Tuition, pay raises promise to be ongoing concerns for president No. 12


University of Kentucky student Shannon Frazer, pictured in the Kernel office on 10/14/09. Photo by Ed Matthews

Column by Shannon Frazer. Email [email protected].

Money is tight for everyone right now. UK gets that, and has made a decision that will affect just about everyone’s wallets in the campus community.

If you’ve checked your university email account recently, you probably have received a message from UK President Lee Todd himself regarding this measure.

Congratulations: For the first time in three years, a three percent salary raise (on average) will be available for non-UK HealthCare faculty and staff based upon merit.

The bad news? Tuition will increase six percent per semester for lower-division resident undergraduate students. Last year’s tuition increase was six percent as well.

“It is going to be very difficult to provide the funds necessary to create the salary pool because we must absorb a one percent ($3.1 million) reduction in our state appropriation next year,” Todd said in the email. “With this cut, our operating state appropriation will have declined from $335.1 million in 2007-08 to $303.4 million in 2011-12 (almost 10 percent).”

Todd went on to say in the campuswide email that the tuition increase still won’t recover the $20 million needed to balance the budget, and that the remaining funds will need to be raised internally.

I support Todd and his staff for doing what they can to avoid too much financial burden on its students. I am equally sympathetic for the faculty and staff members who haven’t received raises in three years.

Thank goodness UK hasn’t been affected financially like other universities throughout America. Thank you, Kentucky General Assembly.

“I am disappointed that so many of the budgets of the last 10 years have been marred by results of events we could not control,” Todd said in the email.

Todd has kept me hopeful during my time at UK. Although tuition hikes and pay freezes and cuts are things no one likes, Todd has made a special effort to keep campus his priority.

I can only hope that president No. 12 will maintain the same sense of financial responsibility. I hope that he or she will build relationships with campus in the same way that the Todds have.

The UK community still has a tough financial road ahead. Funds are tight, but with the help of President Todd and UK president No. 12, hope will spring eternal.