The general fund budget is used to cover the university’s primary operations, including salaries and most operating funds for campus units. About 87 percent of the budget comes from tuition and state funding.
The 6.4 percent, or $9.7 million, cut in UofL’s state appropriation left little money for initiatives to help the university meet its state-mandated goal to become a premier metropolitan research university.
“We’ve had 13 cuts (in state funding) in the past 12 years,” said UofL President James Ramsey. He added that the 2012-13 cut is the second largest of the reductions.
The university also anticipates more than $3.9 million in additional fixed costs, such as contributions to employees’ health insurance, building leases and utility costs.
In large part to offset the shortfall, and following guidelines the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) already approved, the budget includes a 6 percent tuition increase beginning in fall 2012. For full-time undergraduate Kentucky residents, that amounts to an increase of $268 for a total, per-semester tuition of $4,733. The CPE still must approve UofL’s tuition when it meets in June.
Other budget-balancing strategies included a 2 percent, university-wide budget reduction that generated $5.9 million and a one-time, $2 million reduction in central budget reserves, or the university’s “emergency fund,” said Vice President for Finance Mike Curtin.
Also in the budget is a 3 percent increase in student housing rates. Students living in a traditional residence hall will pay between $2,325 and $2,780 per semester. The increase will help cover increases in maintenance and operation costs for the halls.
The budget provides for a one-time, $1,200 payment to faculty and staff. A one-time transfer of funds from the athletic department and the sale of property near Preston Highway and Eastern Parkway are the primary sources of funding for the payments, which will be distributed in July.
Ramsey said the one-time payment will allow the university to show its appreciation to faculty and staff “without funding a salary increase on the backs of our students.”
Also at the May 10 meeting, the board approved:
- honorary doctoral degrees for Bernard and Jean Trager. The late Bernard Trager is the former founder and chairman of Republic Bancorp. The Tragers have been active supporters of UofL, its athletic programs and the community for many years
- renovation of the former Ekstrom Library auditorium to an environmentally controlled space for rare books and other archival materials
- resolutions recognizing the achievements of outgoing Student Government Association President Kurtis Frizzell; the national champion cheerleading squads; the men’s swimming team for its top-10 national finish and swimmer Carlos Almeida for his national championship; and the men’s basketball team, which reached the NCAA Final Four in March.