This post is a follow-up to my recent post on the elimination of faculty and staff positions at Northern Kentucky University.
Writing for the Lexington Herald-Leader, Linda Blackford reports:
“Facing a $26 million shortfall caused by declining enrollment and a decade of budget cuts from state government, Kentucky’s community college system has cut 506 positions, including 170 faculty and staff jobs that were occupied.
“According to the Kentucky Community and Technical College’s central office, colleges have cut 191 faculty positions and 315 staff posts. Because many of the positions were vacant or were vacated through retirements, only 45 faculty and 125 staff were actually laid off.
“KCTCS President Jay Box was not immediately available for comment Wednesday. But earlier this month, he warned of upcoming spending reductions because of a 4.5 percent cut in state support over the next two years. Those cuts come on top of $39 million in budget reductions from the state since 2008.”
Like community colleges across the U.S., Kentucky’s community colleges experienced record enrollment in the years immediately following the 2008 recession, benefitting from federal stimulus dollars directed toward the large numbers of workers who lost their jobs due to the economic downturn. So using the 2010 enrollment as a baseline is misleading, especially because the federal stimulus spending mitigated the reductions in state support for higher education that have, in many states, continued over the last half-decade, or well into the economic recovery.
President Box stated in Box summed things up succinctly in a May 4 letter to the 16 KCTCS campuses: “Over the last year, KCTCS has tightened its belt to the point there are no notches left.”
Blackford’s article also includes updates on the impact of the reductions in state support at several Kentucky universities:
“In March, Morehead State University imposed a week-long unpaid furlough for faculty and staff. Eastern Kentucky University instituted a hiring freeze and is studying program cuts, as is Western Kentucky University. All eight public universities are expected to raise tuition when they finalize budgets in June.”
Blackford’s complete article is available at: http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/education/article78360412.html.