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Kentucky Budget Softens Cuts for WKU, Funds Building Projects

Compared to what Governor Beshear had proposed, Kentucky’s universities and community college system fared better under the final version of new state budget. 

The General Assembly restored one percent of the proposed 2.5% cut to universities, which amounts to about $750,000 less of a budget cut for WKU. 

President Gary Ransdell says, overall, he is pleased with how the budget treated the university.

"It's hard to continue to play defense and just try to hang on to what you have rather than actually get some base funding enhancement," replies Randsell.   "At some point, I hope things turn around and higher education can be a high enough priority to actually improve funding for our operating budgets."

The legislature fully funded WKU’s science building project at a cost of $48 million.  It’s the first time capital projects have been funded on university campuses since 2006. 

WKU also received $2 million for expanding the Gatton Academy from 120 to 200 students.

In addition to reduced state funding, an enrollment decline last fall gave WKU a tuition shortfall of $3.1 million.  To help offset the shortfall, President Ransdell recently announced cost-saving measures that included privatizing WKU Health Services and eliminating a vice president's post. 

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.