EMAIL: President Ransdell announces budget cuts

EMAIL: President Ransdell announces budget cuts

Herald Staff

Fellow Faculty and Staff:

As I indicated in my communication earlier this week, we have finalized budget reduction decisions for the FY2013-14 budget. Thank you to all who submitted suggestions since we began this discussion several weeks ago. 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. Most campus departments will not be affected, and we have avoided across-the-board cuts, which are tough on morale.

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We are achieving a total budget reduction of $2,139,000 that will allow us to cover the deficit in fixed cost increases as described to the campus a few weeks ago. It will also fund over a million dollars of commitments that have been paid with unbudgeted funds and will make permanent the two percent salary increase that was implemented last July. A spreadsheet listing all of these decisions and the budget impact of each is attached.

Beginning July 1, we will eliminate the budgets for the FACET program and the Center of Excellence in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. We will also eliminate recurring funding for the Provost’s Initiative for Excellence (PIE grants) and create efficiencies by merging the budgets of the Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility and the ALIVE Center. The WKU switchboard operation will be combined with the WKU Welcome Center, and both will move to the Augenstein Alumni Center where all campus tours now begin. These actions will save $645,000.

Recurring budget support for Research and Creative Activity Program grants (RCAP) and the Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) will be reduced. We will also reduce funding for the Talisman and achieve additional efficiencies in Student Publications; curtail food expenditures for Parents and Family Weekend events; eliminate duplicative budgeting of stipends for the Ed.D program; and reduce the recurring budget for computer replacements. These program reductions will save $308,000.

Cell phone allowances paid to employees will be reduced by $10 per month beginning with the July pay period. In addition, we will apply savings from energy efficiencies to reduce the utilities budget, and we will eliminate vacant positions that have remained unfilled for the last five years. We will reduce the budget for institutional memberships and eliminate the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) increases to Athletics, Student Technology, Student Government Association and Health Services. Additional reductions will be made in the divisions of Campus Services, Finance and Administration, Information Technology, and Student Affairs, and we will redirect tuition for selected DELO programs to the central budget. We will close the Radcliff Center in Hardin County and operate existing programs in either Ft. Knox or Elizabethtown. And over the next five years, we will reduce the university subsidy to Athletics by five percent. An additional $203,000 in efficiencies will be identified and implemented in the months ahead. These combined actions will save $1,186,000.

The overall campus budget will be finalized in the next few weeks and presented to the Board of Regents on June 21 for their approval. I appreciate your hard work and especially your patience as we move through this painful process. Ensuring efficiencies and cost savings is an ongoing effort, and we have all been diligent in that regard.

Our priority remains ensuring high academic quality, preserving jobs, and strengthening the esprit de core on our campus. The most important thing now is to continue to make progress and to make every effort to create an environment where all students can be successful.

Thank you.

Gary A. Ransdell