BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (June 22, 2018) – The Western Kentucky University (WKU) Board of Regents on Friday approved a $388.4 million budget for 2018-19, a 6 percent reduction from the current budget.
“This has been a challenging budget to build as we strive to correct our own structural imbalances and prepare for decreasing state appropriations and increasing pension obligations,” WKU President Timothy C. Caboni said. “This budget serves as a transition to a new budget model that will be more efficient and responsive. Tied with our new strategic plan and key growth strategies, WKU will achieve financial stability while keeping our focus on being a student-centered, applied research university. This budget sets WKU up to do something remarkable.”
In order to fully fund the projected costs increases for 2018-19, the budget encompasses a $27 million balancing strategy that included the elimination of 149 positions, 72 of which were filled, and the reduction of campus budgets by almost $19 million. An additional $8 million will need to be identified through capturing vacant positions and replacing one-time funds of $3 million.
The budget also includes a tuition and fee schedule that increases most rates by 4 percent. Resident undergraduate tuition will increase $200 per semester to $5,301. There will be no increase for Kentucky residents enrolling in educational leadership, nurse practitioner or physical therapy programs and educators in the primary through 12thgrades will see a 30 percent discount in graduate tuition.
Dr. Caboni said issues of affordability are always top of mind awareness, but the institution has to be sure it has the resources to provide the experience students expect.
“Sticker price is one thing, but we continue to look at discounts and coordinate the totality of cost,” he said.
The budget also includes a 4 percent salary increase pool to be allocated in January 2019. “This is the first significant raise we’ve been able to provide faculty and staff in a decade,” Dr. Caboni said, “and it sends a message that we are going to continue to take care of our people.”
In other business, the board swore in new Student Regent Stephen Mayer of Louisville and recognized outgoing Staff Regent Tamela Smith.
The board re-elected Dr. Phillip Bale of Glasgow as chair; Gillard B. Johnson III of Nicholasville as vice chair; and Frederick Higdon of Lebanon as secretary. All will serve an additional one-year term as officers.