WKU announces budget cuts

President Timothy Caboni listens as Dr. Indudeep Chhachhi speaks about budget cuts during a Board of Regents meeting on Friday, February 23, 2018, at Jody Richards Hall. (Austin Anthony/photo@bgdailynews.com)

Western Kentucky University released new details Friday about how it will pull off a plan to cut more than $8 million in spending over the next fiscal year, which begins for WKU on July 1.

In agenda materials for a special budget approval meeting of WKU’s Board of Regents next week, the university unveiled a revised plan to cut $8,644,000. The revised plan marks a shift from the $10,177,000 million reduction plan WKU was weighing in May.

Ann Mead, WKU’s senior vice president for finance and administration, did not immediately respond to an interview request after the reduction plan was made public by the university Friday morning.

WKU spokesman Bob Skipper said in an email that the university plans to reduce the previous $10 million budget reduction target with carry forward money, which is leftover money created through previous spending cuts.

“We are allocating more carry forward monies to lower the target,” Skipper said, relaying a conversation he had with Mead.

Under the previous plan, WKU’s academic colleges were asked to cut $3,409,300 toward the roughly $10 million total. The university’s non-academic units, called auxiliary and support units, were tasked with making up the rest at $6,767,700.

But the board meeting materials released Friday called that target unrealistic, revising it to $5,234,700 with carry forward making up the difference.

“Implementing the full $6.8 million in reduction targets was not achievable without jeopardizing operational capacity,” the agenda materials read.

The plan also reveals how much each auxiliary and support unit is expected to cut. Previously, only the $3,409,300 in cuts to the academic were made public as the university weighed how to make up the difference.

WKU’s Board of Regents will meet to consider the university’s 2020 fiscal year budget at 9 a.m. June 21 in Jody Richards Hall.

The budget totals $387,762,000, which represents a $657,000 decrease from last year’s budget.

The budget reductions coincide with a projection that enrollment at WKU will continue to decline with fewer students beginning college, fewer international students and larger classes graduating from the university. The university’s budget includes a 5 percent decline in tuition and fees revenue.

WKU is estimating no increase in the entering freshman class this fall and notes a projected decline of 690 students next year.

Reduction targets

Academic Colleges

Gordon Ford College of Business $266,058

College of Education and Behavioral Sciences $391,109

Potter College of Arts and Letters $1,253,585

Ogden College of Science and Engineering $859,895

College of Health and Human Services $638,653

Subtotal $3,409,300

Auxiliary and Support Units

Provost (support units) $1,173,193

Athletics $365,915

Chief Facilities Officer $1,190,616

Enrollment and Student Experience $305,433

Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement $180,611

Presidential $37,651

Strategic Communications and Marketing $204,158

Strategy, Operations and Finance $475,665

Universitywide $1,301,458

Subtotal $5,234,700

— Western Kentucky University

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

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Education reporter. Covers education and related issues, focusing primarily on the Bowling Green and Warren County public school districts and Western Kentucky University.

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