WKU to Privatize Health Clinic to Help Budget Shortfall

By Michael Gossum | 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- "Education is a partnership and the Governor talked about cradle to career and a seamless collaboration for education, yet you cut one party of that partnership in order to direct funding to the other part of that partnership. It's a little frustrating," said WKU President Dr. Gary Ransdell.

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A frustrated Ransdell when it comes to dealing with the 2.5% cuts to higher education, which will be about $1.8 million, He said the University is already about $3.1 million in the hole also.

"You add in the state budget cut, fixed cost increases and we're going to try do something for compensation and benefits for our employees. So, you add those variables together, you can quickly get to eight or nine or ten million dollar hole to fill pretty quickly," said Ransdell.

The cost is adding up quickly, but Ransdell said they won't jack up tuition, it will be a modest increase.

He also said they've got another idea to help fill in the gaps.

"We're going to do an RFP, a request for proposals and give our local health care providers the opportunity to bid on managing our health services program, manage our on campus clinic," said Ransdell.

There is an expected profit.

"We can net over $1 million that we can direct toward our budget cut, thereby reducing the budget cut for all the divisions of the university," said Ransdell.

Ransdell said he's hopeful and optimistic that whoever wins the bid will re-hire the 27 employees who currently work at the university health clinic.

The senate is now looking at the budget bill, and Ransdell said he's cautiously optimistic some funding will be restored.

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