WKU President Shares Strategy for Cutting Budget $2.1 Million

May 8, 2013

WKU President Gary Ransdell
Credit WKU

WKU President Gary Ransdell has spelled out how the school will handle a $2.1 million dollar budget cut next fiscal year.

In an email sent to faculty and staff Wednesday afternoon, Ransdell said that starting July 1, WKU will eliminate the budgets for the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching—or FACET--and the Center of Excellence in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

Recurring funding will end for the Provost’s Initiative for Excellence, and the budgets of the ALIVE Center and Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility will be combined.

WKU will close its center in Radcliff, and will operate programs previously held there at its campuses in Elizabethtown and Ft. Knox.

Earlier this week, President Ransdell said the school had found ways to deal with the budget cuts without eliminating jobs, although some positions could be shifted to other departments on campus.

Here is an excerpt from the email Dr. Ransdell sent Wednesday:

"Beginning July 1, we will eliminate the budgets for the FACET program and the Center of Excellence in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.  We will also eliminate recurring funding for the Provost’s Initiative for Excellence (PIE grants) and create efficiencies by merging the budgets of the Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility and the ALIVE Center.  The WKU switchboard operation will be combined with the WKU Welcome Center, and both will move to the Augenstein Alumni Center where all campus tours now begin.  These actions will save $645,000."

"Recurring budget support for Research and Creative Activity Program grants (RCAP) and the Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) will be reduced.  We will also reduce funding for the Talisman and achieve additional efficiencies in Student Publications; curtail food expenditures for Parents and Family Weekend events; eliminate duplicative budgeting of stipends for the Ed.D program; and reduce the recurring budget for computer replacements.  These program reductions will save $308,000."

"Cell phone allowances paid to employees will be reduced by $10 per month beginning with the July pay period.  In addition, we will apply savings from energy efficiencies to reduce the utilities budget, and we will eliminate vacant positions that have remained unfilled for the last five years.  We will reduce the budget for institutional memberships and eliminate the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) increases to Athletics, Student Technology, Student Government Association and Health Services.  Additional reductions will be made in the divisions of Campus Services, Finance and Administration, Information Technology, and Student Affairs, and we will redirect tuition for selected DELO programs to the central budget.  We will close the Radcliff Center in Hardin County and operate existing programs in either Ft. Knox or Elizabethtown.  And over the next five years, we will reduce the university subsidy to Athletics by five percent.  An additional $203,000 in efficiencies will be identified and implemented in the months ahead.  These combined actions will save $1,186,000."

Dr. Ransdell says the budget cuts will be presented to the WKU Board of Regents at its meeting June 21.