Council on Postsecondary Education
COUNCIL ON POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION APPROVES 2010-12 BUDGET REQUEST
The Council on Postsecondary Education approved a biennial budget request today for Kentucky’s eight public four-year universities and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. The Council is asking for basically the same base budget plus technical adjustments.
If additional funds become available during the biennium, the Council budget request seeks $50 million in strategic initiative funds to increase retention and graduation rates.
“The operating request acknowledges our sensitivities to the economic realities of the time but also makes clear that our campuses have very real needs,” stated Robert King, Council president.
One of those realities, he said, is that more students are pursuing postsecondary education. “Because of the economy, our enrollment growth is strong. We need to find ways to accommodate more students at all levels without sacrificing academic quality,” he added.
If the total request, including the strategic initiative funds, were to be funded, the change would represent a 4.6 percent operating increase ($48 million) during the first year of the biennium that begins July 1, 2010 and a 2.7 percent increase ($30 million) in fiscal 2012.
However, if the governor and legislature choose only to fund the base budget and technical adjustments requested, the increases would be 2.2 percent the first year and a 0.4 percent increase over 2010-11 in the second year.
The recommendation will now go to Gov. Steve Beshear.
The operating fund request seeks to maintain current campus operations and provide base adjustments for maintenance and operating expenses of buildings previously authorized and are due to open during the biennium.
A recommendation for capital projects is another component of the biennial budget request. The recommendation addresses the backlog of renovations and repairs identified by a 2007 statewide assessment of public university campus facilities. It also recommends new teaching and research facilities and much needed upgrades to the information technology infrastructure on campuses.
The Council’s budget request comes as the result of months of discussions with key institutional staff, including university presidents, chief budget officers, chief academic officers, as well as state policymakers.
A “points of consensus” document signed by all campus presidents guided the budget development process. The document describes the key principles and spending priorities of the budget process.
“The document is significant in that it allows legislators and the governor to have the confidence that our budget request represents the collective view of all the campuses,” stated King.
“To the great credit of the campus presidents and their chief budget officers, we are providing the legislature and governor a recommendation that is realistic and sensitive to the state’s economy and also sensitive to our mission, students, faculty and staff,” he added.