A&S freezes spending amid $1.6 million budget shortfall Sunday, Mar 14 2021 

By Eli Hughes–

Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences David Owen announced to A&S faculty on March 9 that a temporary spending freeze would take effect from now until June 30. This decision comes after A&S reported a budget shortfall of more than $1.6 million for the current fiscal year due to low enrollment this year.

“Enrollments in A&S fell below budgeted targets in the fall and spring semesters, and we are now projecting a revenue shortfall in the current fiscal year of $1,684,991, while expenditures are trending as budgeted,” Owen said in the email announcement. “I ask for your help to close this gap between revenues and expenditures.”

He went on to say that this shortfall can be addressed by increasing revenues through higher enrollment in late-start spring semester classes and summer classes, as well as by reducing expenditures through general funds spending freeze.

When The Cardinal reached out to Owen for comment he said this spending freeze will only affect non-essential expenditures.

“The spending freeze will not affect students or impact our academic mission. Its purpose is to reduce spending on expenses that are not immediately essential to our academic and research missions and that can be held off until next year,” Owen said.

Owen also said that the spending freeze was only one piece of the plan to address the budget shortfall, “We are striving to increase enrollments by offering more late-start spring courses than in the past and offering a wide-range of summer courses. We had previously set aside a portion of the budget for possible revenue shortfalls, and those funds will be used. Lastly, we will apply some of the funds carried over from last year to close this budget deficit.”

The underlying cause of this decrease in enrollment that led to the shortfall is not certain at this time but Owen attributes many of the problems to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The budget shortfall is due to lower than expected enrollments in A&S, which I expect has multiple causes. Part of this is due to some students choosing to step away from their studies because of the many additional financial, personal, and emotional stresses created by the pandemic, and some may be because some students prefer in-person learning,” Owen said.

In the email, Owen laid out specific guidelines for what expenses the spending freeze would affect:

  • This applies only to general fund accounts.
  • Recurring expenses, expenses already incurred and all invoices received will need to be paid.
  • Does not impact current faculty tenure-line or term searches. Requests for staff hires will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • This will not affect any spending from research grants, RIF accounts and start-up funds.
  • This will not affect spending from endowments and current use gift accounts.
  • For all other general fund expenses, you should work with your UBM-I to request pre-approval.

Owen believes that this spending freeze can help the department address the financial problems it’s facing while still maintaining its academic mission.

“A&S faculty have worked tirelessly to provide the best possible online learning experiences possible during this past year,” Owen said. “Arts & Sciences degrees provide an exceptional value in the 21st century. By learning how to learn, A&S graduates are well-prepared for highly dynamic and unpredictable career paths, and A&S graduates have the knowledge and skills to tackle many of the challenges our communities face.”

Graphic by Joseph Garcia // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L in the midst of a hiring freeze during COVID-19 crisis Friday, Mar 20 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

Amid all of the craziness surrounding the COVID-19 virus, the University of Louisville has placed a faculty hiring freeze in place.

U of L spokesman John Karman confirmed this. “All hiring is paused except for special circumstances,” he said.

This hiring freeze was set in place for two reasons: The economic impact felt from the COVID-19 crisis and U of L is expecting enrollment in the fall to go down. Arts & Sciences Dean David Owen said that they will be preparing and planning for the consequences of both possibilities.

Any prospect where letters of offer have been sent will not be affected by this freeze. The freeze applies to term lines, including new ones, along with on-going lines that are being vacated or filled.

In addition, all hiring of staff will be suspended immediately and is subject to the review of Dean Owen. “I know that we are already running below necessary staffing levels, but I will have to balance the desperate need for adequate staffing with the increasingly dire budget forecasts,” he said in an email.

There is no set timeline for how long this hiring freeze will be in place.

“How long this is in effect depends on how long the pandemic affects us and what the budgetary impact ends up being,” said Dean Owen.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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SGA holds special election for A & S senator Tuesday, Oct 15 2019 

By Byron Hoskinson — 

The College of Arts and Sciences held a special election to name a new SGA senator. Voting was conducted online through a personalized ballot sent to all College of Arts and Sciences students’ email accounts.  The week-long voting period ended midnight on Friday, Oct. 11.

Six candidates submitted applications and were deemed eligible to run for the special election, George Nalbandian, a member of the SGA Supreme Court which oversees elections, said via email.

The candidates were Elena Berkenbosch, Brandon Cooper, Lee Henry Head, Alex Hex, Jake Jones and Jordan McGinty.

The eventual winner will take their position as one of seven senators in Arts & Sciences who are tasked with seeking input from their student constituents according to the SGA Constitution.  Student senators also meet regularly and serve on other SGA boards and committees.

Each academic college is allotted one student senator per every 750 full-time students enrolled in the college, according to the Constitution.

Over 1,100 votes were cast in the general election last semester for Arts & Sciences senators, though numbers for the special election were not immediately available.

Nalbandian said that if no suits contesting the election process were brought before the court, the unofficial results could be available as early as next week.  Candidates are also able to challenge the results by filing petitions with the court.

“After all of the cases are heard (if there are any), the Supreme Court will vote to certify the unofficial results and the senator-elect will assume their position,” Nalbandian said.

Graphic by Shayla Kerr // The Louisville Cardinal

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Dean steps down from position Thursday, Jul 18 2019 

By Maggie Vancampen —

Dean Kimberly Kempf-Leonard is stepping down from her position as Dean of Arts and Sciences at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

Her email to the A&S faculty details how she is proud of her six years at the University of Louisville. Her final goals as dean are to implement a new budget model to highlight both entrepreneurial activity and other complex opportunities across all departments, and change staff reorganization based on the new university procedures.

“Ever leader has ‘a season;’ mine at U of L has been remarkable, even against the backdrop of this challenging moment for higher eduction,” Kempf-Leonard said in the email.

“I am proud of what we’ve accomplished together as our research, teaching, and service achievements have not diminished.”

She said that A&S has added new staff, made new programs and changed general education in her tenure. “We also have worked to bring greater recognition to achievements and opportunities through expanded awards, grants, and scholarships,” she said in her email.

“I know that you will hear from the Provost soon about steps in hiring my successor. I envy that person because you people and this institution are very special,” she said in her email.

Kempf-Leonard was unavailable for additional comments.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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