MOREHEAD – Morehead State University has announced it is facing a $9.7 million budget deficit for the 2016-17 fiscal year as a result of declining enrollment, population decreases in its historic service region, and nearly a decade of cuts to its state appropriation.
In communication sent to faculty and staff on Thursday, President Wayne D. Andrews outlined MSU’s current budget situation along with several reduction strategies. Plans and recommendations include a total of $4.9 million in revenue enhancements, $718,594 reductions in operating budgets across all divisions and $2.9 million in personnel expenditure reductions from the elimination of 64 positions—30 filled and 34 vacant. Suspension of the men’s and women’s tennis programs was announced earlier this week.
“These are unprecedented times for higher education in Kentucky,” said President Andrews. “The cuts to our state appropriation coupled with our revenue shortfall and rising fixed costs has made this an extremely challenging situation. These decisions are not being made lightly and have required a great deal of work and thoughtful analysis by many. I am very mindful of the anxiety this creates and the impacts it will have on our people.”
Also being considered as an option is the potential elimination of 13 tenured and tenure-track faculty positions in programs that are being sunset or have low demand. Feedback is being sought from campus faculty, and a decision has not yet been made. A final budget recommendation will be presented to the Board of Regents at their June 10 meeting.
“Instruction and academic excellence are our core business,” added Provost Steve Ralston, “and we have sheltered it as much as we can. We have held this strategy as a last resort. No one is happy about it.”
“We are making the most strategic decisions we can in this environment,” said Andrews. “MSU has a long, proud history of success, and I am committed to seeing that remains true in the future. We are aligning the resources we have to provide a quality, 21st Century educational experience for our students.”