Governor’s budget proposal includes significant support for higher education

Dear Jayhawks,

The Kansas Legislature has convened its 2024 session, and I’m writing to update you on the latest happenings in Topeka and share KU’s priorities for the weeks ahead.

Earlier this month, Governor Laura Kelly released her Fiscal Year 2025 budget recommendations, which serve as a starting point for legislative debate. I am pleased to report that the Governor recommends significant new funding for higher education, which would help KU continue to fulfill its mission and prioritize affordability for students. We appreciate and support the Governor’s recommendations, and we will spend the coming months advocating for lawmakers to include her proposals in the final budget.

Key elements of the Governor’s recommendations for state universities are as follows:

Base funding

  • $14.1M increase to need-based student financial aid
  • $7M increase to base/core operations

One-time funding

  • $75M for the new KU Cancer Center building
  • $20M for deferred maintenance
  • $9.5M for student retention and success (NISS)
  • $7.5M for cybersecurity
  • $10M for demolition

Additionally, the Governor proposes a 5 percent pay increase for State employees, including university employees.

Overall, this is a very helpful proposal for universities. Related to this, it is worth recalling that past two years’ budgets have been the best higher education budget in decades, for which we remain grateful to the Governor and the Legislature.

Remember, the Governor’s proposal is just that – a proposal – and her recommendations may or may not end up in the State’s final budget. Also remember that even if these proposals make it into the State’s budget, we continue to face challenges at the Lawrence campus that require us to continue managing costs and finding new revenue sources.

For updates throughout the session, visit our State Relations webpage. And if you are interested in advocating for KU, consider joining the KU Alumni Association’s Jayhawks for Higher Education advocacy group, which brings together KU leaders and alumni to engage with elected officials. This year, the message for KU supporters to convey to lawmakers is straightforward: please support the Governor’s budget proposals for higher education.



Douglas A. Girod