Eastern Kentucky University’s Board of Regent adopted a two-year, $25 million savings plan Friday. It includes reducing Eastern’s workforce by about 140 jobs. Some of those jobs are currently vacant but 96 others will be cut. EKU President Michael Benson said the board faced a difficult task.
“And so to watch the board today grapple with that and see the body language and know it was a hard thing for them and even harder for the students that were in the audience today and the faculty and staff. So, we’re not through it yet. The reality is there are still more difficult decisions ahead of us.”
The Board of Regents opted to postpone a decision on suspending the school psychology program, partly due to the need for such professionals in Kentucky schools. But 14 academic programs were suspended including theater, religion and an associate degree in nursing
Deborah Whitehouse is provost at EKU. She said “the huge enrollment in the college is in baccalaureate and graduate nursing. They are graduating over a three year period, 330 degrees. It was a shift in resources.”
A number of Eastern associate nursing students stood in protest during the board meeting.
Also announced as part of cost saving measures today is the elimination of men’s and women’s tennis programs, effective the end of the 2018 season. Eastern athletics absorbed the largest cut at 21 percent.