March 10, 2004

Contact: Lynn Bretz, University Relations, (785) 864-8866.

KU unclassified staff volunteer time to visit legislators today

LAWRENCE -- Members of the Unclassified Professional Staff Association at the University of Kansas will visit the Statehouse in Topeka Wednesday to help draw attention to the need for support of higher education.

"Our goals are to inform the legislators of the vital tasks unclassified staff perform at the university and to make sure the legislators are aware of the important role higher education plays in the economic recovery of the state," said Pam Houston, UPSA president.

Eleven UPSA representatives from across the university have volunteered vacation time to meet with lawmakers. They will bring a message of concern about funding for higher education in Kansas and will stress the benefits that result from strong educational institutions. The visit also will be an opportunity for unclassified staff to raise awareness about their important contributions to the university and ultimately the state. KU employs about 1,500 unclassified staff.

Appointments were made with more than 35 senators and representatives throughout the day and will include sessions with leaders of both the House and Senate. KU staff also will meet with legislators serving on key House and Senate committees and legislators who have ties to KU. The KU staff members, many of whom serve on the UPSA board, also plan to call upon legislative members who are new to the Capitol.

This is the second year UPSA members have coordinated a visit to the Statehouse.

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