By Kyeland Jackson & Olivia Krauth —
Pan-African Studies Chair Ricky Jones said he will be joining the legal suit against Governor Matt Bevin. The suit is part of Attorney General Andy Beshear’s promise to pursue legal action against Bevin if he did not rescind his immediate 4.5 percent cuts to higher education.
The cuts would force U of L to pull 6.5 million from the budget within two months.
“It shows we are not only concerned about the school at which we work, but the future of higher education in Kentucky, as well as the overall direction of the state,” Jones said. “These are not times in which people can afford sit silently or lay down and be complicit.”
Jones said he was contacted by the Attorney General’s office on the matter, and said he and other faculty have more “standing” on the suit because of their positions. Jones forwarded an email the morning of April 13 to other faculty asking them to join, but assured them it was not required to join.
“Some faculty may agree with the governor, be disinterested or even afraid that they will be spirited away in the middle of the night,” Jones said on why some may not join the suit. “Whether they’re motivated by complacency or cowardice, we can’t worry about them. They aren’t a factor for us. I’m concerned about the people who choose to stand up and fight back.”
Jones said over 30 professors have added their names, and that he asked people in Kent School of Social Work, the College of Business and the School of Law to join the list.
Talks on the budget are due to conclude Friday, the last day guaranteed by Kentucky law to meet on the matter. Further meetings would require approval by Bevin, costing tax payers an average of $62,784 per session.
Bevin vowed Tuesday that he would not call any special sessions, prompting a resolution to be made by Friday’s meeting.