Ramsey holds budget forum
By Jacob Abrahamson–
Students may have a five percent tuition increase next year due to the statewide budget cuts to higher education.
President James Ramsey discussed the potential increase and the cuts at an open forum on U of L’s budget on April 17.
“It is not a good budget, it is a bad budget,” said Ramsey, referring to the cuts that the university is forced to make.
Ramsey said that the budget cuts have been handled in order to minimize harm to the university. “We want to avoid layoffs to the maximum degree possible,” he said.
“We do not disagree with them,” said Provost Shirley Willihnganz of those who say tuition increases are unsustainable. “This just cannot keep happening every year.”
Ramsey said that despite the cuts, the U of L budget will be balanced.
“Unlike the Commonwealth of Kentucky, we are structurally balanced,” said Ramsey.
The Floyd Theater was nearly full of students for the discussion.
One representative of the medical school expressed concern over a lack of need-based scholarships in graduate schools, saying that the amount of debt held by students contributed to the medical school’s recent probation.
“It is hard to raise money,” responded Ramsey. “Undergraduate scholarships are much easier to raise than graduate scholarships.”
Other questions discussed the process of cutting academic units going forward.
“We will work together to figure out how to get this over time,” said Willihnganz, encouraging academic unit leaders to take their time in cutting their budgets.
Going forward, the university is still in the process of finalizing the budget and tuition increases.
“We want to be open and transparent,” said Ramsey. “We want to try and answer whatever question and have whatever discussion.”