December 30, 2017

University braces for governor’s budget cuts

By Shelby Brown —

U of L’s budget is under the ax again after Governor Matt Bevin announced Dec. 28 Kentucky is facing a projected $156 million dollar shortfall in 2018. U of L will take a one percent cut, just over one million dollars, as post-secondary institutions across the state lose $11 million collectively.

“Since it’s a mid-year cut, its effect will be even more severe,” Interim President Greg Postel said.

University spokesperson John Karman said mid-year cuts are severe because they are taken against the current year’s budget, which has only six months remaining.

“The cut cannot be spread over a full year,” Karman said.

Postel is confident, however, in U of L’s preparation to face future financial troubles.

“The reduction is substantial, but the efforts we undertook to address our financial issues earlier this year have prepared us well,” Postel said.

According to Postel, the university is performing against budget, developing a plan to address the cut and working to ensure limited student, faculty and staff impact.

Bevin’s executive order includes 1.3 percent budget cuts for all three branches of state government. The cuts are for the current fiscal year, ending June 30. Funding for K-12 education, prisons, commonwealth and county attorneys and other agencies remains in place.

Last year, projecting a $200 million dollar shortfall, Bevin proposed a budget cut of 17.4 percent to state agencies. At the time, Bevin made suggestions for universities to cut out some academic programs not traditionally workforce driven.

“We recognize the challenges the governor and legislators face in dealing with Kentucky’s pension crisis. But we will continue to remind our leaders that, despite the challenges, higher education must remain a priority for the commonwealth,” Postel said.

Updated Dec. 30, 5:28 p.m.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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