Presidents of Kentucky’s two largest public universities took their case before a House budget review committee in Frankfort Thursday. The Universities of Kentucky and Louisville both face a two-and-a-half percent cut during the next year as suggested in Governor Beshear’s budget.
Louisville Representative Reggie Meeks asked UK President Eli Capilouto about the impact of declining state support.
“Did I understand you correctly Dr. Capilouto that UK does not feel that it has met its mandate from the state at this point in time?" Asked Meeks. “Not in terms of being a top twenty research university,” responded Capilouto. The schools need what they called the “…investment from the Commonwealth to get to where the Commonwealth wants us to be,” added the U of L President. Without more revenue from tax reform or expanding gambling, Ramsey says the formula for the future rings a familiar tone. “Tuition is gonna go up. We’re gonna miss opportunities. We’re gonna have differed maintenance. So, we went through all that. We’ll continue to do all we can through the activities that we’ve talked about, managing costs, trying to be creative, fundraising to keep moving forward, but it’s hard without the state support,” said Ramsey. Capilouto remains convinced state lawmakers will fund higher education at a greater level than suggested by the governor in his proposed biennial budget. “I have great confidence that restoration of this cut is certainly within reach and if you look at our capital projects and the way we have sound financing plans for each one of those, I think that those are achievable as well,” added Capilouto. “I have great confidence that restoration of this cut is certainly within reach and if you look at our capital projects and the way we have sound financing plans for each one of those, I think that those are achievable as well.” Capilouto says work continues on deciding how much of a tuition increase will be sought for next year. While stressing access and affordability are priorities, he admits any cut in state funding would have an impact on those decisions.