University of Kentucky Officials Say Cuts Necessary
LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky officials are defending layoffs that will trim about 1 percent of the school’s workforce as necessary measures in a time when state funding is dropping while fixed costs in healthcare and utilities are rising.
University spokesman Jay Blanton says, while hiring freezes and unpaid furloughs have helped in the past, the $43 million dollar hole in UK’s budget demands more attention.
"We're at a level of budget gap where those sorts of stopgap measures or bandaid approaches frankly wouldn't work. A lot of those sorts of things like furloughs for instance are basically using one time dollars to plug long-term, recurring holes, so that's really not sustainable as a strategy," he says.
UK is Lexington’s largest employer, employing about 2500 faculty and 9000 staff. Blanton says care was taken to minimize the impact on teaching and care of patients. 140 people in full and part-time positions will be laid off. Another 164 vacant positions will be eliminated.