15-20 jobs at KSU may be cut

$4.8M budget hole created by low enrollment

By Katheran Wasson Published:

Between 15 and 20 Kentucky State University employees could lose their jobs this year as the administration tries to fill a $4.8 million budget hole caused by low enrollment this fall.

KSU President Mary Sias, speaking to faculty, staff and students Thursday during her annual State of the University address, said enrollment is down by 223 students over last year – an 8 percent drop.

More important, fall’s enrollment of 2,524 is about 400 students fewer than university leaders predicted when they built this year’s budget.

That, combined with another $2.5 million taken from reserves that must be replaced, means a total of $7.3 million that officials must cut between the current budget and next year’s plan, Sias said.

“The bottom line is, we have to cut $7.3 million, and everywhere I know, that’s a lot of money,” she said Thursday.

Starting Monday, the university will freeze all vacant positions, an effort that should save about $3 million. Hiring may still continue for positions funded by grants or research, or in roles that are absolutely necessary, Sias said.

“Like most institutions, our greatest cost is our people,” she said. “They also represent our greatest value.”

Jobs will be eliminated in areas that are “not central to our mission and strategic plan,” she said. Overstaffed areas may be trimmed, she said, and adjunct staff may face cuts. Academic programs that have failed to meet enrollment or graduation goals are also at risk.

Laid off employees could find work in other departments where some federally funded positions have been held open, she said.

The cuts will take place over the course of the year, not all at once, Sias said. She will present a revised budget and reorganization plan to the Board of Regents later this month.

Sias said funding for KSU is 11 percent lower than it was in 2005 – a year after she arrived in Frankfort.

“All universities, especially small, comprehensive ones like KSU, must rethink their business model,” she said.

Sias attributed the enrollment drop primarily to students who can’t afford tuition or have unpaid bills. University officials surveyed about 200 students who signed up for classes this fall, but never arrived, and 70 percent said money was an issue.

“Many of them plan on coming back in the spring, or no later than the fall,” she said.

“But the bottom line is, their (federal) Pell money went down … and 73 percent of our enrolled students are Pell eligible.”

Other students had personal problems or family issues that kept them from enrolling, but “some of the students had horrible problems with customer service” at KSU.

“Phones didn’t work, or they weren’t picked up, they didn’t get monies on time, they couldn’t get answers on time,” she said.

“Our students have to know that we will take care of them, and we will – we’re fixing the problem.”

Sias said one position that will be added is an ombudsman for students. She said university staff would receive “rigorous customer service training” to resolve any issues that students have within 24 hours.

“I want our staff to know, if you see two students leave us, you just lost $28,000 to $38,000 – that’s somebody’s job,” she continued.

“Think about that. Every time you look up, and you think it’s time to go home, and there’s still two or three students left in the line, keep that line open and service them.”

Positions will also be added for a marketing specialist and a chief information officer to oversee technology and social media, she said.

The KSU Board of Regents unanimously approved a $61.8 million budget in June, which included a hiring freeze, a 5 percent tuition increase and the use of $2.5 million in savings to overcome an $8.1 million shortfall.

Sias told the board in April that the deficit was the biggest she’s seen since coming to Frankfort eight years ago, in part due to a $1.6 million cut in state revenue.

The university also has a new business program and an expanding agriculture operation that need more staff, and fixed costs like utilities and fuel are going up, she said.

Sias plans to meet further with faculty and staff this week. The Board of Regents will discuss the revised budget and organizational structure at an Oct. 26 meeting.

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  • Who in their right mind believes a 4.8M budget hole was caused by low enrollment. I's NOT POSSIBLE. Oh yeah the Board of Regent believes it.

  • As someone who attended KSU and now works for State government, I have to say that all of these points are right on, especially Amber’s. But we have to recognize that a college president can only do so much. The most important thing they can do is to raise money, make sure that educational priorities are followed and assemble capable administrators who can deliver on those priorities. On this Mary Sias has been a horrible failure. Even KSU publishes the data necessary to evaluate Sias’s performance at http://www.kysu.edu/about/divisions/officeofthepresident/institutionalresearch/ And you have to wonder what the board is using to grant her contract extension and unjustified “retention bonus.” It took me less than an hour to find this information, grade Sias’s performance, and here are my top 10 reasons that she has been a miserable failure and should resign. #10 Lack of priorities The State Journal and state newspapers have been full of past articles on the threats posed by the economy and shrinking tuition dollars for Kentucky colleges, beginning in 2006. That’s six years!!!!! and Sias has done absolutely nothing to prepare KSU for surviving the recession and these threats in her 9 years there. Instead of setting priorities for increasing resources she has built a new dormitory that isn’t even half full, built a gate to nowhere, had a revolving door of administrators with no experience or record of success and paid them obscene salaries for nothing, killed the morale of long serving faculty and members who still struggle to survive without raises. Millions of dollars are spent on an athletics program that is simply an unproductive joke. Attend a football game or other athletic event, excluding the show put on for homecoming, and other than the band absolutely no one is there. What has been the athletic accomplishments over the past 8 years????? Are they generating revenue or being subsidized by funds that could be put toward more urgent priorities??? Why not consider participating in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Conference like every similar size institution in the state??? Those schools have budgets that are a fraction of KSU's and their reputations, support and success rates far exceed KSU's. Need I say Georgetown College, Kentucky Wesleyan, Bellarmine, etc all with national reputations for athletic AND academic excellence. #9 Failure to recognize and address threats. When Sias accepted the job KSU needed to increase it's enrollment, dropout and graduation rates, faculty salaries, number of Kentucky students being served and the support available for teaching. Looking at education department records it appears that she has done little to address these threats. If we grade Sias, as the Board of Regents should have done, according to KSU’s very own website published information, when Sias took over as president, here is what we get. - In 2004 enrollment was 2,335 students/Fall 2011 enrollment was 2,746/Grade= B- - In 2004 the average ACT score was 17.45/ In 2011 the average ACT Score was 17/ Grade = D - In 2004 the average grade point average was 2.61/ In 2011 the average grade point average was 2.63/ Grade = C #8 Declining Graduation rates. Sias inherited a KSU graduation rate of slightly higher than 40% when she arrived 9 years ago. The last reported rate was 21%, and getting worse every year. I predict from Sias’s trend that KSU will continue to drop into single digits if she is allowed to continue. After 9 years you would think that this priority would rise to the top of her agenda. Instead we get a boondoggle gate to nowhere, an unproductive athletics program, obscenely paid administrators, bloat in administrator positions not related to teaching, and on and on, at cost that could have been used for other support. Almost half of the students that I went to school with were not from Kentucky and left after a couple of semesters, if that long. - In 2004 the retention rate was a whopping 66%/ In 2011 the retention rate was 49%/ Grade = F - In 2004 the graduation rate was 41%/ In 2011 the graduation rate was 21%/ Grade = F - In 2004 , KSU awarded 330 degrees/ In 2011 KSU awarded 328 degrees/ Grade = D #7 Declining support for professors and teaching. I considered myself a good student while at KSU. I also think that the faculty members that I worked with were committed and excellent role models. But they complained about the lack of resources, teaching with outdated chalkboards, many times without any chalk, old computers, unable to copy materials, and little in compensation. My major advisor was the department’s secretary !!!!!!!!!!, who also helped most of my fellow students. Speak to any faculty member and you will quickly see the despair, lack of morale and sheer anxiety that has simmered in them under Sias. - In 2005 there were 192 faculty and 47 executive administrators for a ratio of 4:1/In 2011 there were 182 faculty and 46 executive administrators for a ratio of 3:1/ Grade= F - In 2005 23% expenditures were spent on instruction/In 2011 it was 20%/Grade = F #6 Declining alumni Support. Speak to any KSU alumni and they will tell you that they will never give to the college because the money will not be used properly. The ‘pledge’ that graduates take at Commencement is a joke!!!!!!!! The Kentucky graduates leave and will not support the university because they feel the money will go to support non-Kentucky students. The Non-Kentucky students simply leave and never look back. Many leave without even graduating, and with huge outstanding bills that are never paid. Speak to alumni, at least those who have not yet been bought out by Sias, and you will easily see their frustration. #5 Declining presence. Except for occasional, ‘town hall meetings’ with the SGA and Homecoming, I never saw Sias on campus. When I tried to contact her she was always “out of town”. There was never anyone willing to be in charge. If it were not for the staff in student affairs many students would leave KSU after the first week there. To this day, I still do not know who was in charge of academics. The president should be accessible and visible. Ask any student how often they see the current president. #4 Declining Kentucky enrollment. Almost half of the students at KSU are not from Kentucky. Enough said! - In 2004 69% of students were from Kentucky/Fall 2011 56% of the students were from Kentucky/ Grade= F #3 Where is the beef.? Sias is supposed to be an extraordinary fundraiser, but where is the evidence. What significant progress has been made to raise money for the university, unless you call forced employee donations effective fund raising? The business community saw through Sias long ago, and giving has slid downward for years now. #2 Lack of Vision. see all of the above. And the number one reason, #1 Incompetence. After nine years at the head of KSU it is appalling that Sias has failed to recognize and act on these threats. She has been either unwilling or incapable of addressing these threats and continues to offer the same tired old excuses. If she has a plan, other than maximizing her own pay, what and where is it? What justification can the KSU Board of Regents offer for Sias's "accomplishments" continued pay raises and outlandish bonuses? Do either the board, Sias or the governor care or even recognize any of these? Or is there a sinister plan afoot to simply allow KSU to die on the vine, and rise anew, as something totally different? Hernonly plan is always to :reorganize." I for one will be waiting to see the "reorganization " plan that will surly be rubber stamped by a incompetent Board. Will it be the same old Sias bait and switch of simply adding more and more high priced administrators? Or will it be an effort to finally address the threats, even if to late? I understand that both students, faculty and administrators have representatives on the board of regents. When will they stand up and represent their people. Are they afraid or have they to been bought out.I wager that it will be the same old same old, cutting low wage hard working staff members, sifting off even more dollars from professors and teachers, with hardly a mention of athletics and the tens of vice presidents that already are on the payroll. WAKE UP people!!!!!!! When a leader does not know how to solve a problem, they always "reorganize", buying more time to rob the state's coffers. This reorganization should certainly buy her enough time to get that well deserved bonus.

  • WOW INDEED, Waiting4RoundBall!! Thank you for doing the research. Salaries that high and they are wondering what happened to the money! I believe one would have to get to Steve Mason on the list in order to find someone from Kentucky. Poor management and planning landed us in this situation with a huge deficit. This administration may not buy expensive shower curtains or furniture for the president’s home, but they are lining their pockets with money and ignoring the needs of the students. December 2011 KSU was ranked LAST in the state for safety by stateuniversity.com. The campus police are safe, though. They can only be accessed through an intercom – they are behind locked doors! A 313-bed dorm was replaced with a 145-bed dorm; construction started in 2006 as Phase 1. Six years later, where is Phase 2? Coed dorms are allowed and assaults on females keep going up. Mall was conceived so main road is restricted to pedestrians only. Students loading and unloading vehicles must use back road and be subjected to other traffic – not safe for students. Xerox delivers the mail and provides printing for more than $30,000 each month. If a student has a package they must come to Xerox to get it – Xerox does not deliver packages to dorms. Before Xerox, there were 2 people in the mailroom who delivered mail. Their salary was less than $30,000 a month. When students are admitted that have limited funds, you do not charge them so much that their basics are not covered. You do not continuously allow these same students who have not paid to keep returning, thereby running up huge bills that go to collections. Sias and VP of Finance Johnson have allowed that for a long time. Very little recruiting is done in Ky for students, but Sias finds it necessary to court students from overseas and out of state. Admissions have been discouraged from soliciting in-state students. Some faculty members have been allowed to teach the same way they did 20 years ago – nothing modern. Great disservice to the students. Faculty members who have innovative ideas are not given resources and are ignored. Endowments are managed by external relations – no one has seen documentation as to the purpose of each one, or an accurate amount of each one. McDuffie refuses to release them to anyone. Maybe the auditors have seen the documents. Wonder where the $7M for the Energy Savings went? KSU had to purchase a boiler for Shauntee Hall a couple of years ago and the chillers were down April 2010. The personnel I know about (an estimate) – approx. 60 have quit and about 20 fired (including 2 internal auditors). For a school with about 550 employees, that does not look good. The mismanagement of funds and people continues! Now there is a deficit and they are acting like they do not understand how it happened. Did not mention huge sums to Aramark, costly renovation of Hathaway (very nice suites), high charges from the bookstore, inaccurate tracking of assets, lawsuits, and other construction on campus that is cosmetic.

  • KSU's TOP 100 are paid $8,765,733 - WOW! Sias Mary E President $244,800 Thierstein Joel Peter Provost and VP Acad Affairs $180,000 McDuffie Hinfred Exec VP for Administration $155,290 Alemayehu Tsehai Prof 12 mth Group 2 and Dean $150,000 Tsegaye Teferi D Dean AFSSS and Director LGP $150,000 Esters Lorenzo L VP Stu Success and Enroll Mgmt $140,000 Johnson Alice B VP Finance and Administration $130,244 Holmes Kimberly Sinclair Asoc VP Inclusion & Innovation $120,360 Napier Katherine Associate Vice President $120,021 Tidwell James Henry Prof 12 Mth G3 Chair Dir III $115,116 Samuel Javiette Assoc Ext Admin-Assoc Prof $115,000 Lake Gashaw W Prof 12 Mth Group 3 and Dean $112,100 McNear Jack L Assoc VP Facility Operations $110,160 Oleka Sam O Prof 12 Mth Group 3 Dean $108,397 Gale Steven H Professor 9 Mth Group 3 $107,346 Pomper Kirk W Assoc Director Research $105,000 Turay Abdul M Chair Person $105,000 Davis Lori A General Counsel $102,000 Downing Beverly L Associate Provost $102,000 Fields Edward Director Computer Info Servic $100,798 Mason Stephen A Chf Staff and Exec Ast to Pres $99,476 McPartland Thomas J Prof 12 Mth Group 3 and Chair $94,302 Hahn Randall Asso Prof 9 Mth Group 2 $93,636 Smith Penny R Assistant Provost $93,636 Kumar Ashok Professor 9 Mth Group 2 $92,910 Shelton Roosevelt Asst to Provost and VP AA $92,160 Wilson William H Assoc VP Dev and Major Gifts $91,800 Butler Anne S Director CESKAA $91,087 Mason Sylvia Chair Person $90,000 Meiseles Gary A Director Human Resource Svcs $88,434 Griskell Ivory J Director Compl and Risk Mgmt $86,851 Bigdeli Jahed Fariba Asso Prf 12 Mth Group 3 Chair $86,149 Spooney Yolanda Lynne Director Accounting Services $86,000 Simon Marion Faye Professor 12 Mth Group 3 $85,967 Walston Herman E Professor 9 Mth Group 3 $85,724 Silitonga Maifan Rochella Assoc Prof 12 Mth Group 3 PI $85,000 Antonious George Fouad Professor 12 Mth Group 3 $85,000 Assefa Tibebe A Asst Prof 9 Mth Group 2 $85,000 Hayes Harold C Director Auxilary Enterprises $84,289 Rivers Richard Anthony Prof 9 Mth Group 2 $83,000 Mims Steven Douglas Principal Investigator $82,968 Durborow Robert M State Specialist $82,967 Webster Carl David Prof 12 Mth Group 3 PI $82,967 Obielodan James B Asso Prof 9 Mth Group 2 $82,782 Bankston Joanne Assoc Prof 12 Mth Group 3 $81,780 Hendricks Denisha L Director Athletics $80,580 Carter Carolyn Sue Dir Innov Teach Learn and Asmt $80,000 Olinger Betty H Assoc Prof 12 Mth G3 Chair PI $78,035 Daniel Christopher P Professor 9 Mth Group 3 $77,156 Kaul Karan Professor 9 Mth Group 3 $77,156 Mania Robert C Professor 9 Mth Group 3 $77,156 Pearson Patricia A Professor 9 Mth Group 3 $77,156 Weick George P Professor 9 Mth Group 3 $77,156 Cho Eung C Professor 9 Mth Group 3 $77,156 Geiger Robin Director Instit Res and Effect $77,156 Shields George W Professor 9 Mth Group 4 $77,156 Mitchell Kelvin Programming Manager $77,020 Dixie Wendy Denise IT Zone Manager $77,019 Gronefeld Joseph W Capital Project Manager Senior $77,019 Smith Gloria Jean Asso Prof 9 Mth Group 2 $76,441 Al-Hamdani Wasim Professor 9 Mth Group 2 $75,876 Bhattacharyya Siddhartha Chair and Asoc Prf 12 Mth G 2 $75,149 Buck White Barbara B Asso Prf 12 Mth Group 4 Chair $75,034 Wilhelm Paul G Asso Prof 9 Mth Group 2 $75,013 Lewis Felicia Y Asst to the Vice President $75,013 Stone Robert Mac Dir Center Sust of Farms $75,000 Walker Jerome J Network Manager $74,776 Dasgupta Siddhartha Prof 12 Mth Group 2 $74,386 Gomelsky Boris Prof 12 Mth Group 2 $74,386 Richard Leon Professor 9 Mth Group 4 $73,455 Trammell Jerry Powell Professor 9 Mth Group 4 $73,455 Dickens Wayne A Head Coach Men's Football $73,440 Gyawali Buddhi Raj Asst Prof 12 Mth Group 3 PI $73,333 Sipes Kimberly A Assistant Dean/Asst Professor $73,230 Bomford Michael Assoc Prof 12 Mth Group 3 $72,677 Sedlacek John D Assoc Prof 12 Mth Group 3 $72,677 Wang Changzheng Assoc Prof 12 Mth Group 3 $72,677 Webster Thomas C Principal Investigator $72,677 Wurts William A Assoc Prof 12 Mth Group 3 $72,677 Owens Victoria Graves Director Financial Aid $72,500 Assibey-Mensah Albert O Asso Prof 9 Mth Group 2 $72,443 English John D Asso Prof 9 Mth Group 2 $72,443 Alexander Juan M Director Admissions $72,000 Broadwater Gae State Specialist $71,928 Logsdon Corlia H Asst Dir HR Disability Service $70,380 Stuckey Sheila Arnetta Dir and Librarian Assoc Prof $69,537 Finn LeChrista M State Specialist Senior $68,227 Dodds James D Systems Programmer $68,213 Holmes Sandra L Assoc Prof 9 Mth Group 3 $68,000 Bennett Vernell Anntoinette Assistant Vice President $67,106 Bastin Stephanie B Chief of Police $66,930 Conner Carmella A Enrollment Ser Student Sp Spec $66,929 Graham William Dir Exum Inst 12 Mth Group 3 $66,929 Banks Ronald Director Counsel and Placement $66,301 Stamper Elizabeth Sue Director Comm Skills Center $66,014 Montgomery Tonya Y Purchasing Manager $65,097 Thomas Dennis Production Coordinator $65,096 Thomas Reginald L Asst Prof 9 Mth Group 2 $64,957 Desborde Rene Asso Prof 9 Mth Group 2 $64,447 Scheffler Frederick L Asso Prof 9 Mth Group 2 $64,446

  • The obvious response will be to downsize employees making $10 an hour. The president, vice president for external relations, vice president for student affairs, associate vice president for capital planning and construction, vice president for business affairs, associate vice president for business affairs, vice president for academic affairs, and general counsel are all making more than $100,000 each. This is the smallest state school, but management is being paid like they are at UK or UofL. This does not count their assistants and associate personnel. Will these salaries be cut? Probably not. Will Dr. Sias take a pay cut? Probably not. Will she refuse the $250,000 bonus? Probably not. These people have been getting raises each year, but not the entire university community. There are faculty members who have PhD’s that have not seen a raise in years. The VP for business affairs has allowed these staggering deficits to occur and did nothing about it – it takes more than a year to reach a $4.8M deficit for a school this size. Where are the financial statements for 2010 and 2011? Cannot find them at KSU or CPE websites. The taxpayers of Kentucky should be able to see where their money is going. The state advises when funds will be cut and the amount. Guess no one at KSU paid attention and did not adjust the budget accordingly. KSU grants are mostly reimbursable – KSU has to pay their money first, and then request reimbursement from the funding agency. From what account will the initial bills be paid on the grant accounts? Thought the One-Stop Shop was to be the ombudsman office – at least for student financial transactions. The One-Stop Shop just directs students to the financial aid and bursar’s offices. Very seldom are they any real help. Hiring another person(s) does not make sense. Larry Henderson was CIO for a while. He was paid a lot of money, but no results. He left KSU worse off. IT needs a manager who is effective and has his mind on his work. IT staff are doing a good job with the resources they have been given. Marketing specialist – market WHAT?? The regents approved a $61.8M budget in June 2012 to cover the shortfall of $8.1M, according to this article. However, Dr. Sias was awarded a $250,000 retention bonus in July 2012 by this same board for doing such a wonderful job! Guess that pesky $8.1M shortfall was irrelevant to them. Governor Beshear, the KSU Board of Regents and this administration need to go. They are NOT good stewards of Kentucky’s money!

  • Geez, maybe the President could do the noble thing and put back some ( a lot ) of those bonuses, raises she has not earned, into the coffer for the greater good. Ever think about that? I feel sorry for the person who becomes the ombudsman. This University has a lot of unhappy customers.

  • Customer Service at this university is an apalling display of unprofessionalism. Not to mention, the university's procedures are completely medieval. The appointment of an ever-changing four digit alternate pin to each student makes students completely reliant upon KSU staff in order to register for classes. Additionally, the process by which a student must change their major is absurd... Hopefully the new marketing consultant will recognize the need to model some of KSU's processes procedures after some of the more advanced state universities. As for the paddlefish- they generate revenue. Bodeen- research paddlefish caviar... Same with paw-paws.

  • I hope KSU staff take Dr. Sias to heart; that when KSU staff does "only the minimum absolutely required", then that doesn't show much interest in the students...I would not blame the students for leaving.

  • Instead of rediculous raises it is time to do some house cleaning at the top of this quagmire. Cut the wasteful programs like the Paw Paws & Paddlefish research. They are yet to be Paw-Paw icecream or cans of paddlefish on the market. Where does the construction money come from & instead of building more, divert the money to the areas that it is needed. Even though a lot of drugs is coming to Frankfort from some of their students (I know for a fact) I would hate for this school to go down hill. Frankfort needs this institution.