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WKU announces plan to implement budget reduction

WKU today announced its budget reduction plan for Fiscal Year 2017.

In a message to the campus, President Gary A. Ransdell outlined the plan to reduce WKU’s budget by $6,039,200 to address the Fall 2016 enrollment revenue decline, increases in fixed costs, most notably the 48 percent increase in the KERS employer contribution, and a 4.5 percent state appropriation reduction.

“Over the last few months, we have worked diligently to identify program efficiencies, cost containment opportunities, and programs to be consolidated, reduced, or eliminated,” Dr. Ransdell said in an email to WKU faculty and staff. “We established a set of strategic priorities to guide this process, but the primary goal has been to minimize job loss and protect academic credit-bearing programs and critical student services.”

The reduction will be achieved through administrative reorganization of several units; shifting some items from permanent funding to one-time funding; allocating a surcharge increase for online courses to the central budget; and through minimal program reductions and eliminations in several divisions. WKU also will transfer its Building Services and Grounds employees to private contract with Sodexo.

“Our priority has always been to protect people, preserve academic quality and maintain student services, all of which are achieved by these actions,” Dr. Ransdell said.

Dr. Ransdell told the campus that he and the Board of Regents are committed to a salary increase for all full-time employees and that he plans to phase in a 3 percent total salary increase over 12 months.

In addition, following action Tuesday by the Council on Postsecondary Education to approve tuition parameters of up to 4.65 percent, Dr. Ransdell said that he will recommend a 4.5 percent tuition increase for full-time resident undergraduate students for approval by the Board of Regents.

“WKU’s hallmark is high value for reasonable cost,” Dr. Ransdell said. “We will use our tuition increase to address faculty and staff compensation and improve student success, which is the best return on investment for our students.”

Dr. Ransdell, members of the Administrative Council and staff from Human Resources will discuss the budget reduction plan during a campus forum at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the Downing Student Union Auditorium.

More: Budget Principles_reductions and reallocations; Budget Shortfall FY17 4_26; Funding Priorities 16-17FY 17 Categorical Budget Reductions

Contact: Public Affairs, (270) 745-5428

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