Univ. seeks more state funding

Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to reflect accurate budget numbers. The original story said the university is facing a “$340 million budget deficit.” That is the Commonwealth’s deficit. The story also said “$64 million is needed in the next year to fund NKU.” The $64 million is needed for the capital budget, which helps maintain facilities, not for the operating budget. The story also stated NKU needs $152 million over the next six years. That statement is incorrect, and has been removed from the story. The original headline that said, “Univ. budget faces possible deficit” has also been removed. The Northerner regrets and apologizes for the errors.

The university is seeking more funding from the Commonwealth, President James Votruba announced at the Nov. 9 Board of Regents meeting. He said that $64 million is needed next year for the capital budget, which helps maintain campus facilities.

He explained that NKU is “greatly underfunded” compared to its benchmark institutions, despite revenue increases of $12 million. Votruba said the university has already cut full-time teachers and $7 million from maintenance expenses.

The Council on Postsecondary Education, which oversees Kentucky’s state-funded universities, proposed a $7 million budget increase for maintenance and operation readiness for next year.

Regent Martin Butler gave the board an update on the presidential search in the meeting, as well. Butler chairs the Presidential Search and Screening Committee that is charged with reviewing candidates for NKU’s next president.

On Nov. 9, a link was placed on NKU’s website where anyone can give their input pertaining to their concerns for the new president by responding to a list of five questions.

“We welcome information online,” Butler said. “The website will be a great way to communicate.”

Butler said the committee has already received almost 50 entries to its questions. The questions are broken down into categories where the public can view the answers that have been given to each question.

Butler plans to find candidates between now and January with the help of Issacson, Miller, the executive firm hired to solicit candidates for the position.

“By January, we want to pull 20 candidates, then narrow that to eight,” Butler said.

During the last two weeks of March, the candidates will speak in open interviews to the campus. After that, the Board of Regents wants to make the official announcement for who will be the president.

Butler said the committee may adjust the schedule, but they are still planning to announce the new president in March.