KSU to ask the state for millions to cover budget shortfall

The Council on Postsecondary Education will request the money from the general assembly

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky State University will ask for $23 million from the state to cover its budget shortfall, along with an additional $1 million per year until 2024, following action taken Tuesday at a special board of regents meeting, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The school’s money problems began in 2019 and came to light this past summer when KSU announced it had $15 million in unpaid bills and would need emergency money in order to stay open.

The university’s president and chief financial officer ended up resigning.

Gov. Andy Beshear issued an executive order for the Council on Postsecondary Education to investigate KSU’s finances, do a financial assessment of the university and recommend management changes.

The board of regents heard an update Tuesday on the council’s analysis.  Among the key findings:  significant operating deficits, poor leadership over the school’s finances that didn’t comply with university policy, inadequate accounting system and lack of documentation showing how KSU leadership arrived at some calculations outlining the financial standing of the school.  The council found significant differences between what was originally reported and what the actual finances were between 2015 and 2020.

“It was reported to us that you guys (KSU) were in financially healthy shape then.  You were not only not in financially healthy shape, you were exactly the opposite of that,” said Dr. Aaron Thompson, President of the Council on Postsecondary Education.

The council’s analysis did find KSU compares favorably to similar schools in areas such as tuition and fee revenue and retention rate.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved plans to begin a search for the school’s next president.  The school will solicit proposals to find a search firm to help with the process and an 11-member search committee will be formed that will be made up of one member from the Council on Postsecondary Education, two KSU students, two faculty members, two staff members, two alumni and two community members from the Frankfort, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Categories: Featured, Local News, News