Federal grant funding cuts will hurt more than tuition cap, UofL President Ramsey says

05/03/2013 11:14 AM

The University of Louisville can keep its tuition increase next year to less than 3 percent as ordered, but the university’s research efforts could be stunted by federal cuts to agencies that provide research grants, the UofL President said.

James Ramsey said he’s concerned federal cuts — through budget reductions and the recent across-the-board sequester cuts — will affect both student financial aid funding as well as research grants. One of the top sources for grants has been the National Institute of Health.

“We went through a period where the NIH budget is actually being doubled. Now there is no growth in NIH funding. The grants are harder to come by. So that is having a very significant impact on our research funding,” he said (2:15 of the interview). “This year may be a year in which its the first time our research funding hasn’t grown but has actually declined.”

That could have an economic ripple effect if grants drying up hamper UofL researchers’ ability to patent new technologies or techniques, which would bring in money to the university, he said.

The university, like other public colleges, now relies more on private donations than state money as funding support from Frankfort has slid backwards to 2005-‘06 levels.

“In our strategic plan, we should be hiring 40 new faculty a year. And we’re not hiring any new faculty,” Ramsey said (0:40 of the interview).

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