Think carefully before pointing fingers in wrong direction

After a two-hour meeting with the Board of Trustees, UK President Lee Todd released the budget for the 2008-09 school year, and it isn’t pretty.

The budget, approved by the board, will allow UK to operate on $2.2 billion and comes after a 6 percent cut in state funding

What does this mean for UK students? Tuition this year will increase by another 9 percent, the maximum allowed by the cap, which was set by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education on tuition increase. We’re certainly not happy about this, and before students begin to grumble, they should wait, because it gets better.

UK will be setting a job freeze, cutting 188 positions and in the end, 15 staff employees will become unemployed.

It’s easy to begin pointing fingers and it’s easy to become angry. After all, isn’t one of the primary goals of this university to become a top-20 school? It’s hard to imagine accomplishing what’s now become such a lofty goal with the increasing budget cuts from the state.

So in the end, who is to blame?

All roads lead to Frankfort when it comes to the constant pulling of money from higher education.

Before Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear was sworn into office, he promised increases in higher education in hopes of taking the weight off students’ shoulders. What students ended up receiving was a 24 percent difference in what was promised and what was recommended in cuts.

Beshear told universities to cut 3 percent when he first entered office and recommended an additional 12 percent be cut, which would have totaled a whopping 15 percent. In the end an additional 3 percent was cut, totaling a 6 percent loss.

As students enter this school with much chagrin toward the rise in tuition, perhaps this is what it will take to fire up many apathetic college students. The Kernel hopes that all students will make their voices heard throughout the year, and let both Todd and Beshear know how they feel about having to pay 9 percent more than last year.

Hopefully Beshear and all those in Frankfort will find a way to give higher education what it deserves. Because in the end, it’s those who teach and those who are taught who are hurt the most by these budget cuts. In order to achieve excellence in education, without allowing undergraduate education to suffer, something has to be done.