Could proposed budget cuts hurt Kentucky's universities? - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Could proposed budget cuts hurt Kentucky's universities?

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Students at U of L don't like the proposed budget cuts or the idea of a tuition hike, and the school's newspaper gave that sentiment a voice. Students at U of L don't like the proposed budget cuts or the idea of a tuition hike, and the school's newspaper gave that sentiment a voice.
Monday afternoon, school President Dr. James Ramsey talked to students, faculty and staff about Governor Bevin's proposed cuts in higher education. Monday afternoon, school President Dr. James Ramsey talked to students, faculty and staff about Governor Bevin's proposed cuts in higher education.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin delivers his first budget address in 2016. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin delivers his first budget address in 2016.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some school leaders say millions of dollars in proposed budget cuts could hurt Kentucky's universities.

Local colleges don't know what areas would be impacted by the cuts, but in some cases, a tuition increase is just about guaranteed.

The governor's proposed cuts are the talk of the campus at the University of Louisville, and front page of the school's newspaper. Students there don't like the thought of a possible tuition increase.

"It is a constant struggle to make ends meet," freshman Joshua Riggs said. 

Riggs is already struggling to pay tuition and recently learned an increase could be on the way.

"It is just a pile of debt and this is just going to add to it," said Riggs.

Monday afternoon, school President Dr. James Ramsey talked to students, faculty and staff about Governor Bevin's proposed cuts in higher education.

"These budget cuts are tough," Ramsey said.

Ramsey can't commit to what areas or departments would be affected, but he is pretty sure about the impact on tuition.

"No question. Raise tuition," said Ramsey.

The proposed cuts would immediately take $6.3 million dollars from the University this fiscal year and another $12.6 million next year.

"Tuition is a constant concern for those, those of us concerned about the accessibility of higher education, not just here at the University of Louisville but across the country," said Dr. Ricky Jones, who is a full professor and Chair of Pan African Studies.

Dr. Ricky Jones is also passionate about making sure people from all walks of life have access a college education. That's why he challenged state lawmakers to make higher education a priority.

"I would hope that the people of this state turn around and the governor really, really start to pay attention to valuing higher education," Dr. Jones explained. 

He said the future of higher education in our state is at stake, "because if not, this is always going to be -- not a second class state -- but a fifth class state."

And the news is even worse at historically black Kentucky State University. The school's president, Dr. Raymond Burse, said the cuts could force the school to close.

Dr. Jones is a graduate a historically black college and knows the rich history of Kentucky State University.

"Being the chair of a black studies department and having my history with concern for those types of institutions, I think we need to not just think about what's happening here but rally around Kentucky State as well," said Dr. Jones.

The Kentucky house and senate will have the final say. That is not expected to happen for at least another month or two.

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