As we start a new year, we’re building on the progress made in 2012 toward achieving our bold aspirations. This progress was the result of the work of countless people across our university, and I’m pleased to tell you that work has not gone unnoticed.
I had the opportunity to meet with around 170 KU donors and supporters during KU Endowment events in California earlier this month. Time and again, people offered their congratulations for our recent successes and expressed their enthusiasm for the changes we’re making to strengthen our university for years to come.
From our new scholarships and admission standards, to the creation of the KU Core, to NCI designation and our efforts to enhance scholarship in all disciplines, our alumni, donors and friends appreciate the work you’re doing to make our shared aspirations a reality.
They’re not the only ones who value the work you do to educate leaders, build healthy communities and make discoveries that change the world.
Last week, Governor Brownback proposed his budget to the Kansas Legislature. During a year when the state is facing a more than $260 million shortfall, he proposed no cuts to higher education. He also proposed funding to start work on the KU Medical Center’s Health Education Initiative, which will help us train more doctors and health professionals to meet a vital workforce need.
There are still several months remaining in the legislative session, and the budget will remain a topic of intense discussion. There will be ups and downs. But we will continue to advocate for our university’s agenda, which includes support for the Board of Regents’ request for a base funding increase for salaries.
When I talk with our state’s policymakers they are intensely interested in the work we do and see KU as vital to the prosperity and well-being of Kansas. That’s a testament to your success.
As we begin this new semester and new year, recognize that our vision for the university is shared by policymakers, donors, alumni and friends across Kansas and around the world. And remember that while there’s still much we want to accomplish, we also have many achievements we can already celebrate.
Welcome back and best wishes for successful 2013!