EMPORIA (KSNT) – After 32 faculty members of Emporia State University learned they lost their jobs, one alumni member and current Kansas Representative is voicing her concerns.

Representative Stephanie Clayton attended ESU about 20 years ago, and says some of the long-term professors who were laid off this week helped shape her to be the legislator she is today. Along with being highly concerned for those who were laid off, Clayton is also worried for the students. She says one of the biggest things they can do as legislators is prioritizing higher education in their budget.

“I worry about the students because there are students and I know a lot of the students that are currently in these programs will be grandfathered in. But obviously the students care about their professors. Part of the reason why this has happened is that higher education went through nine rounds of budget cuts due to the failed Brownback tax experiment. And so, when we ask ourselves what does small government look like; this is what it looks like. It looks like devastating cuts to an institution that is arguably the lifeblood of that community.”

Rep. Stephanie Clayton

Clayton adds if this can happen at ESU, it can happen at any university