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Joe Monaco
KU Office of Public Affairs
785-864-7100

KU to host conference on Kansas fiscal policy

Tue, 10/01/2013

LAWRENCE — When Kansas lawmakers restructured the state’s tax code in 2012, the changes were dramatic enough that many observers began referring to it as a fiscal experiment.

That fiscal experiment and its effect on communities will be the topic of this year’s annual Kansas Economic Policy Conference on Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Kansas Union.

The annual conference — this year titled “The Kansas Fiscal Experiment – Impacts on Communities” — will feature panel discussions with economists and policy analysts, as well as Kansas community leaders, city and county managers, and K-12 officials.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Carolyn Bourdeaux, associate professor, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University
  • Chris W. Courtwright, chief economist, Kansas Legislature
  • Justin Ross, assistant professor, School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Indiana University

Courtwright will deliver the morning keynote. Bourdeaux and Ross will lead the luncheon panel, which will be moderated by Duane Goossen, vice president for fiscal and health policy with the Kansas Health Institute.

Other panelists include:

  • John Battin, mayor, city of Ulysses
  • Sally Cauble, vice chair, Kansas State Board of Education, State Board District 5
  • Jason Gage, city manager, city of Salina
  • John Heim, executive director, Kansas Association of School Boards
  • Mike Podgursky, professor of economics, University of Missouri
  • Hannes Zacharias, county manager, Johnson County

“Depending on who you ask, you’ll get very different assessments of the Kansas fiscal experiment,” said Donna Ginther, professor of economics and director of the Center for Science, Technology & Economic Policy at KU. “Supporters of the overhaul have called it an ‘adrenaline shot to the heart’ of the state economy, while others have said it will hurt the state’s ability to provide core services, including K-12 education. The goal of this conference is to analyze the state’s fiscal experiment and focus on how it’s affecting Kansas communities.”

For Kansans who can’t make the trip to Lawrence, the conference will be broadcast live to a satellite location in Ulysses, courtesy of Pioneer Communications and the Grant County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism.

Conference registration is $45. For more information, including a full agenda and online registration page, visit www.ipsr.ku.edu/conferen/kepc13.

The conference is presented by KU’s Institute for Policy & Social Research.

MEDIA ARRANGEMENTS: Print and broadcast media are invited to cover the conference and asked to make arrangements with Joe Monaco, KU Office of Public Affairs, prior to the event.



Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner. See it here: http://bit.ly/1awodaa
Rock Chalk! Junior Ashlie Koehn named KU's 18th Truman Scholar
Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening.

.@KU bschool 's KIP team includes @KU _SADP students in all-ages housing project. http://t.co/c6Ss0FsWLL #KUworks http://t.co/FW0eI69uRi
Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner From KU News Service: http://bit.ly/1awodaa Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening. To her surprise, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was on the other end of the call letting Koehn know she had been named a 2015 Harry S. Truman Scholar. Koehn is the 18th KU student to be named a Truman Scholar and the only 2015 recipient from the state of Kansas. Earlier this month, she was also named a 2015 Udall Scholar. And in spite of a distance of more than 10,800 kilometers and 11 time zones, Koehn’s thrill from hearing the news from the chancellor came through loud and clear. “Ashlie’s experience at KU epitomizes a quality undergraduate experience. She challenged herself in her coursework, exposed herself to different research opportunities, studied abroad in Germany, Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan, and participated in both student government and community service projects,” Gray-Little said. “This is quite a year for Ashlie. Her hard work is a wonderful reflection on her and also a great reflection on the university, and we all congratulate her.” Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Koehn, a member of KU’s nationally recognized University Honors Program, is majoring in environmental studies, economics and international studies. Her goal after earning her KU degree is to pursue a master’s degree in economics at either the London School of Economics or the University of Reading, with a focus on the economics of climate change. In 2014, she received KU’s Newman Civic Engagement Award for her work establishing the Coalition against Slavery and Trafficking. Her involvement with the issue was sparked by Hannah Britton, associate professor of political science and women, gender, and sexuality studies, who hosted national conference on contemporary slavery at KU three years ago. “Ashlie and I met several times to think about what KU students could contribute to the issue of slavery and human trafficking, and the result was her founding of KU CAST,” Britton said. “After a year as president, Ashlie successfully handed the organization over to the next student leader. She demonstrated her strong leadership qualities by setting a unique goal and then pursuing it with her sense of passion, engagement and dedication. No matter the country or context, her leadership strength is evident in her coursework, her public service and her work experiences.” The University Honors Program works with a campus committee to select KU’s nominees for the Truman Scholarship and supports them during the application process. Anne Wallen, assistant director of national fellowships and scholarships, noted it was an amazing ruse to pull off the surprise. Originally, the call was set up to be between Wallen and Koehn. “I was totally not prepared to be greeted by Chancellor Gray-Little, but it was an amazing surprise for sure,” Koehn said. “As a first-generation student, it took time to learn the collegiate system, but my parents taught me to be resourceful and independent from a young age and KU and the Kansas Air National Guard have provided me with the opportunities to drive me into the future, both at graduate school and in my career. I plan to use the Truman Scholarship to pursue a career as an environmental economist helping to shape future trade agreements and leverage action on important international environmental issues, particularly concerning climate change.” Koehn also had a surprise of her own for the chancellor — the meal she was helping to prepare was not exactly typical Kansas dinner fare. On the menu with her host family in Kyrgyzstan on Monday was a traditional Kyrgyz meal called Beshbarmak, or “five fingers,” because you eat it with your hands. The dish is made of horse and sheep and was being prepared as a birthday celebration for Koehn’s host mom. Chancellor Gray-Little, as she signed off from Skype, made sure to encourage Koehn to enjoy her Beshbarmak. Koehn is the daughter of Rodney and Carolyn Koehn of Burns. She graduated from Fredric Remington High School in Moundridge. She is an active member of the Kansas Air National Guard and currently on leave while studying abroad in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She is a member of the KU Global Scholars Program and a past member of the Student Senate. In addition to being named a 2015 Truman and Udall scholar, she was named a 2014 Boren Scholar and Gilman Scholar and in 2013 was named the Kansas Air National Guard Airman of the Year.


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