U Of L Anticipating Cut, Puts Hopes On Gaming

by Gabe Bullard on May 18, 2009

University of Louisville officials have not finished putting together the budget for the next fiscal year, but it will continue the string of spending cuts and tuition increases.

On Friday school officials presented the Council on Postsecondary Education with a document that highlights more than 200 million dollars in university budget cuts since 2002. More than half of the cuts were the direct result of reductions in state funding.

State officials haven’t announced any additional education cuts, but university president James Ramsey says he’s anticipating them.

“I think it’s impossible to move that much money around and I think they’ve done what they’re going to do as far as tax increases,” he says. “We’re hopeful they’ll look at other revenue sources, including expanded gaming.”

Two attempts to pass expanded gaming legislation in the General Assembly have failed.

Last week the school’s Board of Trustees Finance Committee approved a salary freeze for faculty members and a five percent tuition increase.

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James May 18, 2009 at 10:23 am

The Commonwealth’s unwillingness to tackle the very real problems of higher education are shortsighted. The state needs to 1) raise the retirement age as well as 2) decrease fixed obligations and expenses while 3) expand revenue sources. Sadly, raising tuition is exactly the opposite of what should be done to attract entrepreneurs and encourage future economic expansion. Why would the best and the brightest from the surrounding states as well as from within Kentucky seek to earn their degrees here when they can go to Indiana, or Illinois, or Ohio for half the cost? Education is the key to a growing economy, and yet the state chooses to stifle the possibilities of residents and out of state students to obtain their degrees in Kentucky colleges and universities by increasing the costs while cutting back on salaries and decreasing spending on programs. Students are being asked to pay more for less. This tuition spiral is a bad short term solution to the state education budget problems that will result in continued declines in Kentucky’s overall standing in higher education. In order to continue to pay for people who retired years ago, for the spouses of people who died or retired years ago, or for people who otherwise have not contributed to the economy in years, or for people who received benefits based on erroneous economic predictions, or to subsidize under-performing members of the economy, the state continues to foist the costs of education onto the future generation of tax payers, the class of people who will create new jobs, who will raise revenues, who will carry the water for all those interest groups who haven’t contributed to the economy in decades. This is yet another example of politicians avoiding hard choices, choosing instead to handicap (undervoting) students with ever-increasing debt obligations, and prohibiting prospective students from obtaining needed qualifications in an increasingly knowledge-driven economy.

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