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WKU Board of Regents approves fiscal year 2025 budget, 2% tuition & salary pool increase

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – During a special called meeting on Friday, June 7, the Western Kentucky University Board of Regents approved the university’s operating budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2024, and ends June 30, 2025. The $394,230,000 budget includes a proposed 2% tuition increase and provides a 2% salary increase pool for faculty and staff that was originally recommended by the university’s Budget Executive Committee. This increase marks the seventh time the university has raised employee salaries since 2019.


The budget, which is nearly $4.3 million larger than the 2023-2024 budget, includes the university’s budget realignment strategy. Since 2005, WKU’s budget has included an estimate of year-end carry forward funds as a source of revenue. WKU Executive Vice President for Strategy, Operations and Finance, Susan Howarth, noted that this approach is not sustainable, nor does it align with budgeting best practices. The university planned to eliminate this practice several years ago, but those plans were paused due to declining enrollment and the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “At that point, I think it’s fair to say we were more concerned with how we were going to teach classes, and the budget was paused,” Howarth said. “Now that we have navigated out of the uncertainties of the pandemic and reversed a decade long enrollment and revenue decline, we are poised to take the final step to ensure that we are fully engaged in overall budgetary best practices that lead to long-term budget stability.” 

The Regents also approved a land lease agreement between Holley Performance Products Inc. and the university. Under the terms of the agreement, Holley will lease an additional 20,000 square feet at the university’s Innovation Campus on Nashville Road. In turn, WKU will lease the office building and a portion of the manufacturing space at Holley’s current Russellville Road headquarters. As a land swap arrangement, neither party will be required to pay rent to one another for the newly-leased space. 

The WKU Board of Regents will next meet August 8 and 9, 2024, for its annual retreat and third quarterly meeting of the calendar year.


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