The University of Kansas An Official Employee Publication From the Office of University Relations


Cover story    

Sept. 19 , 2003
Vol. 28, No. 3

State health rates jump again
Open enrollment starts next month
Collage Concert to ring in Open House festivities
Party on the prairie
Convocation highlights achievements, focuses on future
Provost emphasizes tuition enhancement programs
Survey results help tailor proposal
Coke awards Native American scholarships
American Pride

Professors hit the road for Faculty Speakers Bureau
July employees honored
‘Big Brother’ gives time, money to United Way
Brown v. Board program debuts

Governor to present leadership lecture

AIDS crisis discussed in minicourse

KU First
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News in brief

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KU mobilizes for legislative advocacy

By Kevin Boatright

The start of the 2003 legislative session gives KU groups and individuals a unique opportunity to raise awareness in Topeka of university-related budget issues.

On Jan. 27, Thelma Simons, president of the Unclassified Professional Staff Association, spoke before the House Higher Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Tom Sloan of Lawrence. In her presentation, Simons reviewed the many services provided to students by unclassified staff, as well as their academic backgrounds and professional experience.

“Unclassified staff are used to working hard,” Simons said. “With the recent loss of positions at our university, we are being stretched further and further. We believe that the work we do for the university, and for the state, is important.”

She thanked Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for recommending a salary increase next fiscal year for all state workers.

“While the percentage [1.5 percent] is small, we appreciate the gesture and the acknowledgment of the vital role staff play in the success of our state,” she said.

The Capitol will be a busy place for staff and students in February. In addition to regular legislative contacts by University Relations staff, several KU groups plan to make appearances in Topeka.

On Feb. 4, members of KU’s Classified Senate and their counterparts from the five other regents universities will meet with selected legislators, focusing on salary issues and other topics addressed in a Kansas Council of Classified Senate position paper, which can be read at

Eight to 10 KU classified employees are expected to participate.

On Feb. 11, a delegation of about 30 student leaders from the six regents universities will spend the day in Topeka, meeting with members of the Legislature on a variety of higher education issues.

On Feb. 25, members of the UPSA Executive Board and other unclassified staff also will visit legislators at the Capitol.

The UPSA general meeting on Feb. 12 is a prelude to that activity and will feature a presentation by Janet Murguia, executive vice chancellor for university relations, on “Communicating with the Legislature.” For more information about UPSA, visit

In addition, the boards of the Kansas Alumni Association and the Kansas State University Alumni Association will meet jointly in Manhattan for the first time Feb. 8 to discuss legislative issues. One outcome of this historic meeting is expected to be a resolution addressed to legislators, expressing broad alumni support for the state’s regents universities.

University Relations is working with student, staff, faculty and alumni groups this year to help coordinate their legislative activities in Topeka.

“We want them to make the most of their contacts,” Murguia said. “It makes sense for groups from all of the regents universities to coordinate their messages and the timing of their visits so that information reaches the right people and has the greatest impact.”

For more information about KU’s legislative relations program, call University Relations at 864-7100.

Goals for the 2003 Legislative session

Protect the base budget from further reductions and
unfunded costs

Fund a 6 percent block operating grant increase for all institutions, which would provide a regular salary increase for all staff and pay for unavoidable employer costs, such as increases in health insurance and
fringe benefits

Fund the third year of SB345 faculty salary enhancements

Fund the request for new building operating costs

Consider changes in state rules and regulations that would free all public universities to manage themselves more effectively
and efficiently


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