May 15, 2023
2023 Legislative session overview
The 2023 session of the Kansas Legislature concluded on April 28, resulting in significant legislative support for both Kansas State University and the Kansas Board of Regents' systemwide priorities.
"The university is grateful for the support of the Kansas Legislature," said Marshall Stewart, senior vice president for executive affairs, university engagement and partnerships and chief of staff. "The state continues to demonstrate its commitment to and belief in our land-grant mission of teaching, research and engagement, further empowering the university as a key contributor and partner in the state's economic growth and prosperity.
"K-Staters work hard to partner with our communities, region and state to meet the needs of Kansans. I especially want to thank Sue Peterson for her 34 years of leadership, which created numerous opportunities for the university to carry out mission-driven work that served our state."
As a result of this legislative session, significant tax-payer investments are poised to bolster the state's higher education system. The Kansas Board of Regents system received funding support for expanded financial aid, employee merit increases, deferred maintenance, demolition of obsolete facilities, implementation of the National Institute for Student Success practices and cybersecurity infrastructure. Following the Board of Regents finalizing university distributions in June, the university will finalize its FY 2024 budget.
"A second year of employee merit increases makes evident the legislature's support of the hard work of our faculty and staff," Stewart said.
The university also effectively garnered support for new university initiatives benefitting students, industry and the state's economy, including funding for K-State 105, a biomanufacturing center, a facility study for the dairy program and K-State Salina's career-ready turbine transition program. K-State Research and Extension, the Agricultural Experiment Station, the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering each received annual appropriations.
K-State 105 is the university's answer to the call for a comprehensive economic growth and advancement solution for Kansas. The initiative leverages the statewide K-State Research and Extension network to deliver the full breadth of the university's collective knowledge and solution-driven innovation to every Kansan where they live and work. K-State 105 also forges the connections and partnerships that create access to additional expertise within other state institutions and agencies, nonprofits and corporations — all part of an effort to build additional capacities and strengths in each of Kansas' 105 counties.
The Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center will provide laboratory and technical support for all phases of modern biomanufacturing processes. The future center combines K-State's research prowess and career-ready graduates to meet the workforce needs of the region's growing bioscience and biomanufacturing industry. Watch for more information announced in K-State Today at a later date.
A growing dairy industry in Kansas creates a need for improved dairy teaching and research facilities at K-State. As a result, the university will undergo a facilities study to best position K-State's dairy program as a top-tier, next-generation program for dairy research, extension and teaching to complement the underway Ag Innovation initiative.
Likewise, K-State Salina is working to address the aviation industry's pilot shortage by developing a turbine transition program for career-ready jet pilots. This is a critical need for the nation's aviation industry and positions K-State Salina for stronger leadership in this sector moving forward.
In addition to carrying out these newly funded initiatives, the university will continue to monitor several legislative matters that may affect university operations:
- The university is monitoring and will work with other Kansas Board of Regents institutions and the state on any changes needed to meet the requirements of SB 180, also known as the Women's Bill of Rights.
- The university is monitoring progress on a requested audit of Kansas Board of Regents universities' diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging state funding expenditures and income received from foreign countries.
- The implementation of a law requiring university vendors to use the E-Verify system for employees has been delayed one year to provide state agencies the opportunity to make adjustments needed to comply with the new statute.
It's an exciting time to be at Kansas State University, and even greater opportunities await in the future to strengthen the university and its land-grant mission.