Leaders of Kentucky’s two largest universities warned lawmakers that Gov. Bevin’s proposed spending cuts would eliminate crucial programs and scholarships that benefit Kentuckians and attract businesses to the state.
Bevin has proposed cutting most state spending by 6.25 percent and eliminating 70 programs—many of which are in higher education.
University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto said that combined, the cuts add up to a little more than $26 million.
“Public health interventions are usually invisible. And many of the activities I’ve described today fall into that category. We have a responsibility to protect our fellow citizens.”
Bevin’s budget would eliminate a lung cancer research program that UK runs with the University of Louisville and an ovarian cancer screening program.
The proposed spending plan also eliminates UK’s Robinson Scholars Program, which offers scholarships to first-generation eastern Kentuckians, University Press and the Center for Entrepreneurship.
University of Louisville Interim President Greg Postel said that the cuts would take the school back to 1998 funding levels.
“We find ourselves in a situation where we have created the infrastructure and the programs as requested, but now have less than optimal funding in order to keep them intact,”
U of L’s Autism Training Center would be eliminated under Bevin’s plan.
Postel said that the school would also have to delay several capital projects, including renovations of two dorms and three Science Technology and Math buildings.
Bevin has advocated for increasing the number of engineers who graduate out of Kentucky’s universities.