Murray State to Cut Office of Regional Outreach, Teach Out Academic Programs

May 18, 2016

Credit Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Murray State University president Bob Davies is providing further details of cutbacks at the school in response to state funding cuts and decreased enrollment.

Davies’ budget recommendation will include $6.1 million in reductions when he presents it to the Murray State Board of Regents next month. The school faces a $9.1 million deficit next fiscal  year, with a 4.5 percent reduction in state appropriations. The Board of Regents has already approved a 4.5 percent tuition increase, at a specially-called meeting last week.

In addition to ending sponsorship of the men’s tennis team, the school will eliminate its Office of Regional Outreach, which has three full-time employees. That office’s last day of operation will be June 30. Executive director Gina Winchester declined comment Wednesday.

Changes will also be made to academics, with plans to teach out the school’s bachelor’s degree in Interior Design and master’s in Chemical Manufacturing Management. The bachelor’s degree in Philosophy will be converted into a concentration under English.

"We have agonized over these difficult decisions, recognizing that these changes will have a significant impact on our campus community," Davies said, in a campus-wide email. "We must not, however, lose sight of our vision to be the best student-centered comprehensive university in the nation. I realize that this has been a very challenging time for our campus community and I want to thank you all for your continued support and dedication to Murray State University."

Overall, Murray State is cutting 12 full-time positions and leaving 30 vacant positions unfilled. All employees who are losing their jobs have been notified by the school. Because those personnel decisions are part of a draft budget recommendation, MSU is not yet releasing any more information about the cuts.

The Board of Regents meets Friday, June 10.