Kansas universities could speed up faculty dismissals under new Regents proposal

Tim Carpenter:

A subcommittee of the Kansas Board of Regents voted Wednesday to endorse a one-year policy making it easier for state universities to suspend, dismiss or terminate employees, including tenured faculty members, without initiating the process of formally declaring a financial emergency.

The extraordinary proposal unanimously forwarded to the full Board of Regents was based on financial damage to the University of Kansas, Kansas State, Wichita State and three other state universities by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another issue was Gov. Laura Kelly’s decision in June to cut higher education appropriations by $35 million and her recommendation last week to the Kansas Legislature for a $27 million reduction in state aid to the universities. The Board of Regents asked the governor to restore the $35 million and hold the line in the new state budget.