The University of Kentucky will operate the next year under the largest budget in the school's history, crossing the three billion dollar threshold. The Board of Trustees adopted the new budget this afternoon. Budget Director Angie Martin says a significant part of the increase is tied to UK Healthcare including the past purchase of a local hospital. "It comes from the acquisition of Good Samaritan. We saw a bump there. But, then yes the new patient care facility. We are seeing demand outpace actually our space," said Martin.
Outside of an annual one million dollar appropriation from the state, Martin says UK Healthcare covers its own costs. But, it's percentage of the overall budget has increased from 24 percent a decade ago to 39 percent in this budget.
Part of the increase is attributed to an anticipated record freshmen class this August. UK Budget Director Angie Martin says there are increasing faculty costs. "It is a factor, yes. But, we are, of course, having to increase our facilities as well to handle these larger classes. This is why the academic science building is needed, which won't be on line for another year, year and half, year and a half at least," added Martin.
Martin says one way the university will offset increasing costs is by having students, faculty and staff pick up the tab for credit card processing fees. "We still allow folks to use a debit card or a check with no charge but we are having to pass along that direct cost to whoever is buying services from the institution, be that students or others," explained Martin.
While utilities costs are increasing, Martin says new more energy efficient buildings help to counter those higher expenses for electricity.