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A sit-in was planned as a board of trustees was set up to discuss the prospects of higher education

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Emporia, Kansas (WIBW) – A sit-in was planned by a student group at Emporia State University as the Kansas Board of Governors is scheduled to discuss the prospects for higher education at its meeting Wednesday.

Emporia State University said it took the next step by presenting a policy framework to the Kansas Board of Governors. forward-looking and future-proof An institution focused solely on students.

The ESU said discussion of a framework on workforce management is on KBOR’s agenda for consideration and possible action at its meeting on Wednesday, September 14. If approved, ti said the framework would allow it to recalibrate resources to address the ongoing and accelerating structural deficit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since January, the university has collected information from students, faculty and staff and said all areas of the campus are being reviewed. He said he is pursuing a strategy focused on adjusting resources to meet rapidly changing student needs.

“We went to our students to ask their opinion, and we are listening,” said ESU President Ken Hush.

ESU recently announced that it will implement meaningful programs, increase basic needs services, increase student events, launch a competitive disc golf team, and launch competitive eSports in spring 2023.

Additionally, the university noted that community support continues to boost student scholarships. Lyon Co. continues to generously provide scholarships. He further said that the Jones Foundation has introduced the Jones Success Scholarship. This is an incentive-based scholarship for student success, with a total chance of over $7,000 over four years, increasing with each student’s progress.

ESU also said it recently announced the expansion of in-state tuition to all 48 mainland states.

“Our community partners have been great and have helped Emporia State University implement exciting new initiatives,” says Hush. “Our community has a history of showing incredible generosity and investment in our students.

While these initiatives are important, ESU says they have not yet addressed the root causes of the pressures facing higher education today. I said now is the time to make real change.

Universities have shown what students need and expect from higher education and the landscape has changed. Given the current labor shortage and steadily declining enrollment in four-year colleges, students have more options after high school, he said.

A recent Pew Research survey found that 61% of Americans say higher education is headed in the wrong direction. Specifically, respondents blamed the high cost of attendance and students not having the necessary skills to succeed in the workplace after graduation.

In response to student feedback and industry signals, ESU said it had taken deliberate steps to find out what needs to be done to put student bodies on the path to long-term success. .

The ESU noted that changing circumstances led KBOR to hire RPK, a higher education consulting firm, to conduct a system-wide review of the Regents institution’s academic programs.

ESU goes a step further and says it spent more than 1,000 hours on an extensive and exhaustive analytical process. Led by academic and administrative campus leaders, the group provides program and enrollment trends, employer needs, state and national job growth projections, student interest, program gains and losses information, departmental sustainability and efficiency , studied cultural and community contributions. This result is consistent with RPK’s preliminary findings.

“Going forward, ESU will reorganize the program’s resources in the strike zone,” Hush said. “For example, ESU excels in programs in nursing, biology, technology, business, psychology, teacher education, etc. In fact, we are further focusing and revitalizing some of our teacher training programs. No university does a better job of teaching teachers than Emporia State University, and we plan to reimagine the best programs for today’s and tomorrow’s students.”

ESU said it will have to make difficult decisions about where to put future funds to enable the necessary investments. In June, KBOR voted to extend the workforce management framework through December 31, saying it gave universities an opportunity to submit frameworks for implementing the policy on campus.

“We must have the courage to make the hard choices and the fortitude to move forward so we can do the highest good for the many,” Hush said. rice field. “We have a responsibility to do what is right and best for our students and their futures. That is why we are here.”

The ESU noted that while this framework does not take tenure away from faculty, it does temporarily remove some of the protection tenure affords should staff reductions be necessary.

However, Emporia State University students adopted the policy as a budget and staff cut. A “Stop The Cuts” sit-in has been planned by the campus student body and will be held on the lawn in front of Plum Hall at 10am on Wednesday.

Click here for more information on the framework.