President says budget cuts will cause 'significant' damage: Outlines 3-part plan to compensate for $845,000 reduction

"The FY14 $845,188 reduction in the FHSU state appropriations will have a significant negative impact on our institution," said Fort Hays State University President Edward H. Hammond.

"The university is in the process of making very strategic and difficult decisions regarding allocating and reallocating these scarce resources, delaying well-deserved employee pay increases and significantly delaying the implementation of our new engineering program," he said.

He said that all these decisions are complicated by the growing student enrollment and the increased demand by Kansas citizens for services at Fort Hays State University.

"In fact," he said, "the salary cap reduction of $276,176 made by the Legislature represents the amount of money we spent this year hiring additional faculty to serve our increased enrollment. FHSU believes that new students should receive the same high-quality education as existing students. Therefore, our decision to add additional faculty and staff was driven by our desire to maintain quality."

He said that FHSU will manage the cuts through a "tri-polar strategy": First, using savings produced by the new wind energy project as well as savings from attrition and retirements; second, implementing one-time bonuses for faculty and staff instead of all base-salary increases; and third, utilizing the funds from the tuition increase proposal.

For the next academic year, FHSU is proposing an increase in tuition of $3.70 per credit hour, or 3.42 percent, for Kansas residents.

"We are also proposing to increase our required fees by 47 cents per credit hour, or 1.43 percent," he said.

"What these increases mean to our students is that their tuition and fee bills will go up 2.96 percent, or just $4.17 per credit hour," he said. "This will continue Fort Hays State University’s leadership in providing high-quality education at a very reasonable cost. In fact, a Kansas student will be able to pay the tuition and fee bill for 15 credit hours and spend less than $2,200 a semester."

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