The WKU Board of Regents met in special session Friday morning to sign off on the university's $389 million budget for the new fiscal year. The budget includes a 4.8% increase in tuition and fees, which amounts to nearly $200 more per semester.
The lone 'no' vote was cast by student regent Cory Dodds, who expresed concerns about WKU being the third most-expensvie public university in the state behind UK and UofL.
"At what point will students begin considering cost as a deterrent to attending WKU? I don't know when that will happen, but eventually we will reach a point where enrollment will decline because of high tuition costs," said Dodds.
The WKU budget includes a $5 million reduction in state funding and a $5.3 million increase in fixed costs. Still, the university was able to avoid layoffs or furloughs, and give faculty and staff a two-percent raise, paid for by one-time surplus dollars. Ann Mead is Vice President for Finance and Administration at WKU.
"It's a morale issue. We hope that, number one, faculty and staff appreciate were were able to protect positions, and recognize that while 2% may not sound like much, it's a token of our appreciation of everything they do for us," said Mead.
Nearly 45% of the total WKU budget comes from student tuition and fees while less than 19% comes from state funding.