TOPEKA — The Kansas Board of Regents voted to endorse a two-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 adopted Wednesday was based on financial damage to the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and the four other state universities by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another issue motivating development of the policy 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.