outlets. Some of these pieces of legislation may be supportive of higher education, and some may not. Indeed, some of the legislation proposed will cause some angst and will generate a significant amount of discussion around the water cooler (or perhaps in Aggieville!).

When these issues arise, I ask that you do several things. First, do not get overly concerned with any one particular piece of proposed legislation. If you have specific questions on how any proposed legislation will impact Kansas State University, please send a question to Sue Peterson, director of governmental relations, or to me. Second, I certainly encourage you to express your opinions to elected officials concerning any proposed legislation; however, you must do this as a citizen and not as an official representative of Kansas State University. As such, please do not use your K-State email address, your K-State title, or K-State letterhead, and be sure to send any correspondence during non-working hours. Third, the rumor mill on campus works overtime during the legislative session, so if you hear any rumors of substance, please do not hesitate to contact my office to get whatever facts we can give you.

Finally, I am proud of the outstanding job all of you do working with our students, conducting research, and reaching out to help the State of Kansas move forward. Keep your heads up, keep a smile on your face, and know that your university leadership is working to ensure that we secure the needed resources to keep Kansas State University strong.

Go Cats!

Kirk