WKU President Gary Ransdell says anything less than a five-percent tuition increase next year will result in a loss of jobs on campus. In a presentation to faculty and staff Wednesday, Dr. Ransdell outlined his thoughts on the school’s budget, tuition rates, and employee compensation.
He says if the Council on Postsecondary Education approves a four-percent tuition hike instead of the five-percent increase the school is seeking, it won’t be enough.
“Then we have to figure out where we’re going to come up with $1.3 million. A one-percent tuition increase equals $1.3 million. So we’ll have to reduce our spending by $1.3 million in some fashion or another. And the message here is that’s likely to result in a loss of jobs.”
Dr. Ransdell also said faculty and staff will likely see no salary increase next year, because such a boost would have to be paid for by eliminating positions on campus. WKU Faculty Regent Patty Minter told WKU Public Radio after the meeting that she disagrees with the notion that the only way to increase pay is by cutting jobs.
“I would argue that that is setting up a false set of choices. There are always other choices, and certainly—if you put everything on the table—you have the opportunity to make different choices. So I don’t accept that proposition,” Dr. Minter said.
Minter, a WKU Associate Professor of History, says the tough budget times present WKU with a chance to reevaluate its top priorities, and consider funding what she called “needs” as opposed to what she described as “wants.”
The five-percent tuition increase WKU is seeking next year would mean another $6.48 million for the school. Such a hike would first have to be approved by the CPE and then by the WKU Board of Regents.