Votruba outlines budget

Next semester Northern Kentucky University will have a new position: the vice president of loaves and fishes.

NKU President James Votruba used the biblical story of Jesus using only five loaves and two fish to feed a multitude of 5,000 to illustrate the financial situation of the university at the Spring Convocation April 16 in Greaves Concert Hall.

Votruba said the university’s budget must be updated because of state budget cuts. He added that a mid-year tuition increase for the spring 2009 semester is possible.

“We understand that we have a challenge right now, but it is not so big that we can’t overcome it,” Votruba said. NKU has lost about $3.2 million in funding from the Commonwealth. To make up for the loss, tuition would have to rise by 18 percent. However, NKU tuition will only rise 9.68 percent.

To make up for the rest of the loss, NKU will further cut departments, programs, faculty and staff. In addition, 11 full-time positions are being frozen and the vice president of each department has to find ways to reduce their budgets.

The budget identified three things that will not happen: new students will not be admitted as rapidly as planned, progress in doubling the number of bachelor’s degrees will be slowed and Vision 2015 will “likely” be delayed. To generate revenue on its own, Votruba said NKU is working to book events at the Bank of Kentucky Center. NKU also plans to make the parking system self-supporting by increasing parking fees.

Other areas of budget cuts have included merging International Student Affairs with International Programs. They will share office space.