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To: Faculty, Staff, and Students
From: President Ashish Vaidya
Date: 01/07/22
Subject: Legislative Update

Dear Colleagues:

The Kentucky General Assembly convened for its 60-day working session on January 4 with the primary task of crafting a two-year budget. However, the first order of business is completing the work of redrawing House and Senate district boundaries, as well as Kentucky’s federal Congressional districts. Redistricting is required every ten years following the U.S. Census to make any needed adjustments due to population changes.

NKU’s priorities for the session are primarily focused on funding requests.  These include:

  • An increase in the performance funding appropriation. The Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) has requested $67.5 million in 2022-23 and $90 million in 2023-24. This represents an increase of 10% in higher education funding. NKU continues to perform well in the measured outcomes categories and stands to benefit from more investment in the model.
  • Kentucky’s state universities have received very little investment in facilities renovation and renewal since 2008. Meanwhile, the need to maintain and modernize those facilities has continued to increase. CPE is requesting $350 million in each year of the biennial budget to fund asset preservation projects. The CPE proposal will require a 50% match from the institution for these projects. NKU’s top priorities for asset preservation are improvements to the Fine Arts Center and Steely Library.
  • We are also hopeful the general assembly will consider funding for new capital projects. We are in conversation with legislative leaders about strategic investments in NKU’s capital plan priorities.
  • CPE is also requesting $60 million for a fifth round of Bucks for Brains funding, an endowment program that matches state investment with private donations to support research at UK and UL and strengthen essential programs at the comprehensive universities.

In addition to these funding priorities, we will be closely monitoring any bills that would impact the university and our operations. If action is needed, we will notify the campus community with instructions on how to contact their legislator and weigh in our behalf.  If you would like to follow bills filed during the session, click here to link to the Kentucky General Assembly website.

I’m also pleased to share that we have resumed the Future Leaders Internship Program (FLIP) for the upcoming semester. FLIP has placed 12 NKU students with Northern Kentucky legislative leaders.  They will spend Tuesdays and Thursdays during spring semester in Frankfort and have an opportunity to learn about the legislative process while developing critical professional skills through networking, research, and communication. Thank you to Ryan Salzman, Associate Professor of Political Science, for his leadership of the FLIP program.

If you have any questions about specific bills or the legislative process, feel free to contact Carmen Hickerson, AVP of Economic Engagement and Government Relations, at hickersonc1@nku.edu.

Sincerely,
Ashish Vaidya