In an email message to the campus Friday, EKU President Doug Whitlock announced the intention of the Board of Regents to set aside 10 percent of the budget in a manner yet to be determined. Campus leadership will be discussing how to "change our business model" and reprioritize spending in the coming months.
Salary Improvements Under Discussion
Dear Colleagues,Earlier this afternoon, new Board of Regents Chair Craig Turner and other members of the Board met with the academic and institutional support leadership of the University.The purpose of the meeting was to communicate some financial goals and aspirational vision of the Board to the University Community. This meeting came in an environment we all recognize and understand. Our state support has diminished and the prospects for a rebound of those dollars are dim, indeed. Our enrollment declines of the last two years have caused our tuition income to fall short of our projections. The obvious conclusion is that in order for us to advance the institution we must reprioritize our existing resources and look to change our business model to generate other revenues.Mr. Turner issued a call for collaboration and cooperation in our identifying where in our budget we can set aside 10 percent of our budget (about $23 million). It is the Board’s intention to utilize some of these funds for salary improvements and to commit the others to strategic purposes the University Community will identify. I welcome the encouragement and expectation of the Board in this activity and believe it will secure the institution’s ability to control its destiny and give my successor some badly needed flexibility to take advantage of opportunities.The Board has not directed how we achieve these goals. That is up to us to achieve, working together. I will be meeting soon with my cabinet and the Strategic Planning and Finance Council to discuss strategies and process.While the Board has not directed how to accomplish this task, they have indicated that the plan to do so needs to be completed by the time the 2013-2014 budget is developed. This does not mean that all the resources need to be freed and set aside by then, but that a definitive plan must be in place that identifies from where the 10 percent will come.No decisions beyond what I have outlined above have been made. I believe that we can enter into this process with the collaboration among ourselves and with the Board to which Mr. Turner is committed. The task at hand will not be easy and it will certainly involve change. I am firmly convinced, however, that it is the right time to take these steps and EKU will be the better for it.I look forward to working with you to achieve this policy level goal the Board has set for us.Cordially,Doug Whitlock