Eastern will have a $1 million reduction in its budget during its first year on a performance based funding model, said David McFaddin, vice president for engagement and regional stewardship.
The reduction in funding will begin in 2018 as part of the 2019 fiscal year.
In light of these budget cuts, Eastern has significantly decreased the number of part-time faculty members it employs, according to Janna Vice, provost and vice president of academics.
“For the first time in any of our recollection, we have no part-time faculty teaching English this spring,” Vice said. “We have greater investment in our full-time faculty.”
Revisions for 17 academic programs were approved at the Board of Regents meeting on Monday, Jan. 30.
The majority of the revised programs received approval for updated curriculum, but two had changes in the concentrations offered. All changes will go into effect for the Fall 2017 semester.
Neuroscience has been suspended as a concentration of nursing because external support for this concentration has changed, according to the Council on Academic Affairs.
The music major now includes two new concentrations: performance/piano pedagogy and performance/vocal pedagogy. These are to meet the shortage of piano and voice teachers in Kentucky, according to the Council on Academic Affairs.
The Board also discussed student retention rates and goals for improvement in the future.
Out-of-state student retention rates are higher than in-state with international students having the greatest retention rate. In-state students have a retention rate of 83.6 percent, out-of-state 83.9 percent and international students 94.7 percent.
Retention rates have increased on average to 87.6 percent for first-time freshman, according to information from the Council on Postsecondary Education.
Four year graduation rates increased to 29.71 percent which is above Eastern’s goal of 23 percent.
Online retention rates are at 56.4 percent, just above the 2010 national average of 55 percent, according to the department of education.
Athletes had a retention rate of 93.3 percent which is in part because student athletes are required to attend a set amount of weekly tutoring, said Laurie Carter, executive vice president of university counsel.
There has also been growth in retention rates of Rodney Gross and Freshman Academy students, two diversity groups whose retention rates are at 97.3 and 88.4 percent respectively, Carter said.
These retention rates are expected to increase further with continued support to Rodney Gross and Freshman Academy students including specialized and required tutoring like is done with student athletes, Carter said.
The Board also discussed changes in board members and voted to maintain the members of the board in their current positions.