Lawmakers Finish University Budget Reviews

Kentucky House committee reviews of university budgets have concluded in Frankfort, with appearances by the presidents of the state’s two largest universities.

It’s been 13 years since passage of higher education reforms and University of Kentucky President Lee Todd is again calling for bold new thinking. Take capital projects, for instance. Todd says lawmakers want U-K and U-of-L to be Top 20 universities, but the schools have to compete against other public colleges for capital project funds.

“The two research universities are reaching a maturity level now, where we need to be given some flexibility and a pool of capital to look at what would meet our needs,” he said.

When pressed on whether, in these tight budget times, they prefer funds to maintain and operate current buildings, or money for new structures, Todd and University of Louisville President Jim Ramsey both preferred M and O money.