SGA meeting highlight lack of state appropriations

Andrew Henderson

Tuesday’s Student Government Association highlighted points about the current status of state appropriations for higher education in Kentucky. 

SGA President Jay Todd Richey spoke about his attendance at the 2015 Governor’s Conference on Postsecondary Trusteeship as a representative for the Kentucky Board of Student Body Presidents. 

Richey said at the conference they discussed the declining state appropriations to higher education in the state. Richey emphasized how much WKU specifically has lost from state appropriations.

He said in 1998, 47 percent of WKU’s entire operating budget was funded by Frankfort. For the 2015-2016 fiscal year, state appropriations make up 18 percent of WKU’s four-hundred million operating budget. 

“That is just a gradual decline over a few decades,” Richey said. 

In an email Richey sent out to members of SGA, he said he has spoken to President Gary Ransdell and other regents, and trustees of other universities, about how the decline in state appropriations is indiscriminate- meaning all Kentucky universities are suffering and not just WKU. 

“To make it short and sweet, the current situation of funding for higher education in Kentucky is terrible,” he said in the email.

Richey said 56 percent of the General Fund of Frankfort goes to education, but approximately 10 percent of that goes to higher education. 

Richey concluded his report by stating his wish to close the debate in SGA regarding the Confucius Institute. He said at the Board of Regents meeting on Sept. 25 the Board of Regents decided not to revisit the contract for the building to house the Confucius Institute. 

“Just to clarify, it’s a done deal, the building will be built,” he said.

SGA voted on three students to serve as SGA senators. John Winstead, Emily Houston and Savannah Molyneaux were approved. 

“I applied for the senate because I’m really passionate about government in general, and not only American government but student government,” Molyneaux said. 

Chelsea Faught was also approved to serve as the head of the Sustainability committee.

SGA voted Megan Skaggs, legislative research, as their Homecoming queen candidate.