WKU announces impact of budget cuts

Published: Apr. 27, 2016 at 11:14 AM CDT
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It's a task no university wants to tackle, and neither does WKU President Dr. Gary Ransdell.

"I'm going to guess that we're less than half a dozenish or so where actually employees may lose their job."

Ransdell said no faculty positions will be lost as part of the 4.5% budget cuts the state handed them.

"Frankly, given the measure of our challenge, we're satisfied that we've done the very best we can to protect jobs and people," said Ransdell.

No academic programs are on the chopping block either.

"Let's re-iterate this does not eliminate a degree program, and will not impact any students' ability to complete their degree in a timely manner," said Senior VP Finance and Administration Ann Mead.

The university is raising tuition about 4.5% to help offset the cuts also.

The Gatton Academy will see a lower enrollment next year by about 12 students.

"We simply couldn't shield the Gatton Academy from that cut, otherwise it would have been much more than 4.5% on everybody else," explained Ransdell.

To help with the cuts, the university is doing several things.

Consolidating programs, moving the grounds crew employees onto a private contract, and some recurring funding will be transferred to one-time funding.

At the time of the announcement, Gov. Matt Bevin still had time to veto, but Ransdell said they had to act.

"If we would have had reason to be concerned that there was a surprise coming in the veto package that would affect us, I think we would have gotten wind of that or gotten word of that, because we've been in pretty good communication with the governor's office."

Ransdell didn't have much comment on former Gov. Steve Beshear's allegations that Gov.Bevin bullied university presidents about these cuts.

"We've been embroiled in enough Frankfort politics over the last few months. We've moved on, we're dealing with the cuts. We're going to move on and put it behind us."