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Budget cuts threaten 21st Century Initiative
By: Lubna Hindi–
The University of Louisville will take a 2.5 percent budget cut in 2014, forcing a review of the 21st Century Initiative that included increased six year graduation rates, doctorate degrees and endowment by the year 2020.
These cuts were discussed at 21st Century Initiative open forum this past Thursday. After the president and the provost had presented, the floor was open for anyone to ask questions. Concerns about increasing student employment after graduation, reviewing general education requirements in the upcoming years, and teacher evaluations were presented.
“We want something that’s transparent, understandable, doesn’t pit us against each other, so that we can work together as a university and move forward together,” said Provost Shirley Willihnganz.
Willihnganz also discussed modernizing the university and reevaluating certain standards including the infrastructure system, general education, and databases available to faculty, allowing for better communication and a more efficient university.
“Department chairs often don’t know what the budgets are because the systems are so complicated, they can’t access the data to tell them where the money is or how much there is left to spend,” said Willihnganz.
U of L has experienced 14 budget cuts in the past 14 years and has been struggling to stay on track to achieve all the goals they had set in 2008 when creating the plan.
To continue to move forward and maintain their 21st Century University Status, the Board of Trustees along with the president and the provost developed a number of committees consisting of department chairs, faculty, students, and other university officials to help obtain diverse, well rounded ideas from the university. The committees each focus on different topics like culture, technology, financial health and academics and research to aid the university in moving forward despite the budget cut.