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To: Faculty, Staff and Students
From: Cady Short-Thompson, Ph.D.
President, Northern Kentucky University
Date: 03/13/24
Subject: 2025-2026 Biennium Budget Update

Dear NKU campus community,

Today the State Senate shared its plan for the 2025-2026 biennial state budget, and I am happy to report that the legislative body has proposed significant investments in higher education and specifically NKU. Over the next several days this budget will be considered in the Senate. Once adopted, the House and Senate will go to conference committee to develop a final budget that can pass both chambers and sent to Governor Beshear for his signature.

We expect the process to play out over the rest of this month with a resolution by mid-April as the legislative session for 2024 must conclude by April 15.

Currently, House Bill 6 investments include priorities NKU has been working hard to advocate for including:

  • The senate has appropriated an unprecedented $200 million to the Performance Funding Pool (of which NKU will vie for a portion). This is an additional $100 million in performance-based outcomes.
  • The budget added $4.1 million to our base budget to adjust for inflation and $3.8 million for insurance adjustment for the biennium.
  • $49 million in bond funds and $3 million in additional funds are planned to renovate Steely Library.  As shared at the Board of Regents meeting on Tuesday we are working with house and senate leadership to prioritize the renovation of Landrum Hall. We will then invest asset preservation dollars into Steely Library (necessary upgrades).
  • $46 million in asset preservation funds without an institutional funding match requirement are also included. These funds will allow us to renovate and update our campus facilities where most needed.
  • A $20-million one-time appropriation to maintain and grow our online infrastructure and programs. This appropriation will fund infrastructural updates as well as the expansion and enhancement of new online programs that are aligned with career and workforce needs in our region. 
  • $150 million to support the Commonwealth’s Center for Biomedical Excellence in Covington (HB1). This initiative will include a brand-new building for Chase College of Law in the years ahead. The new Chase Law location will be within two miles of Greater Cincinnati’s 25 largest law firms and five federal and state courthouses. It will give Chase Law immediate access to unmatched training and career development resources, and its location in the urban core will enhance student recruiting. The Commonwealth’s Center for Biomedical Excellence will also be home to the University of Kentucky’s College of Medicine Northern Kentucky Campus.
  • $3.7 million in restricted funds and $17.3 million bond funds to renovate and expand the Civic Center for the NKY Medical Examiner and Crime Lab. This is a unique collaboration with the Justice and Public Safety Cabinetthat will help to better serve the northern Kentucky region. In addition, this project will generate revenue for NKU via a long-term lease as well as create various partnership opportunities for faculty and students. This lab has been a key initiative for the Campbell County Fiscal Court and we greatly appreciate their advocacy for this important regional project.
  • $16 million in bonding authority to expand and renovate our soccer stadium, Scudamore Field. Along with a partnership with FC Cincinnati that would allow us to seek additional funds for the renovation to include new locker rooms, new turf on the current field, and a new practice field.

We are grateful to Senate leadership for this support for higher education and for NKU. A special thanks to Senator Chris McDaniel, Senator Shelley Funke Frommeyer, and Senator Damon Thayer, and the entire northern Kentucky legislative caucus for their support of NKU. As HB6 advances, I am optimistic and look forward to working with our representatives through the remainder of the legislative session.

Special thanks to our collaborative colleagues Eric Gentry and Jenny Sand who have worked hard on our behalf in Frankfort. Again, as this process continues and as we complete our own work on developing the FY25 budget, you will hear more about how we will align our resources to invest in our people and our student success priorities. I appreciate your support of our students and campus community.

All my best,


Cady Short-Thompson, Ph.D.

President, Northern Kentucky University