Northern Kentucky University girds for lean times with tuition hikes and budget cuts

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Northern Kentucky University President Geoffrey Mearns could have asked his board of regents to blunt the effects of a $9 million budget hole by drawing on long-term reserves.

But he likened that strategy to a person whose salary was cut drawing on his retirement savings to maintain his spending.

Instead, Mearns decided it was time for NKU to face the financial crunch head-on with a combination of tuition hikes, job cuts and a 5 percent cut to nearly every division within the university.

The painful medicine gives the university a structurally balanced budget – in fact, a projected $1.6 million annual surplus – at a time when enrollment is flat, pension costs are rising and the state continues cutting funding.

He laid out his plans in an interview with WCPO for a budget that keeps NKU on strong financial footing and poised for long-term growth. 

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