Measures issued in case of cuts

President James Votruba issued several interim measures Thursday to prepare for possible cuts in funding if and when state legislators approve a budget this legislative session.

According to the email, the measures are designed to limit “discretionary spending.”

They are effective immediately and include the following:

Freeze on staff hiring with all requests to fill vacant staff positions reviewed and approved at the appropriate vice-presidential level in consultation with the Office of Financial Planning

A moratorium on personal service contracts. Only legal mandates will be addressed

Out of state travel will be restricted with authorizations reviewed and approved at the vice-presidential level. Out of the country travel will require vice-presidential review with final approval from the Office of the President

A moratorium on the purchase of all office furnishings and equipment. Exceptions will be made for furnishings for ongoing construction projects. The purchase of planned instructional equipment may continue, as needed, within existing funding.

A moratorium on construction projects with the exception of those previously funded. For example, the Welcome Center, Nunn Drive Landscaping and the proposed Student Fitness Center. Only projects funded by private gifts will now enter the design phase. In the email, Votruba wrote, “it is imperative that we continue to move forward with projects that help address the classroom shortage expected when the old science building is renovated.”

Current faculty members will retain their position.

“We will not reduce our faculty complement given the enrollment growth that we are experiencing,” Votruba wrote. “The filling of vacant faculty lines should reflect enrollment demand.”

The University is currently preparing for budget cuts anywhere from 1.8 to 10 percent

“It is extremely likely that budget reductions will be imposed statewide to address this critical situation,” wrote Votruba. The measures “will remain in place until the state budget picture has been clarified.”

According to the email other strategies may be implemented depending on the evolution of the budget process.

Rogers Redding, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost said the measures are “definitely needed.”

He said things like attending out of state conferences are important, but cost cutting measures will be necessary if funding cuts become a reality.

“It’s regrettable that we were called upon to do this,” he said.

The measures were issued as the Student Government Association is stepping up their efforts to influence state legislator’s to prevent, or at least lessen, cuts in funding for post secondary education.

The NKU SGA is teaming with other student government organizations from publicly funded colleges around the state to rally in Frankfurt on Feb. 27.

“I think we need to look at this…as a statewide thing,” said Student Government President Katie Herschede.

She said that even though the effort might only lessen the cuts and not stop them completely, “[the legislators] at least know that we care.”

She said the goal is to get fifty students, parents, faculty and “anyone with a vested interest in education” from NKU to go to Frankfurt for the rally.

Organizers hope to have 300 people from across the state attend.

Eric Fegan, Vice President for Administrative Affairs, said the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky will have to lead the way in getting people to the rally because of their proximity to the capital.

During the week leading up to the rally, SGA will pass out green and purple ribbons on campus. The green signifies funding, while the purple represents the dedication to that funding.

The ribbon will be attached to a card, which lists state Representatives and Senators and ways to contact them.

Team NKU, a subsidiary organization of Student Government, will make trips to Frankfort both before and after the rally.

“It’s going to be an especially big year because of the budget,” said Fegan, who serves as Chairman of Team NKU.

Fegan said the group will schedule time to meet personally with legislators to discuss funding.

“We’re trying to make sure students are represented,” he said.

He said the fact that Northern Kentucky is important politically is an advantage for his group.

“We make [the legislators] feel like they have an investment at this campus,” he said.

Fegan said the group of students has a little more leeway than a lobbyist would in asking for what they want.

“We can be a little pushy,” he said.