2016 State Funding cuts
The Kentucky House and Senate passed a budget that will cut state funding to universities by 4.5%. The state budget, combined with declining enrollment, has resulted in a $6 million budget deficit. WKU plans to address the deficit by privatizing Building Services and Grounds, eliminating vacant faculty positions, and reducing the amount spent on the Gatton Academy and Track & Field Programs, among other measures.
The plan includes shifting $2.3 million of recurring costs (including the transitional retirement program, computer replacements, and the wellness program) to one-time or “other” funds.
Budget Reallocation 2013-2015
In 2015-2016, WKU faced a $7.9 million budget reallocation, driven by decreases in state funding, falling enrollment, and costs such as scholarships, contractual obligations, and employee benefits.
We would not expect to see budget cuts distributed precisely proportional across divisions, but instead a reallocation in line with the university’s strategic priorities. For instance, enrollment is a priority at WKU, so we would not expect to see it take as large a hit, proportionally, as other divisions. Academics are not as high a priority: though accounting for only 48% of the budget, Academic Affairs absorbed 70% of the reallocation.
FY16 budget cuts:
Despite the reallocation, the unrestricted E&G budget increased in FY15 by $5,163,000. These funds come from the following sources: State appropriation: $2,000,000 for the Gatton Academy; Tuition increases returned to doctoral programs $1,212,000; Tuition increase less doctoral programs $1,415,000; Mandatory student fee for parking garage $846,000; College specific student fees $650,000.