Before budget recommendations are made public, Potter College dean notes ‘significant cost-cutting measures’ ahead

The office of the dean of Potter College in the Fine Arts Center is pictured on Thursday, March 28, 2019, during ongoing protests following Larry Snyder’s sudden resignation. Snyder resigned from his position on March 26.

Laurel Deppen

Hours before budget recommendations were set to be presented to the WKU president’s cabinet, Larry Snyder, dean of Potter College of Arts and Letters, sent an email to the college’s faculty and staff, noting the budget plan includes “significant cost-cutting measures” to meet the expected financial shortfall. 

President Timothy Caboni announced the university would see a 1% decrease in state-appropriate money due to the coronavirus, a change which he said would “significantly” affect budget recommendations for the 2021 fiscal year. 

In an email obtained by the Herald, Snyder, a member of the Budget Executive Committee, said the plan will involve financial cuts meant to fill in the gaps from decreased state money and enrollment. 

“You can imagine that this was no easy task, and one that resulted in many sleepless nights,” Snyder wrote in the email.

Enrollment for the incoming freshman class is up, but Snyder noted the sophomore, junior and senior class numbers are down.

“They, too, may rebound once the current crisis eases, and it would be wonderful to see everyone return to the Hill as in years past,” Snyder said. “But there is every reason to believe that our total enrollment will be down next year, putting further strain on already thin financial and personnel resources.” 

The budget plan will be presented to governance groups throughout the day, including the Senate Executive Committee. It will be presented to the Board of Regents on Friday, May 15. The Regents will vote on it in June.

“These are difficult days in higher education, and there are no easy answers,” Snyder said.

Managing Editor Laurel Deppen can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @laurel_deppen.