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KU wants $30 million for medical education project

Published on -6/14/2012, 3:55 PM

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The University of Kansas will ask the state for $30 million to help fund a new medical education building on the university's medical campus in Kansas City, Kan.

The new building will cost an estimated $75 million and replace a building erected in 1976 that has become outdated, university officials said.

The Kansas Board of Regents will consider the request, along with other funding requests from all public institutions of higher learning, at its June 21 meeting, The Lawrence Journal-World reported (http://bit.ly/KXiMDL). The board will send its final budget request to Gov. Sam Brownback by October.

"This request reflects our efforts to increase the stature of the medical school," Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said in a letter to the Kansas Board of Regents.

The current medical education building is too small and no longer meets accrediting standards, university officials said. Its classrooms are designed for lectures rather than small-group learning.

The School of Medicine has proposed increasing the class size of the Kansas City campus from 175 to 225 students. The university said it had to reject 100 qualified applicants this year to the medical school because it didn't have enough space.

The university made a similar request last year but the regents said the governor's office wanted more specific funding details. The university said this year it will provide $30 million in private funds and revenue bonds, and use $15 million from a tax refund.

The university also plans to ask for a recurring annual appropriation of $2.5 million to support a Kansas Institute for Translational Chemical Biology and support both the Kansas Cancer Center and the school's continuing membership in the Association of American Universities.

And KU will request additional state funding to improve the University of Kansas Medical Center, including the School of Medicine in Wichita. It is doing further researcher to determine a specific funding request in this area.

Other large funding requests before the regents include:

. $16 million in additional funding for technical colleges.

. $15 million for expansion of the Kansas Technology Center at Pittsburg State University.

. $5 million annual appropriation to expand agricultural research at Kansas State University.

. $5 million annual appropriation to improve the College of Architecture, Planning and Design at KSU.

. $5 million annual appropriation for a research synergy center at KSU.

. $8 million for community colleges.

. $5.25 million funding increase for the College of Health Professions at Wichita State.

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