Half of Kentucky university presidents have announced exits in 2016
University of Louisville President James Ramsey’s announced departure on Friday means that half of Kentucky public university presidents have either announced their resignations or have already stepped down since January.
That’s the tumultuous state of higher education in Kentucky right now, an area of public policy that Gov. Matt Bevin has made clear he’s interested in changing.
Gary Ransdell of Western Kentucky University and Wayne Andrews of Morehead State University announced they will both retire next year; Kentucky State University President Raymond Burse stepped down earlier this month.
New leadership searches will be added to the to-do lists of schools that are reeling from a decade of budget cuts, with another 4.5 percent cut over the next two years. Those cuts are half as much as Bevin proposed in his initial budget.
Bevin has said taxpayer dollars should not support liberal arts majors and has put future funding in a possibly competitive rubric based on school performance, although that rubric has not yet been determined.
And Bevin has already taken aim at another president.
Earlier this month, after the Kentucky Community and Technical College System announced it would cut 500 positions because of budget cuts, the Bevin administration announced it would investigate the operations of President Jay Box and his central administration. Some have questioned if that move is retribution for Box supporting a community college scholarship program proposed by House Democrats.