We looked to see whether the state’s National Guard Educational Assistance Program duplicates available federal benefits for members of the National Guard. We found that there is some limited duplication between the state’s program and federal Post 9-11 GI Bill (GI Bill), but eliminating the state’s program would significantly affect members of the Air National Guard. Specifically, state and GI Bill funding cover two different National Guard populations, although there is some overlap. Further, for veterans who are eligible for both the state and federal programs, it is rare that federal dollars could fully replace state benefits. Finally, eliminating the state’s National Guard Educational Assistance Program would have little impact on members of the Army National Guard, but would significantly affect members of the Air Guard. We also noted that while the National Guard Educational Assistance Program is supposed to be funded through the Lottery’s Veteran game, State General Fund monies have made up a significant portion of the program’s funding. Further, we noticed that language in the National Guard Educational Assistance Act may be outdated.
Kansas Board of Regents: Evaluating the Effects of Eliminating the Kan-ed Program
The Kan-ed program provides access to a network to which schools, libraries and hospitals can connect for broadband Internet, video conferencing, and distance learning. Access is free for those entities, but Kan-ed pays about $690 per month for each connection. The network was designed to support high-quality video conferencing and distance learning, and although the network can be used to access the Internet, it is a very slow and expensive way of providing Internet access. Further, most members connected to the network don’t need the network—they need only commercial Internet access (for about $70 per month) or no Internet connection at all. By disconnecting members that do not need the network for video conferencing and using commercial Internet connections instead, Kansas could save as much as $2 million a year, although some one-time penalties may apply. In addition, we found that about one-third of connected members used the network for video conferencing or distance learning. Most of those members were K-12 schools and higher education institutions. Hospitals and libraries rarely used the network for video conferencing. While we identified a number of less costly alternatives that could support video conferencing and distance learning, the costs and quality would vary. Next, although Kan-ed has routinely funded databases and software services, it is not part of their mission and it is not clear if the Kansas Universal Service Fund can be used for this purpose. Further, the Kan-ed program has focused on connecting new members and has not been managed to control costs. Related to that, Kan-ed has not formally assessed each member’s needs before connecting them and has done a poor job of monitoring network connections to ensure that members actually need them and has rarely disconnected unneeded connections. Finally, the program has provided almost $1 million in grants and subsidies since 2009 to entities who are not eligible for membership.
State Universities: Reviewing Issues Related to Students’ Excess Credit Hours
We found one in six students attending Kansas’ six state universities had excess credit hours--hours beyond 115% of those required for their degree programs. However, excess credit hours represented only 1.5% of all credit hours those students attempted. We estimate the State wouldn’t save any money by reducing excess credit hours because the State’s funding for the universities isn’t tied to credit hours. Neither we nor the university officials could identify specific or significant university savings that could result from reducing excess credit hours. Officials from all six universities told us they have taken several actions that could curb excess credit hours. However, because the State doesn’t face the same kinds of capacity issues as other states face, and because the State likely wouldn’t realize significant savings, more aggressive actions to reduce excess credit hours aren’t warranted at this time.
State Universities: Can State Universities Provide Postsecondary Education More Efficiently To Reduce Costs? (A K-GOAL Audit)
Our focus was on general-use operating expenditures funded with State General Fund and tuition revenues; we excluded restricted funds like federal grants and student fees, the University of Kansas Medical School, and Kansas State’s Veterinary Medicine School and Extension Programs. In fiscal year 2008, general use operating expenditures per FTE student ranged from $8,330 at Fort Hays State to $14,191 at the University of Kansas. Overall, Emporia State and the University of Kansas spent about $2,000 more per FTE student than their in-State counterparts. The vast majority of the universities’ general use operating expenditures were for education-related expenditures (72% to 85% of the total). Most of the differences in the amounts spent for educational programs appeared to be caused by differences among the six universities in staffing and salary levels. Numerous options exist for delivering universities’ academic programs and courses more economically or efficiently. Actions that universities in other states have reported taking to help reduce academic spending include eliminating or combining low-enrollment course sections, academic departments, or degree programs within universities; collaborating across universities to share course content, teachers, and instructional programs; increasing the number of courses offered online or through distance learning; and increasing faculty workloads. Actions they’ve reported taking to help reduce their institutional spending include maximizing the use of existing classroom and laboratory space to reduce the need for additional space; consolidating or changing administrative functions or processes—both within and across universities; outsourcing some non-academic services such as food service and grounds maintenance; sharing purchasing costs, and reducing energy costs. The State’s six universities have implemented some of these ideas to varying degrees, but there are numerous opportunities for additional efficiencies. Given recent budget cuts, the universities already may have taken some of the actions described in this report.
Community Colleges: Examining Whether There Are Ways To Share Resources To Reduce Costs
The Higher Education Coordination Act provided for increased State funding so that community colleges could reduce their reliance on local property tax revenues. The anticipated reductions in local property tax revenues didn’t happen largely because about 21% of the promised funding wasn’t provided and because 10 community colleges didn’t fully comply with the law, even when additional funding was provided. Even so, nine community colleges did reduce their reliance on property tax revenues from 2000 to 2007. Factors such as increased enrollments and tuition rates and growth in assessed valuations where those colleges are located likely had as much to do with the property tax reductions as provisions in the Act. Community colleges like Independence and Coffeyville could do a lot more than they currently do to share resources. In the area of academics they could eliminate duplicate programs with small enrollment and look at sharing faculty, particularly through the use of interactive video conferencing or online courses. Many items could be jointly purchased. For example, simply joining a consortium to purchase natural gas could save the two colleges an estimated $64,000. Sharing support services such as financial aid and registrar functions is more difficult with separate institutions because of factors like competition for students, the lack of standardized procedures and the fact that there are two separate boards of trustees making decisions.
The KU Medical Center and KU Hospital: Reviewing Selected Operational Issues
Since 2001, research spending from all sources has grown from 23% of total spending in 2001 to 32% in 2007. The amount of the State operating grant spent for research accounts for only $3.6 million, and represents an unchanged 3% of State grant expenditures. However, more of the State grant now is being spent on other costs, and less on education. The Kansas City campus received almost all the $13.3 million increase in State grant moneys since 2001. Among other things, it uses State funds to pay for the Medical Center’s Kansas City-based administrative operations, and some residency program costs, an expense covered by different funding sources in Wichita. The big increase in research spending has come from other sources—primarily federal research grants generated by faculty on the Kansas City campus. The differences in the amounts spent on research between Kansas City and Wichita have raised concerns in Wichita, which has received accreditation citations for not having research opportunities. The Legislature created the University of Kansas Hospital Authority in 1998 to improve the financial viability of the KU Hospital. The current organizational relationship between the Hospital and Medical Center follows State law, and is similar to how teaching hospitals and medical schools are organized in many other states. However, the financial relationship between the Medical Center and Hospital isn’t defined in State law, and is a source of contention between the two. Although comparisons of financial support with other states have significant limitations, the amount of financial support the Medical Center has received in the past from all affiliated hospitals does appear to be relatively low. The value of the care provided to medically indigent patients may be recorded as either charity care or bad debt, and is referred to as uncompensated care. When reporting the value of charity care or bad debt in its financial statements, the KU Hospital follows generally accepted accounting principles. Those principles require public teaching hospitals to report the value of that care based on their established charges for the services provided. However, reporting the value of uncompensated care (charity care plus bad debt) on that basis results in much higher dollar figures than if the care is valued based either discounted rates for paying patients or the cost of the care.
The KU Medical Center and KU Hospital: Reviewing Selected Financial Issues
We saw no evidence to indicate the Medical Center was having trouble covering its ongoing operations. From 2004-2006, its current assets for ongoing operations increased by about 31%, its current liabilities for ongoing operations increased by 13%, and its cash balances and ratios looked healthy. The School of Medicine has made multi-year commitments totaling $79 million to department chairs since 1999. The Medical Center has paid about 61% of the commitments made since 2003, mostly with KU Endowment and Research Institute funds. Over the next five years, the Medical Center has committed nearly $250 million to capital expenditures, which have been approved by the Board of Regents and the Legislature, and have identified funding sources. Finally, officials recently unveiled plans to spend $800 million over 10 years to expand research. Funding sources haven’t been fully identified; possible sources include moneys from an affiliation with St. Luke’s Hospital as well as contributions from the Kansas City area. The Legislature appropriated $5 million to the KU Cancer Center for both fiscal years 2007 and 2008 to help it reach a designation from the National Institutes of Health as a Cancer Center and Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 2006, Center officials indicated that State funding would be used for research, drug discovery, outreach, and administration. In fiscal year 2007, about $2.2 million of the $5 million appropriation (45%) was used for research. Center officials indicated State funds are used to fill the gaps that other funding sources don’t cover. This year, the Hospital Authority executed a $1.8 million separation agreement with its former CEO. Nothing in law or regulation prohibited the Hospital from giving a separation package of that size, which was equal to three years of the CEO’s annual base salary. The agreement included both ongoing responsibilities and concessions from the CEO. Board members told us they thought the separation package was in the Hospital’s best interest. We tried to determine if similar packages had been granted in other states where the hospital CEO had left, but were unable to make a determination because information of this nature was limited. In April 2006, the Hospital contracted for a new medical-records system projected to cost about $50 million over five years. The cost difference between the two vendors was calculated at between about $1 million and about $12 million– much smaller than the $30 million some thought. The range of costs resulted from uncertainty about the amount of work the Hospital would have to supply to implement the software. The Board’s decision appeared to be based on the fact that Epic did the best in all the Hospital’s evaluations, and that physicians and staff preferred it to Cerner. Board members told us cost was a secondary consideration.
Postsecondary Educational Institutions: Reviewing Tuition Rates Being Charged To Non-Resident Students in Kansas
State law specifically authorizes tuition reductions for some non-resident students, and allows schools to enact other reductions. In Fall 2005, about 12,000 of the nearly 27,000 non-resident students at Kansas public colleges and universities (46%) received some type of waiver or discount, which resulted in tuition reductions of nearly $26 million. Specific statutory authorizations, such as those for active military members and employees of the school, accounted for 40% of the students and 56% of the money. Policies approved by boards of regents and trustees accounted for the remainder. These school policies included tuition reductions for residents of certain counties in bordering states, online students, and victims of Hurricane Katrina. Even with the rate reductions, tuition paid by non-resident students at State universities more than covered the estimated cost of teaching those students. This wasn’t true at community colleges, where non-resident tuition rates are far lower than the cost per credit hour to begin with. Beginning in the late 1990s, Congress enacted several tax deductions or credits. After these tax benefits took effect the average out-of-pocket tuition costs per student actually decreased in Kansas. Since 2002, however, average out-of-pocket tuition costs in Kansas have been rising rapidly. One factor influencing this rise – tuition at State universities increased rapidly after changes made by the 2001 Legislature. By 2004, out-of-pocket tuition costs had climbed past the 1998 level, and continue to rise.
The Regents Institutions: Reviewing Proposals for Increased Maintenance Funding at the State’s Colleges and Universities (limited-scope audit)
The 1996 Legislature authorized bonds that funded nearly $179 million for construction and renovation projects for the State’s six universities known as the “Crumbling Classrooms Initiative.” In 2004, a new Board of Regents study showed that $584 million would be needed to cover deferred maintenance needs at the six State universities. Based on information in the study, about $95 million would be needed to address maintenance and repair issues for buildings and utilities and infrastructure components rated as “critical.” Most buildings that had projects funded under the crumbling classrooms initiative are shown in the current study as needing additional work. Because the study doesn’t list specific projects, staff couldn’t do a project-by project comparison between moneys spent with crumbling classrooms initiative and the proposed spending. Of the 138 buildings that received funding under the crumbling classrooms initiative, 134 are identified in the 2004 study as needing funds to fix maintenance backlogs.
Faculty Teaching Loads at Kansas Universities: A K-GOAL Audit of the Board of Regents
During Fall 2003, full-time faculty in selected departments at the 7 universities overseen by the Board of Regents typically taught about 3 classes each, spent about 9 hours per week in the classroom, and taught a total of 80 students. Teaching loads hadn’t changed significantly since our 1985 audit, but the number of hours faculty spent teaching, and the number of students they taught, were somewhat lower. Faculty salaries generally stayed well ahead of inflation, but salary disparities in the same departments across universities have grown significantly. Universities are placing somewhat less reliance now on using graduate teaching assistants to teach classes than in the past. The Board of Regents requires prospective faculty and graduate teaching assistants to be interviewed, and tested if necessary, to determine whether they are proficient in spoken English, but it hasn’t monitored the policy’s effectiveness. For our sample candidates, most universities didn’t follow all applicable requirements, but 69% of the candidates had been through some type of proficiency screening process. Despite the existence of the current policy, problems still existed with some of these instructors’ English-speaking proficiency.
Proprietary Schools: Reviewing the Board of Regents’ Responsibilities and Oversight (100-hour audit)
Both the Attorney General and the Board of Regents have received complaints, primarily about 2 proprietary schools. The Board's current level of oversight of proprietary schools needs to be strengthened to provide better assurance that the schools can meet their obligations to students. The minimum standards the Board has adopted don't establish the criteria schools must meet to operate in Kansas. The Board also hasn't implemented written policies and procedures, and Board actions to approve schools aren't well documented. Four proprietary schools whose records we reviewed had been approved even though some requirements hadn't been strictly met. The Board also needs a better system for tracking complaints it receives. Like Kansas, other states we contacted generally don't devote many resources to the oversight of proprietary schools.
Reviewing Issues Related to Community Colleges’ Customized Employee Training Courses
In fiscal year 1997, 16 of 19 community colleges offered customized training courses to business employees for college credit. Dodge City Community College offered most of that training, primarily for two meat-processing plants. Most customized training classes are taught by company employees, and at the companies’ own facilities using their equipment. Because the colleges and businesses generally have agreed the businesses would pay tuition while the college would pay them back for instructors’ fees and “rent,” most customized classes were provided at no cost to the requesting businesses. Some businesses even made money on these classes. For example, the two meat-processing plants in Dodge City received almost $600,000 more than they paid in tuition. In this case, Dodge City Community College also came out ahead financially because it received almost $1.6 million in State aid for these classes. Altogether, community colleges got nearly $2.1 million in State credit-hour aid for customized training courses. Because the total amount of credit-hour aid is fixed and is distributed in proportion to the credit hours each college generates, Dodge City got much more of the available aid than it would have if it didn’t have such an extensive customized training program.
Reviewing Certain Financial Management Practices at the University of Kansas Medical Center
The process Medical Center officials used to identify overhead activities that benefit both the hospital and the university was reasonable. Officials generally did a good job of determining each side’s “share” of overhead costs, but we had questions about the way they calculated a few of the costs. The Medical Center decided to use its $600,000 fiscal year 1995 appropriation to hire seven additional primary care faculty. Although this expenditure will not help address the financial viability of the primary care foundations in the short term, it may help in the long run as off-site clinics are developed and more managed-care contracts are obtained. Considerably less than half the appropriation has been obligated for primary care initiatives during fiscal year 1995; during the audit, Medical Center staff told us the remaining moneys would be used to fund part of its shrinkage requirements, which is not consistent with spending the money on primary care. The Medical Center has not received all the benefits it hoped to receive from the contractual relationship with the for-profit Salick Cancer Center: profits have not materialized, a permanent facility has not yet been built because of financing problems, and the number of patients has not increased as projected. Also, the contract does not include provisions that would help ensure the Medical Center receives all the expected benefits.
Reviewing State-Funded Medical Scholarships in Kansas
Since the inception of the Kansas Medical Scholarship Program, requirements have become more restrictive regarding designated areas of practice, types of medical specialties, and repayment provisions. In 1986, the emphasis of the Program changed from distributing physicians to underserved areas to placing primary-care physicians into rural areas. Since 1978, more than $36 million in medical scholarships has been awarded to 1,476 students. Approximately 46 percent of those recipients have fulfilled their service obligations. Many graduates are fulfilling their obligations under provisions of the law that allow them to practice in urban areas. The Program appears to be achieving the goals of retaining more Medical Center graduates in Kansas and distributing more doctors to underserved areas. In future years, because fewer than 35 new scholarships are being awarded annually, significantly fewer doctors will be distributed to underserved or rural areas as a result of the Program.
Examining Universities’ Use of Margin of Excellence Moneys
The Board of Regents provided only general instructions to its institutions for budgeting Margin of Excellence moneys, but it approved all Margin budget requests before those requests were submitted to the Legislature. Individual institutions' plans for spending their Margin money appeared to comply with their mission statements. Except for Wichita State University, all the Regents' institutions pooled their Margin salary parity and merit pay moneys before distributing any salary increases in fiscal years 1989 and 1990. Tenured or tenure-track faculty at Wichita State and Kansas State Universities received average salary increases of 8-10 percent for 1989 and 1990; University administrators received average raises that were comparable to or less than faculty pay raises. Finally, both Wichita State and Kansas State used their Margin of Excellence program enhancement moneys for a variety of items such as hiring unclassified staff and purchasing library materials and equipment.
Off-Campus Vocational Education Courses Offered by Kansas Community Colleges
The 19 community colleges taught 903 off-campus vocational courses in the Fall 1989 semester. The Department of Education has improved its procedures for approving classes taught outside colleges’ designated service areas, but still approved some Fall 1988 classes without the required documentation. The average cost associated with 100 classess we examined was $2,494, or about $54 per credit hour, while average revenuew per class were $4,078, or about $108 per credit hour. Most students we surveyed were very satisfied with their off-campus courses.
Reviewing Increases in Kansas State University’s Fiscal Year 1989 Utilities Costs (100-hour audit)
In general, the audit shows that Kansas State University’s nearly $700,000 supplemental request for utilities for fiscal year 1989 was the result of substantial utility rate increases combined with unexpectedly heavy usage. The supplemental request does not appear to be connected with the new Bramlage Coliseum, nor with a recent change in the Board of Regents policy related to the State’s full payment of athletic facilities’ operating costs.
Off-Campus Courses Taught by the Regent’s Universities
The number of off-campus courses has declined about 17 percent since 1979, while the types of classes showed little change. Some off-campus classes were not approved before the classes started, as required by Board policy. For the off-campus classes sampled, direct revenues generated by students amounted to less than half the total costs associated with the classes. Finally, off-campus classes appeared to be comparable in quality to on-campus classes, although several universities did not have adequate methods to ensure compliance with Board policies related to off-campus instructors.
Off-Campus Courses Offered by Kansas’ Community Colleges
The number of academic off-campus courses has grown substantially since a previous audit. Most of the growth occurred in English, speech, and mathematics courses. For the Spring 1988 off-campus classes sampled, total revenue were almost twice the total costs incurred by the colleges. All the community colleges take steps to ensure the quality of off-campus courses, and off-campus students indicate they are highly satisfied with the quality of courses they have taken. The audit makes recommendations to the Department of Education for ensuring that off-campus classes are approved as required by the policies of the State Board of Education.
Determining the Effect of Eliminating University Degrees and Programs
Between 1983 and 1987, the Board of Regents and the State universities eliminated or modified 185 individual degrees and made16 additional changes to departments or subject areas. Of those changes, 29 allowed the universities to reallocate a total of about $1 million to other university activities. The remaining changes generally did not affect the numbers of faculty and courses, often because another degree was still offered in the same subject area.
Kansas provides loans and scholarships to medical, osteopathic, and optometry students. The Medical Scholarship program does not appear to have had an impact on overall retention rates, but does appear to be encouraging a larger proportion of graduates to practice in underserved areas. About 37 percent of Osteopathic Scholarship recipients stayed in Kansas. The Optometry program is too new to determine any impact it has had on retention rates.
New faculty members generally have less experience and lower rank than the faculty members they replace, but are paid nearly as much. Universities have some difficulties recruiting qualified applicants for positions; about one-fourth the job offers made were declined. Comparisons show that percentage increases in Regents’ faculty salaries between 1974 and 1985 generally kept up with inflation, but actual salaries and fringe benefits are generally lower than at the Regents’ peer institutions.
Entry Into Retirement Annuity Plans at the Regents’ Institutions
Most employees who were signed up immediately for a retirement annuity plan either had a valid contract or the required experience when they started work. But many of those employees got their contract just before they started; they had not been enrolled in a valid plan at another school. The State incurs a cost of about $250,000 a year to pick up these employee’ retirement contributions. The Legislature will need to determine if it intended for these contibutions to be picked up.
Student Wage Expenditures at the Regents’ Institutions
Universities’ actual expenditures for student wages may differ significantly from the amount authorized by the General Fund line-item appropriation for student salaries and wages because student wages can be paid from other funds. Controls on student wage expenditures also vary between the universities and have different purposes. The audit presents options for increasing legislative control and oversight in this area.
No significant changes have been made in the transfer process since a 1980 performance audit recommended ways to improve that process. But the problem with course transfers does not appear to be a large one.
This report lists average classes taught and average hours spent each week in class for all levels of instructor, by school and by department. Graduate teaching assistants served as primary instructors for two-thirds of the 768 courses they were assigned to, mostly in math and English.
Examining Faculty Workloads
Published: APRIL, 1985
This audit reviews the workloads of full-time faculty at four State colleges and universities. One result of the study was that full-time faculty reported an average of nearly 54 hours of work during the surveyed week. The audit showed that there is no formal policy Statewide to ensure that faculty members can communicate effectively in English. The audit also examined the extent to which graduate teaching assistants share the teaching load with full-time faculty members.
Analyzing Differences in Per-Student Costs at Community Colleges
Community colleges’ general fund budgets per pupil differ significantly. This difference is partly because of the way schools budget money, but mostly because of varying personnel costs. More employees per student higher wages, and greater use of full-time faculty were the most frequent reasons found for higher personnel costs.
In fiscal year 1983, 944 employees from 39 State agencies received tuition assistance totaling $137,000. Some payments were made directly to employees in violation of State law. And although most courses appeared to be related to employees’ jobs, some were more questionable. The audit recommends improvements to tighten controls over the tuition assistance program.
Examining Certain Aspects of Community College Funding
Overall, state and local funding have stayed relatively constant over the past decade as a percent of total revenues. Students now complete about 85 percent of the courses they attempt. If States aid were computed on that basis, the schools would stand to lose about $4 million a year. State aid rates could be raised by up to $4 per credit hour before current funding levels would be exceeded.
Kansas spends a higher portion of its budget on higher education than most other states, mainly because more of its population is enrolled in the higher education system. It appears that ways can be found to make the system more efficient without sacrificing quality.
This report is one in a series of school district audits. At the direction of the Legislative Post Audit Committee and the Task Force on School Finance, LPA has addressed a wide variety of subjects in the operation of the districts, ranging from budgeting practices to class sizes and transportation programs. Basic findings: The district’s financial picture appears healthy. The district’s expenditures compare favorably with other districts its size. The district’s General Fund budget exceeds financiing needs. Transfers from the General Fund have been necessary to support special revenue funds. By managing its cash flow more wisely, the district can increase the amount of money it invests. Even for the money it now invests, the district could earn substantially more interest. The district is not in compliance with several State laws regarding purchasing contracts. The district allowed several activity funds to have deficit balances, violating guidelines that funds never have a deficit balance. The district appears to have enough classrooms and other facilities for the courses it offers. As enrollments have declined, the size of the staff has been reduced, though not at the same rate as the decline in enrollment. The current level of staffing for teachers and administrators appears comparable to other small districts in the State. Salaries for teachers and administrators are higher than average for small school districts. The district is not evaluating less experienced teachers as often as State law requires. The district does not always submit accurate information to the Dept. of Education. The district’s transportation costs, although high, do not seem out of line when compared with other large, sparsely populated districts. Federal cutbacks in the school lunch program, together with rising costs, mean that
This audit examines a “growth industry” in higher education--off-campus courses. Off-campus education has problems associated with its growth. The auditors examined two such problems--duplication of courses and programs by different schools, and unequal quality of off-campus and on-campus courses. The report recommends that the Legislature establish a set of policies and guidelines for reducing unnecessary duplication and for making on- and off- campus courses more uniform in their quality. It also recommends someone be designated to more carefully control the quality and proliferation of off-campus courses. Finally, the report recommends that hobby and recreation courses be clearly defined in order to separate courses that should receive State aid from those that should not.
The Kansas Community Junior College System: Part II: The Transfer of Courses to Regents’ Universities
This audit answers concerns about whether students’ courses are transferring as intended from the State’s community junior colleges to its Regents’ universities. Auditors found that of the student transcripts reviewed, ten percent of these students’ credit hours didn’t transfer to fulfill their degree requirements. Sixty percent of the students in the sample lost credits when they transferred--an average of 8.7 credit hours each. Auditors found that the two procedures established to facilitate and coordinate the transfer process--the transfer and articulation agreement and course equivalency sheets--aren’t as effective as they could be in limiting the loss of transfer students’ credit hours.000
The Kansas Community Junior College System, Part I: State Financing and Supervision
This audit assessed State aid and supervision of the 19 community junior colleges in Kansas. State aid to the colleges totaled $12.5 million in fiscal year 1977, accounting for nearly one-third of their revenues. To determine the effect of this aid on the funding of the colleges’ academic and vocational programs, the audit examined all 19 colleges’ costs and revenues. The survey showed that many of the State-supported courses and programs were costing less than the money provided to fund them. Some colleges took in almost double the cost of teaching outdistrict courses and the colleges combined took in $5 million more than the cost of operating their vocational programs. Such information is now largely unavailable to legislative and executive officials. To provide better information about funding levels and expenditures of State funds, the audit recommended the development of a uniform accounting system on a program basis.The audit found that the Department of Education doesn’t have adequate criteria for assessing whether courses are academic courses that qualify for State aid. The audit recommended that better criteria be established.Other findings and recommendations in the report relate to changing computation procedures for the colleges’ general fund budget limitations so colleges with declining enrollments will not receive larger budget increases than colleges with stable enrollments, ensuring greater accountability of State funds through improved audits, expanding budget requests, and reviewing the colleges’ State plan.
The Planning and Construction of New Facilities at the Board of Regents’ Institutions
Board of Regents institutions accounted for 70% ($110 million) of the expenditures for non-highway construction between fiscal years 1971 and 1975. Between Feburary 1976 and March 1980, buildings costing an additional $123 million were programmed for completion on the campuses. The report found a number of problems with the planning process used by Regents institutions for determining the need for new buildings, their design and construction, and compliance with statutes and other applicable requirements related to planning and construction practices.
Program Results Evaluation of the Kansas Tuition Grant Program
The purpose of this audit is two-fold; (1) to examine the administration of the program by the State Education Commission and, (2) to assess the Program’s impact on Kansas students and independent colleges.