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EKU Board Passes Budget With Current Pension Obligation

Stu Johnson

The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents has adopted a $351 million budget that puts the school’s pension contribution rate at 49%. Without state legislative action, that obligation would go to 84% come July.

Following the meeting Tuesday, EKU President Michael Benson admits the board could be asked to revisit the issue. “We’re going to move forward on an assumption that a rate freeze will be enacted and we’ll see if that happens.  If not, we’ll then have to come back and revisit what scenarios we’ll have to consider,” noted Benson.

EKU Vice President David McFaddin said he’s confident a legislative remedy will happen, adding it may not come before July 1.  He’s said previously Eastern would not be responsible to pay the full amount immediately even if the legslature takes no action. The payments would be spread over time.

Benson, meanwhile, said a 40-month construction period is coming to a close on the Richmond campus.  When doors open on a new student union and rec center, Benson hopes students will tell their younger friends about the campus improvements and that could encourage them to enroll.

Benson said increasing enrollment is an ongoing focus. The approved budget doesn’t include any money for pay raises, but Benson says compensation issues will likely be reviewed again this fall.?

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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