Kentucky State University President Raymond Burse told students and faculty this week that budget cuts in the state may force the school to close, becoming the second HBCU president in less than a month to warn of a doomsday scenario stemming from state appropriations changes.
In a letter to the campus community, Burse said that an emphasis on collecting outstanding balances from students has dropped the school’s enrollment and tuition revenues. This reduction, paired with a proposed nine percent cut over the next two years to higher education, and a 4.5 percent reduction request to be made before June 30, would force the university into financial exigency, the higher education version of bankruptcy, or closure.
Kentucky State cannot withstand what is being proposed in the budget. If the budget as proposed is enacted, our options would be to declare financial exigency and/or prepare a closure plan. I do not like either one of those options and I am working hard to make certain we can do our work smarter, logically and effectively to ensure that Kentucky State University is here for another 130 years
In late January, Southern University System President Ray Belton told stakeholders that proposed state cuts in Louisiana would force the cancellation of programs, layoffs, and would disrupt operations to the point of closure. System officials later recanted that analysis.
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