By Bailey Campagna —
At the March 7 faculty senate meeting, Interim Provost Dale Billingsley said there will likely be a tuition increase next year.
“I would say the chances of tuition being raised are pretty good,” Billingsley said.
He said there won’t be a definite answer until the board passes the 2018-19 budget in June. The board is considering the increase, and the choice is up to them, according to Billingsley.
“The sentiment of the board is beginning to shift about tuition increases,” Billingsley said. “Fiscal consequences happening at the university have made reality intervene.”
The university’s primary goal is enrollment growth and student retention to combat declining state appropriations.
“If the state isn’t going to increase the amount of money they’re giving to us, then the only other way is either by raising tuition or by increasing the number of people who attend the university,” Billingsley said.
Kentucky legislature’s passage of House Bill 200 overturned many of Gov. Matt Bevin’s cuts to higher education.
“That’s wonderful, but there’s another chamber of the legislature that has to get through and the Senate is harder on the universities,” Billingsley said.
The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education will be releasing the ceiling for tuition increases in June.
Faculty agreed raising enrollment should be the priority when trying to increase revenue.
“I think there’s general agreement that that needs to happen and that’s desirable,” Faculty Senate Chair Enid Trucios-Haynes said.
Faculty also discussed the possibility of cutting programs with low enrollment.
“A high priority to address budget cuts was to cut low enrollment programs and majors,” Trucios-Haynes said.
Faculty voiced concerns about what would be considered a low enrollment or low efficiency program. There was no set definition given or established.
“It is very complex,” Trucios-Haynes said.