Sacrificing the queen at Kentucky State University

Kentucky State University logoAnother American university announced plans to cut faculty.  This time it’s Kentucky State University that’s playing the queen sacrifice tactic:

[President Raymond Burse] announced plans Friday calling for the elimination of 31 additional campus positions, including 17 faculty and 14-15 staff jobs.

KSU suffered cuts last year, too:

deep cuts to staff and faculty come after a round of restructuring last academic year that eliminated nearly all adjunct professors and dozens of administrators. Five college deans were removed and replaced with one who will oversee all college departments and faculty chairs. A number of other university employees quit and have not been replaced.

No word on which academic departments will be hit.

It’s not only faculty and staff that will be hurt:

The 2015-16 balanced budget for the university also includes a 10 percent reduction to student scholarships and no raises for remaining employees.

The budget also calls for a 5 percent tuition increase for students, which officials say will generate more revenue for the struggling school.

The rationale for the sacrifice is all too familiar: “The cuts hope to help the school’s $7 million debt, and it will likely take several years to dent.”  Typically, enrollment was low, as of May.

Meanwhile, Kentucky State has also made some high-profile hires relevant to this topic during this same month, including a new business vice president and a budget director.  Also germane: last month State decided on a 5% tuition increase.

A year ago State fired… one fourth of its students for unpaid bills.  Also that year, and to his credit, president Burse cut his own salary to boost salaries of lowest paid staff.

Mounting debt and problematic enrollment leading to staff and faculty cuts: campuses keep turning to the queen sacrifice.  This isn’t a good time for most of American higher education.

(link via Stephen Landry on Twitter; logo via Wikipedia)


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