Murray, KY – After a projected 456 million dollar state budget shortfall, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has asked all state agencies- including higher education institutions- to prepare for state appropriations cutbacks. That leaves Murray State University officials searching for ways to reduce spending by 4 percent. Carrie Pond has more.
---------------------------------------------- MSU President Randy Dunn says though it's unconfirmed, a one-time "give back" of 2 point 1 million dollars for this fiscal year is almost certain. He says the money will most likely come from the department's carry forward accounts that contain unspent money from past budget cycles. Though that will allow enough money to get by this year, Dunn says if officials are forced to make permanent cuts in the coming budget years, they'll be cutting at bone. But, he says, other factors could offset the need for such cuts.
"I think there's going to be a great deal of pressure that comes to the General Assembly this spring to figure out how to get more revenue to the Commonwealth. And if that's successful, maybe all of this is for naught. That would be wonderful." Another way to avoid cuts could be tuition increases, but Dunn says that alone won't cover the needed reductions. Board members would have to pass a 4 point 2 percent increase in net tuition just to bring in enough money to cover the state appropriations reductions. The University turns in its list of possible cuts mid-week, with the Governor's office set to review them Friday.