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To: Faculty, Staff and Students
From: Cady Short-Thompson, Ph.D.
President, Northern Kentucky University
Date: 04/22/24
Subject: 2025-2026 Biennium Budget Update

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to share that the 2025-2026 Biennium Budget has become law, marking a significant milestone for NKU and higher education.

This budget represents a robust investment in education, reaffirming the Commonwealth’s commitment to providing learning opportunities for all. The increased funding for higher education will better equip us to support our students, faculty and staff in the pursuit of academic excellence and innovation at NKU.

Highlights of the biennium budget include:

  • Significant increase to Performance Funding Pool: $220 million over the biennium (of which NKU will vie for a portion). This is $25 million more than the last budget’s allocation.
  • NKU Online Funding: $20 million one-time appropriation to fund infrastructural updates as well as the expansion and enhancement of new online programs.
  • Commonwealth Center for Biomedical Excellence in Covington: $125 million to support this initiative that includes 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.
  • $4.1 million and $3.8 million to adjust for inflation and increases in fire and tornado insurance costs respectively.
  • Landrum Academic Center renovation funds: $49 million in bond funds and $3 million in additional funding to renovate Landrum Academic Center. We will invest asset preservation dollars into Steely Library for necessary upgrades.
  • NKY Medical Examiner and Crime Lab:  $3.7 million in restricted funds and $17.3 million in 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 Cabinet that will help better serve the region. In addition, this project will generate revenue for NKU via a long-term lease as well as create various partnership opportunities for students and faculty.
  • Scudamore renovation and expansion: $36 million in other funding authority to expand and renovate our soccer stadium. Along with a partnership with FC Cincinnati this will allow us to seek additional funds for the renovation to include new locker rooms, new turf on the current field and a practice field.
  • Kentucky Center for Mathematics: $2.6 million in funds to continue the work of helping P-12 students become more proficient in math. The bill also expands training and support for teachers.

Among other highlights of the biennium budget, this legislative session also saw investments in teacher preparation. HB 377 will address the teacher shortage in the Commonwealth. Under the bill, students would be offered up to $5,000 in student loan forgiveness for each year teaching in a Kentucky classroom. The bill also creates a $5,000 stipend to pay student teachers.

Senate Bill 1 will create an endowed fund to be administered by CPE for collaborative research efforts across universities in the Commonwealth. In all, five research consortiums will be formed.

Senate Bill 191 focuses on the review of the performance funding model (reviewed every 3 years). The performance funding model continues to focus on student success metrics as well as prioritize low-income students, first-generation students and adult learners.

As you know, two bills were introduced during the session that would directly affect diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education. Neither bill advanced through the legislative process to reach the Governor’s desk. I want to assure you we will be meeting with legislators during the interim to ensure they understand the full impact of the proposed legislation and moreover the work we do every day to support all of our students.

I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who played a role in advocating this legislative session, most notably Eric Gentry and Jenny Sand.  Our collective efforts have made a tangible impact, ensuring that NKU remains a beacon of knowledge and opportunity.

I’d also like to thank members of the NKY Legislative Caucus and leadership in both Chambers. These legislators welcomed me as a very new president, listened to our priorities, worked with us to advance the university, and have made a tremendous impact on our bright future.

As we move forward, let’s continue to build on this momentum and continue to strive for excellence in all that we do. Together, we will continue to shape the future of our university and empower our students to reach their full potential.

Thank you for your unwavering dedication and commitment to our students.


Onward and upward,

Cady Short-Thompson, Ph.D.

President, Northern Kentucky University