Talisman budget cut by $93,000 in new budget proposal

Talisman budget cut by $93,000 in new budget proposal

Editor’s note: The proposed reduction in the fiscal year 2013-2014 budget for WKU would affect many departments. The Herald will break down the impact on those different departments all this week.

President Gary Ransdell announced in an email today where $2,139,000 in budget reductions would come from.

“While I am pleased that we were able to manage this process without reductions in anyone’s base salary and without lay-offs, none of these were easy decisions, nor are they ideal,” Ransdell said in the email. “Most campus departments will not be affected, and we have avoided across-the-board cuts, which are tough on morale.”

Student Publications, which houses the College Heights Herald and the Talisman yearbook, is one of the departments directly affected.

Chuck Clark, director of Student Publications, said his department would be “studying every option” to maintain quality of the Talisman yearbook, whose budget has been cut by $93,000.

“A $90,000 reduction represents a 47 percent reduction in the Talisman budget and that is substantial,” Clark said. 

Clark said the reductions would mean the Talisman would not be the same product it is now.

Ransdell said after the email was sent that the reduction to the Talisman was partially caused by an investigation that found “a lot of yearbooks went unused.”

He said he hoped the Talisman would look toward producing a “more electronic” version of the yearbook.

Amber Plunkett, the editor-in-chief for the 2012-2013 Talisman, said her staff had made strides on both fronts.

Plunkett said distribution of the Talisman in the past has been a problem, but said all but three yearbooks have been distributed this year.

The Talisman iPad application in development is another stride, but Plunkett said changing technologies means an iPad app may be obsolete down the road.

“A yearbook by nature is not a digital product,” Plunkett said.

With the budget reduction, Plunkett said the quality of the Talisman will suffer. The next Talisman will likely be printed on cheaper paper stock, be 100 pages shorter and may have to be printed in black in white.

Plunkett said she worries a “barebones” book also means students would get a “basic experience.”

“Our students would suffer just as much as the book,” she said.