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To: Faculty, Staff, and Students
From: President Ashish Vaidya
Date: 04/18/22
Subject: Legislative Update

Dear Campus Community:

Last week, the Kentucky General Assembly concluded its legislative session for 2022, including the passage of a biennial state budget. Strong state revenues enabled the legislature to make significant investments in priority areas, including higher education. I am pleased to share the following funding was included in the biennial budget:

  • An additional $80 million per year in the higher education performance funding model, bringing the total available in the model to $97.3 million in each of the next two years. I hope to confirm NKU’s official allocation as a result of this additional funding. Our Success by Design priorities are well-aligned with the performance measures included in the model.

  • NKU will receive $46.8 million for deferred maintenance and infrastructure improvements in campus buildings and facilities. This is the first time in 10 years there has been a substantial investment from the state in this area. Our facilities team will determine the best use of the funds with our priorities, including improvements to the Fine Arts Center, Nunn Hall and the Steely Library. There is a required match of 15% for these funds and we are exploring options to meet that requirement.

  • The budget includes funding for our top priority capital project – the expansion of the Hermann Science Center. This project will include additional interdisciplinary labs, experiential learning and student engagement spaces. NKU has seen strong growth in our STEM+H programs with credit hours in the basic sciences up 69 percent over the past five years.

  • There is also $10 million in funding for the Bucks for Brains matching gift program set aside for the regional comprehensive universities to incentivize private contributions that strengthen essential programs. In the past, NKU has used the match for scholarship programs and endowment contributions.

  • An increase in the maximum College Access Program (CAP) state grant for undergraduate students who have financial need from $2900 to $5300. This combined with the increase in the maximum federal Pell grant award from $6495 to $6895, will provide much needed assistance to students with financial need.
    • Finally, the budget included support for projects in which NKU is a partner:
      • An increase in funding for the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs and
      • Funding for the Covington BioScience Lab project

We are immensely pleased and grateful with the investment and support for higher education. As we complete the work on developing the FY23 budget, you will hear more about how we will align our resources to invest in our people and our student success priorities.

We appreciate the leadership of Governor Beshear and the General Assembly and commend their dedication to higher education in the Commonwealth. Special thanks to Senator Chris McDaniel and the entire northern Kentucky legislative caucus for their support of NKU and higher education.

Ashish Vaidya