G. Update on Vice President for Institutional Diversity Search
President Todd reported that there are two finalists for the position of vice president for institutional diversity on campus, and they are extremely pleased with the two candidates that visited campus. He and Provost Subbaswamy will proceed to close that position in the very near future.
H. Budget Comments
President Todd said that everyone was anxiously awaiting the Governor's budget address next week. He said that he had several people on his staff working on white papers regarding some things that have been done on campus to reduce health care cost for retirees and thoughts that Bob Lawson, Barbara Jones, and others have on corrections cost. He said that he would like to position the university with the Governor and the legislature as a source of solutions rather than a source of cash in solving some of the budget problems. He does not doubt that there are issues. It is a very good time for the state to look at some of the places where money is spent. It is a shame that the state has to throw money down holes that have existed for a long time. Corrections, health care, and other systems need to be fixed so that money can be used to apply toward education which, in his opinion, is the true solution to Kentucky's problem.
President Todd reported that the university's budget has already been cut $10 million or 3 percent. It was necessary to cover $5 million of the budget cut out of reserves to try to reduce the effect on the colleges. The provost is working with the deans and vice presidents to allocate the remainder of the $5 million cut. As in past situations with budget cuts, less of the cut will be proportioned toward the academic side in order to try to reduce the problem with the colleges because they are doing so well and have such momentum now.
President Todd said that the first section of his white papers binder will have 13 national articles that have been written about the University of Kentucky. These articles have been in The Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Times, The Atlanta Constitution, The Capital Times (Madison Wisconsin), and others about the momentum at the University of Kentucky. This momentum brings candidates such as Michael Speaks to campus as well as diversity candidates to the campus.
Provost Subbaswamy has put together a book of the university's first-year faculty. Because of the funding UK received in the last budget session, 60 new positions were created, and there were approximately 200 new hires in total. Many were from the benchmark institutions, and many were from private universities that are in the top 10 to top 20 positions. This will be highlighted in the white papers to try to continue to impress on the governor and the legislature that in times like this the state needs a Top 20 university. If Kentucky had a Top 20 university now, it would not have some of the economic problems in revenue generation. In this difficult budget time, the university needs to be a potential solution to some of the issues.