Regents review proposed budget cuts, risks, contracts

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Story by Kayla Harrell, News Editor

The Board of Regents discussed implemented plans for the proposed budget cuts, Murray State’s financial risks and athletic contract renewals during the quarterly meeting held Friday in the Jesse Stuart Room in Pogue Library.

IMPLEMENTED PLANS

Two task force teams, academic and support, have been formed to assist President Bob Davies and give him recommendations on the budget.

“Right now we are in the mode of preparing for the worst and planning for the best,” Davies said.

The academic task force team is led by Tim Todd, interim Provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, and is comprised of deans, Faculty Regent Marty Jacobs, Faculty Senate President Joe DeBella and chairs of Council of Chairs, according to an email sent out at the beginning of the month by Gerry Muuka, interim dean of the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business.

The support task force team is led by Jackie Dudley, vice president of Finance and Administrative Services, and is comprised of Vice President of Student Affairs Don Robertson, Vice President of Marketing and Outreach Adrienne King, Staff Regent Phil Schooley, Staff Congress President Laura Lohr, Student Regent Clint Combs and Athletics Director Allen Ward, Muuka wrote in the email.

The mission of these task force teams is to create a budget framework that will achieve Murray State’s mission and focus on the university’s core value of being student-centered. These committees are to analyze all program activities and services within their areas, as related to size, cost and opportunity of growth.

“We are committed to making the changes that we will need to make,” Davies said. “It will be challenging and it will not be easy, but we will get through it.”

Student Regent Combs spoke about the Student Government Association’s efforts to lobby against the proposed budget cuts. Combs said SGA thought there would be a longer lasting impact if they held events on campus so students could get in contact with their legislators. This sparked the event known as Racers in Action Day.

UNIVERSITY RISKS

“You just heard the largest risk but not the only one,” said Jackie Dudley, vice president of Finance and Administrative Services, regarding the proposed budget cuts.

Dudley said other areas with risks are faculty and staff studying abroad, performance funding, pension and state funding.

Murray State is down in funding because of the new buildings going through construction, such as New Franklin Residential College and the new Engineering and Physics building. Dudley said there is a very big fluctuation on the balance sheet from these new buildings, meaning more money is going out than coming in.

CONTRACT RENEWALS

The Board of Regents voted on the renewal of three athletic contracts: Jeremy Groves, women’s soccer head coach, David Schwepker, women’s volleyball head coach and an assistant football coach.

The women’s soccer and volleyball coaches’ contracts were renewed for three years, but the assistant football coach’s contract was renewed for one year.

Davies said the board normally does not vote on renewal contracts for one year, but this reflects the work of coaches and the time of their vacations so it will not rollover.

All the contracts passed unanimously.

For a more in-depth analysis of the meeting and the regents’ thoughts on the proposed budget cuts, pick up the March 3 edition of The Murray State News.

Additional reporting by Alicia Steele, Staff writer