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·§_ __ · UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY I
I LF ` I
I ° , ‘Education Cuts Never Heal’ I
I As the Kentucky State Legislature meets for a short session this year, the primary issue for I
I . “""fI the University of Kentucky is the state budget. As I write this, the range of discussed budget I
I cuts for UK is anywhere from 2.6 percent to as much as 9 percent or a $28 million deficit for
I the university That’s a cut we just can’t afford if we are to continue to provide the best pos-
I I sible educational resources to our students, faculty and staff.
Lately I’ve found myself often repeating a borrowed quote. "Education cuts never heal." I
I This is so appropriate for the situation the Commonwealth is facing. We can’t let education in Kentucky I
suffer a setback due to a significant budget cut when so much progress has been made in the past several I
I years. I
To achieve that end, we have rallied to do whatever we can to overcome this looming financial crisis. `
In addition to taking care of the ‘little’ things, such as asking the university community to be cognizant of I
utility use, reducing travel and saving paper, we also are concentrating on the ‘big’ things. We are pursuing I
I additional funding that we can create ourselves, such as offering more weekend classes, Executive
Master`s of Business Administration courses and obtaining more contract work at the Center for Robotics
‘ and Manufacturing Systems. We also are an active participant in Partners for Kentucky’s Future, which in-
cludes early childhood education, K-12, postsecondary education, adult learning and the Kentucky Cham-
5 ber of Commerce. I
You, as a member of the UK Alumni Association, can also have a voice in adequately supporting edu- I
cation in the Commonwealth. Legislators tell us that communications from faculty, staff, alumni and the I
parents of our students help them know where their constituents stand on important issues. We encourage I
all of you to speak up for higher education and your university on a regular basis, not just when state cof-
fers are strapped with revenue shortfalls, but when the state is flush with opportunities. It’s those oppor- .
tune times that have the potential to provide long-term and significant educational advances in Kentucky.
A good example of how this strategy succeeded is the Research Challenge Trust Fund (RCTF), popu-
larly known as ‘Bucks for Brains.’ As a testament to the program’s success, legislators in other states have
shown interest in Kentucky`s program for their own region. Established as part of the 1997 Kentucky I
Postsecondary Education Improvement Act, designed to advance the economic success of the Common- I
wealth and its citizens through education and research, Bucks for Brains involves strategic investments in
Kentucky`s eight state universities. UK provides a dollar-for-dollar match of its RCTF share by raising ex- I
ternal revenue or by internal reallocation of funds. In five years, the RCTF program has enabled UK to ‘
award 2lO full—tuition graduate student fellowships and 1,465 full—tuition research assistantships. It also has I
provided a summer research experience to 22 UK African-American students and 12 students from Ken- I
tucky private colleges and universities. The program enabled UK to create 58 endowed chairs (31 I
awarded) and 145 endowed professorships (86 awarded) and to employ 57 new faculty. The list goes on.
One thing is clear: thinking about all the students and research programs that will benefit from Bucks
for Brains in the future is enough to make the open dialogue between you and your legislators worthwhile
— in both lean and flush times.
4 KENTUCKY ALUMNI