Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George released the following statement today in response to Gov. Sam Brownback signing into law SB 127, the University Engineering Initiative Act:
“Graduating more engineering students is critical for job growth in Kansas moving forward. This legislation provides significant funding through a state-university partnership to recruit students interested in engineering careers and then to encourage them to stay in Kansas after earning their degrees.
“I’ve heard from numerous companies throughout the state that are in need of more students with engineering backgrounds. It’s one of their top priorities, and the Brownback Administration is committed to raising the number of engineering grads to 1,365 per year by 2021.”
The legislation creates the Kan-Grow Engineering Fund with three separate accounts for Wichita State University, Kansas State University and the University of Kansas. Beginning July 1, 2012, the first $10.5 million credited to the Expanded Lottery Act Revenues Fund will be transferred equally to each of the three funds. The universities will match the funds on a dollar-for-dollar basis from non-state sources.
The Commerce Department will provide oversight for the initiative. Brownback also signed into law SB 154, which allows KU to issue up to $65 million in bonds to expand engineering facilities on campus.