Eastern Kentucky University officials are implementing short and long-term strategies to help cope with state funding reductions. It was a day-long task for the school’s governing board.
The EKU Board of Regents backed reducing the tuition waiver benefit and modifying the school’s cell phone policy for employees plus shortening the vacation accrual time benefit for workers who leave the university.
Board Chair Craig Turner says the discussion will continue during a special May meeting. “I’m sure the issues will get deeper and harder as we move along to see where we are from an accumulation of savings,” said Turner.
The recently-finalized state budget reduces the Richmond-based school’s funding by about $6 million over the next two years. A hiring freeze at EKU remains in place, but Turner says Eastern President Michael Benson is being given some flexibility. “We trust his judgment, but we do want to send the message that we need to move slowly regarding larger hiring type actions and we just need to look at them on a one-by-one basis,” explained Turner.
Longer term actions include a university-wide budget review from both academic and supporting service sectors. Also, employee health plans will come under review. The Board of Regents also approved a five percent tuition increase to go into effect next school year.