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LAWRENCE

| Friday, June 17, 2011

L AWRENCE J OURNAL -WORLD

Regents CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1A

will face a 5.5 percent increase for residents and 5.9 percent for nonresidents. Tuition and fees under the KU Compact — for first-time, degree-seeking freshmen — will increase from $4,366 to $4,611, or $245, which is a 5.6percent increase. That cost will be fixed for four years. Nonresident students will see an increase from $10,769 to $11,304, or 5 percent. Since the KU Compact has been in effect for several years, 65 percent of returning undergraduates will see no tuition increase, according to KU. Students at KU Medical Center will see a 4.9 percent increase. All the regents schools were granted increases. For a resident undergraduate, the tuition and fee increase at Kansas State will be 3.8 percent; Wichita State, 5.1 percent; Emporia State, 6.8 percent; Pittsburg State, 6.5 percent; and Fort Hays State, 3.6 percent. Regents members said the tuition increases were needed to cover increased costs in utilities and employee health insurance, pay for increased mandates from the Legislature, and make up for continued budget cuts. The budget signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback allocates an estimated $744 million to higher education for the fiscal year that starts July 1. That is down from the $753 million for the current fiscal year. During the two years prior to that, higher education was cut by approximately $100 million as the state reeled from the recession. Regent Jarold Boettcher of Manhattan said the tuition increases are tied to the decreasing state commitment to higher education. “It’s not an accident. It’s not a coincidence. It’s a fact,” he said. KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said the increases at KU were needed to make up for increasing costs, such as in health insurance and utilities, and also will be used to give raises to top faculty, increase the availability of high-demand classes, and for student retention support services. She said private universities and public universities in faster growing states are trying to lure away faculty. Additionally, about $400,000 of the increase will be added to the $10.3 million in need-based grants. “We are going to continue to do everything we can to make sure students who want to come to KU, who can do college work, have an opportunity to do that,” she said.

Brunchtastical! John Young/Journal-World Photo

HASKELL INDIAN NATIONS UNIVERSITY STUDENT BRYN FRAGUA, of Jemez Pueblo, N.M., pulls weeds from a patch of purple prairie clover Wednesday at the Kansas University Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden, located northeast of Lawrence.

Native plants blooming with medicinal possibilities By Christine Metz cmetz@ljworld.com

Neat rows of mint, echinacea and sage are among about 70 plant species that fill a large garden plot just east of the Lawrence Municipal Airport. The Kansas University Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden is just a year old. Last spring, the land lay freshly tilled and barren as crews worked to install an irrigation system. Today, it is blooming with life. The plants — all native to Kansas — have been selected for their healing powers with the hope that they will someday find new uses as herbal products and compounds for pharmaceuticals, pet medicine or cosmetics. “We believe native plants of Kansas and the Great Plains have an important role to play in terms of human health,” said Kelly Kindscher, a senior scientist at the Kansas Biological Survey and head of the botany side of the research program. The garden has sparked the interest of all ages, from toddlers to those in their 90s. “It is a beautiful place. It is a living place. We are seeing more animal life out here than we did last year,” said Kirsten Bosnak, who is the project coordinator for the medicinal plant research program. The research garden has spawned other projects on the cultivated one-acre piece — Statehouse reporter Scott Rothschild can of land. be reached at 785-423-0668.

YOU’RE INVITED The public is invited to tour the KU Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden at 10 a.m. Saturday. The garden is located on Douglas County East 1600 Road, which is just north of U.S. Highway 40 and next to the Lawrence Municipal Airport. A student community garden of vegetables, herbs and fruit trees is thriving. Westar Energy provided reclaimed lumber for a shade structure, and an art student planted a dye garden. The student group Engineers Without Borders is working on a solar composting toilet, and an educational garden has even been planted for the children next door at Prairie Moon Waldorf School. “By starting on this, we’ve had a lot of things that are spin-offs,” Kindscher said. But the primary purpose of the garden is for research. About 20 of the 70 plant species in the research garden are being grown in large enough quantities so they can be studied in chemistry labs, which requires about 20 pounds of the plant. If needed, the program has another four acres for expansion. “Our plan is if we f ind things that are interesting,

then we will need to grow out more of that,” Kindscher said. Many of the plants that grow in the research garden were collected from the wild and are largely a mystery to modern day science. But technology has made them easier to study. “They haven’t been looked out for their chemistry. And now our chemistry techniques are so much better. We can screen a hundred plants at once for all sorts of different things,” Kindscher said. The plants are also steeped in Native American tradition. For instance, one of the mint varieties has been burned to provide relief on hot summer days, and sage is often used in sweat lodges to purify the body. Those historical uses provide leads for researchers, Kindscher said. The success of the garden is partially due to the students, both those from KU and Haskell Indian Nations University, who have spent many hours tending to it. This summer, Lauren Service, a senior in environmental studies, scored a grant to work at the garden. “This kind of contributes to a lot of what I believe in,” Service said. “Plants aren’t just here for visual reasons or chemical reasons. But plants are for people, too, so that we can use them for medicine and food. And that humans are part of nature.” — Reporter Christine Metz can be reached at 832-6352.

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Regents select new chairman TOPEKA — Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday selected Ed McKechnie of Arcadia as chairman and Tim Emert of Independence as vice chairman. “Higher education is such a vital element in the future success of our state’s economy and our citizens, and I’m humbled to have been selected to lead the Board in the coming year,” McKechnie said. McKechnie had been serving as vice chairman of the ninemember board when Chairman Gary Sherrer unexpectedly resigned last month. Both McKechnie and Emert are former legislators. McKechnie, a Democrat, served in the House from 1991 to 2001. Emert, a Republican, is a former state senator and former Senate Majority Leader.

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Lawrence Journal-World 06-17-11  
Lawrence Journal-World 06-17-11  

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