By Lyndsey Newport —

On Sept. 29 faculty assembled to hear the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Kimberly Kempf-Leonard speak about what this year holds for the college.

“School year 2017-2018 will also be a bridge year in hopes of forging a positive future for U of L,”Kempf-Leonard said.

With 52 percent of all U of L first-year students, the College of Arts and Sciences is the biggest college on campus.

However, being the most populous means taking the biggest budget cuts.

“We do a lot of the work, but take the most hits financially,” Assistant Professor of Spanish Clare Sullivan said

The college providing the foundation for students through general education classes are receiving fewer resources than other, smaller schools on campus.

The budgeting future for both the College of Arts and Science and U of L continues to look grim.

After a $48 million dollar budget shortfall was discovered in spring of 2017, sweeping cuts were made to all colleges in the university. Arts and Sciences, being the largest, took the biggest financial hit.

U of L is expecting more cuts as Governor Matt Bevin plans to continue reducing funding for higher education institutes in Kentucky.

Despite all this news, Kempf-Leonard gave hopeful statistics.

“The College of Arts and Sciences still has an 80 percent retention rate even with the highest concentration of students,” Kempf-Leonard said.

Kempf-Leonard continued recognizing faculty, staff and student accomplishments. She emphasizes that even though the university in struggling, Arts and Sciences continues to thrive.

New efforts have been implemented to help to college bounce back financially. Additions such as a winter term and Belknap academic building, will help with student retention rates and tuition revenue.

“The College of Arts and Sciences has been transparent and has been able to help the university despite struggles and it will continue in that way,” Kempf-Leonard said.