Kentucky State University may close because of budget cuts, pres - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky State University may close because of budget cuts, president says

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Kentucky State University President Raymond Burse Kentucky State University President Raymond Burse

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  The president of Kentucky State University wrote in newsletter Monday that the 130-year-old historically black college in Frankfort “cannot withstand” deep cuts in state funding proposed by Gov. Matt Bevin and may have to close if Bevin’s budget is adopted.

“If the budget as proposed is enacted, our options would be to declare financial exigency and/or prepare a closure plan,” KSU President Raymond Burse wrote in the newsletter, posted online by the Frankfort State Journal.

Bevin has said the state has no choice but to commit more money to its underfunded pension plans for public employees and to the growing cost of Medicaid. His budget, if adopted by the Kentucky General Assembly, would cut higher education funding by 9 percent in the next two fiscal years.

Bevin also wants universities to cut 4.5 percent from their state funding in the current fiscal year ending June 30.

"Governor Bevin continues to discuss the issues surrounding the potential impacts of his budget proposal with all of the University presidents," Bevin spokeswoman Jessica Ditto said in an email. "President Burse has shared his concerns with the Governor and KSU's tuition stabilization proposal is being evaluated within that broader context."

Burse wrote that KSU’s main financial challenge is enrollment, which has been affected by his cracking down on students who don’t pay tuition bills and enforcing the university’s admission’s standards.

Meanwhile, University of Louisville President James Ramsey spoke to faculty and staff on campus Monday about the university’s response to the cuts. WDRB’s Stephan Johnson attended the meeting and will have a full report later today.

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