Editorial: It’s truly time for a change

While Kentucky’s gubernatorial candidates were busy making their last efforts to garner votes Monday, the Council on Post-Secondary Education was making its own announcement.

The CPE unveiled its plan Monday regarding its budget recommendation for the next biennial and in turn proposed that Western receive the largest percentage increase of any university in Kentucky.

What that means is that though Western won’t be on the top of the totem poll should the recommendation go through, it will get a $15 million appropriation increase.

That is some serious cabbage – a 21.3 percent increase over the next two fiscal years to be exact.

Think about that. Western is going from currently getting $72 million for the 2004 fiscal year to a proposed budget that would give the university $80.7 million in the 2005 fiscal year and $87.6 in 2006.

This is all no doubt music to President Gary Ransdell’s ears, especially after he is still putting a happy spin on the upcoming tuition increases that students will have to gnaw on. Ransdell said that the proposed funds would “would provide significant relief.”

That is an understatement.

This money the CPE recommends sending this way will put Western in a great position to make some meaningful strides in improving the academic environment around the Hill.

More importantly for current and prospective students, this kind of allocation from the state would allow Ransdell and the Western brass to ease back on the expcted increases to tuition in coming semesters.

Though he has only hinted at it, as any money Western might receive in the next budget is only a guess right now, Ransdell has said that the kind of funds the CPE is recommending would allow for only modest tuition increases down the road.

Western is significantly underfunded. Almost any love shown by the state could be beneficial, but the kind of money CPE is proposing sending the Hill’s way would be comparable to divine intervention.

But all of this will just be wishful thinking unless the CPE’s recommendations are first supported by our new governor, and more importantly by the General Assembly.

While we aren’t whole-heartedly behind increasing tuition in future semesters, Ransdell’s strategies could pay off if the new leadership supports the CPE.

So at this point, for once the weight is off of Ransdell and Western officials and pointed elsewhere. Namely at our new governor and the General Assembly. In these tough budget times we don’t feel like the CPE’s recommendations are too much.

Sure, we are coming out ahead in many aspects, but Ransdell and others are at least taking steps to show we deserve it.

Don’t let their efforts be in vain.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member board of student editors.