Pittsburg State University officials convened a legislative town hall Tuesday afternoon to discuss how results of last week's state and national elections will affect campus.
Changes in elected officials plus potential appointments of Kansas legislative officials by President elect Donald Trump could mean big changes on the horizon.
"We know there's a lot of moving parts right now. There's just a lot of change in play. So our job is to stay on top of that, understand it, but also stick with our core values to make sure this place is viable in years to come," university president Dr. Steve Scott said.
Governor Sam Brownback and Secretary of State Kris Kobach have both been longtime Trump supporters, so losing them to a national office could become reality over the next few months.
Brownback's administration released figures last week regarding the state's revenue outlook.
"We know that the state is about $350 million short of being able to pay its bills this current year that we're in, and that potentially means a cut for us at some point in time. So we want to be very open with the faculty staff that this is there, we're going to have to face it," Scott said.
The university is no stranger to facing cuts: a legislative town hall in April addressed the same issues. Officials want to keep campus updated on what they know is going on and how it will affect them.
Some students were in attendance.
"I think it's going to hit pretty close, pretty soon here, how direct it's going to be. I think it's also important for people to know how they can get involved. So they touched on how you can reach out to your legislators, how you can lobby bills, you can stay connected on social media. I think it's important for people to get involved," sophomore Courtney Blankenship said.
Blankenship is referring to remarks by university legislative representatives, Shawn Naccarato and Riley Scott, who serve as the university's eyes and ears in Topeka. Both addressed how to keep up with what the state is doing.
As for the university's hopes for the shifting legislature: stability and predictability.
Using a chart of red, purple and blue dots, red representing conservative lawmakers, purple being moderate and blue being democratic, Naccarato and Riley Scott explained how many far-right lawmakers were replaced this election cycle with more moderate ones.
"The state legislature really has moved in a direction that we think will be better to work with and will have some solutions to the budgetary problem," Scott said.
The town hall was live-streamed by PSU and is available for viewing on their website: www.pittstate.edu
KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas