For Emporia State, the Foresight 2020 and The Kansas Commitment approved by the Kansas Board of Regents on Sept. 15 would be a new opportunity and a challenge.
“The opportunity is that the six goals provide clear direction for us in terms of what the expectations are from the Board of Regents,” said Tes Mehring, vice president of academic affairs and student life. “The goals also provide challenges. Some of the goals are clearly inspirational and will require continued and intense commitment from faculty and administrators to meet the goals.”
Foresight 2020 is a 10-year long agenda composed of six strategic goals, which aims to improve the quality and efficiency of Kansas higher education system. The Kansas Commitment is funded by a $50.4 million state general fund with $27,075 other funds to stimulate Kansas economic development by investing in higher education.
“If the legislature funded it, we believe it would be a considerable opportunity for the university,” said Raymond Hauke, vice president of administration and fiscal affairs.
Besides being beneficial by increasing the state’s higher education budget 2.73 percent, restoring building maintenance projects and keeping the university’s sales tax, according to The Kansas Commitment, ESU will get $1.125 million in funding mainly used to build three new degree programs: e-commerce, student affairs administration and sustainability.
“That would probably happen if the legislature provides the funding, and we will know the result by next May 1, after the legislature’s meeting in January,” Hauke said.
Jonathan Rivers, senior secondary education major and president of ASG said he attends the Kansas Board of Regents meeting every month as a member of the Student Advisers Committee and to give suggestions and feedback from the perspective of student.
“Last year our message was ‘no more cuts’… you don’t have to give us (ESU) more money, just stop cutting us because we can’t survive right now. We were cutting programs. We were losing teachers. We were losing students. Our message for this year is investing Kansas then you will see positive returns for economy,” Rivers said.
Rivers said ASG will have open forum to discuss the funding plan and listen to students’ opinions. The regents will visit campus early next week.