Early yesterday morning, leaders in the state legislature announced a compromise agreement with respect to the budget for the upcoming biennium.
I am delighted to report that they have decided to provide $97 million to our University to fund the design and construction of our health innovations center. The decision to invest this extraordinary amount of capital in NKU is a great result. And it is a testament to their collective faith in our ability to deliver innovative programs and research that benefit our students and our community.
I am also pleased that these legislative leaders agreed to fund 50% of the recurring increase in our KERS pension expense. The agreement also included a 1.5% reduction in state support for all public universities in the Commonwealth, as well as KCTCS. That is a smaller cut than the Governor initially proposed and the House originally approved.
This agreement must still be passed by a majority in each of the chambers, and the final budget legislation must be signed by the Governor. I am optimistic that both of those final actions will occur.
I am grateful to the Northern Kentucky delegation, Democrats and Republicans, Senate and House, for their support of Northern Kentucky University. They know, as do I, that it is smart to invest in the people of Northern Kentucky University, because we will produce great returns for our community, the Commonwealth, and our region.
We will have some short term challenges with our institutional budget next fiscal year, but our future is very bright.
Thank you for your support and for your advocacy.
Geoffrey S. Mearns
Northern Kentucky University
800 Lucas Administrative Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099