The WKU Board of Regents today (June 22) approved a $388.59 million budget for 2012-13 and a 4.8 percent increase in tuition.
The budget includes a $5 million reduction in state appropriations and a $5.3 million increase in fixed costs and strategic commitments, including student financial assistance, mandatory retirement systems rate increases and a 2 percent salary increase for faculty and staff.
Resident undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees will be $4,236 per semester, an increase of $194. Ann Mead, vice president for Finance and Administration, said the estimated cost of attendance at WKU, which includes tuition and fees, meals, room and books, will go up 3.1 percent for 2012-13.
WKU President Gary Ransdell said the tuition increase will pay for most of the $5.3 million in fixed cost increases and obligations—which includes some $2.4 million in increased funding for scholarships and financial aid. Funds are being budgeted to increase the number of students admitted to the School of Nursing. Carry forward funds from 2011-12 will be used to cover the 2 percent salary increase.
“The other important commitments in this budget are our continuing resolve to avoid any hiring freezes, layoffs or employee furloughs,” Dr. Ransdell said. “Honoring this commitment has been a challenge as we find ways to cut some $5 million out of our budget as a result of a 6.4 percent reduction in state funding.”
Tuition and fees account for 44.5 percent of the budget with another 18.6 percent coming from state appropriations. Restricted funds from grants, contracts and federal and state student financial assistance programs make up another 17.9 percent of the budget.
In other business, Cory Dodds, a senior from Smithland, was sworn in as student regent. Dodds, a political science major, was elected president of the Student Government Association this spring.
The board also reelected Fred Higdon of Lebanon chair, J. David Porter of Lexington vice chair, Dr. Melissa Dennison of Glasgow secretary and Mead treasurer.