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University reacts to potential cuts - KOAM TV 7

University reacts to potential cuts

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

Confusion, frustration and even anger were the reoccurring themes following the PSU town hall meeting regarding the news that Kansas legislature is considering three possible budget plans, all of which involve a 3 percent cut to the university, which equates to about a million dollars.

"Well as a professor, it means "How am I going to have stability for the students who come here to Pittsburg State?," Mark Johnson, university professor said.

Johnson took advantage of the question forum at the town hall, where he compared state legislature to a sinking boat.

"It appears to me that all we are doing is bailing water out of the boat. We're worried about the bucket, we're worried about what else we can do to scoop the water. We're not actually worried about how to fix the boat. We do the same thing every year. Instead of looking at long-term solutions, and looking how to fix the overall problem, which is revenue and expenses in the state of Kansas, we go about it the same way every year and then wonder why there's a shortfall," Johnson said.

Students, faculty and even community members attended. The three plans discussed by Kansas legislators also involve a delay in the expansion of Highway 69.

"No aspect of this university in any respect deserves to take a cut. the only reason we are here in the first place is because the legislature has refused to do its job and provide for enough money for the public needs of the state. and the university is one of those needs," student Marcus Clem said.

University officials held the town hall to make informed advocates out of those attending, urging them to call their local legislators and let them know how they feel.

"First and foremost we want them to have hope. Because yeah, we have challenges, but we've had challenges before and we'll make it through that. But number two, would be, I think we would hope they know that we're truthful with them. And we're not going to sugarcoat things or tell them things that they want to hear, we're going to tell them what the truth is," Shawn Naccarato, director of government and community relations said.

Legislators must close budget gaps totaling more than $290 million when they resume session this week.

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