The president of Western Kentucky University says the school will work in the coming weeks and months to improve its outcome in the next two-year state budget.
In a statement to media Wednesday, Timothy Caboni said the budget outlined Tuesday night by Governor Bevin would amount to a $4.6 million funding reduction for WKU.
The spending plan also eliminates $750,000 that is used to fund the Kentucky Mesonet at WKU.
Caboni pointed out the school was already planning for an increased pension obligation of nearly $9 million.
Still, the WKU President said the proposed higher education cuts could have been much worse. Caboni added that it’s important to remember that the legislative process surrounding the budget is only beginning.
Here is President Caboni’s full statement to the media:
Governor Bevin has previewed the state’s budget challenges for months, and we anticipated he would announce additional cuts to higher education tonight. The 6.25% reduction included in the budget proposal amounts to a $4.619 million reduction for WKU. The budget also proposes to eliminate the Kentucky Mesonet funding, which is $750,000, and we are planning for an increased pension obligation of nearly $9 million.
We recognize that the proposed cuts could have been much higher. For WKU, the overall proposal presents us with an even bigger fiscal challenge because it adds significantly to the $15 million in reductions the University's Budget Council is currently working to address.
We are appreciative of the inclusion of asset preservation funds to support our infrastructure challenges. We will have to study further the options for university matching funds that are included.
It’s important to understand that this is the beginning of the legislative process. We will work diligently with policy makers throughout the session to advocate for a more positive final outcome for higher education and WKU.