Budget cuts force peer tutoring program to cut back on hours

By Rosalind Essig

The Study will open its doors Tuesday with cutbacks in services – although not as many as some anticipated during the last school year.

This year’s 6 percent university-wide budget cut will cause The Study to have more limited hours, closing one hour earlier every day of the week, said Karin Lewis, UK’s director of academic enhancement.

Still, Lewis said the South Campus tutoring center is concentrating its resources on limiting the impact on peer tutoring, especially for the fall semester. The Study will hire enough tutors to balance the amount of time and the number of students they expect to come in, Lewis said.

However, uncertainty over funding complicated the task of finding and hiring new tutors, Lewis said. She said that they are “playing catch-up” because of the last-minute nature of hiring and scheduling, but they were able to finish hiring for the summer.

“We’re off to a really good start,” Lewis said.

Last year The Study’s peer tutoring service had 12,000 tutoring visits. With this year’s incoming freshman class larger than last year’s, UK does not want to cut back on peer tutoring, a program that reaches many students, Lewis said.

There is concern that there will be just as many students competing for less available hours, said Larissa McLaughlin, a student program coordinator for academic enhancement. So The Study is preparing by hiring more tutors.

“There might be a bottleneck of students coming in,” said McLaughlin, an arts administration senior.

Funding has come from individual colleges, such as the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences, Lewis said. She added that the provost’s office was able to supply non-recurring support to try to offset the cuts and make the program solid.

“Everybody gave as much as they could,” she said.

In addition, McLaughlin said the College of Business and Economics will be a first-time contributor that will be providing The Study with funding for accounting and economics tutoring.

Officials working for the Study are still waiting to see what Student Government can contribute to peer tutoring, Lewis said.

Although there have been cutbacks and pushes for more funding, everything is moving smoothly, said Lindsey Mayes, a student program coordinator and a nutrition junior.

“I think that they’ve handled the budget cuts extremely well,” she said.