Overhead picture of Grawemeyer Hall
UofL's Belknap Campus.

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees has approved a $1.72 billion budget for fiscal year 2025 (FY 25) that invests heavily in student success, retention and wellbeing; faculty and staff recruitment and retention; and the university’s renowned research enterprise.

The budget, approved during the board’s June 27 meeting, goes into effect July 1, the start of the 2025 fiscal year.

Among the highlights of the budget is a $4.1 million investment in research computing to expand productivity and external funding.

“Creating knowledge is something only a research university like ours can do,” said UofL President Kim Schatzel. “Investment in our research infrastructure and in our faculty is part of a recommitment to our mission-critical pillar of being a research and innovation powerhouse. This is a landmark investment for the university, advancing us to be the institution we should and can be.”

Additional research computing capacity will enhance university researchers’ ability to conduct in-depth data analyses and solve complex problems. This includes creating detailed simulations and modeling real-world systems for applications such as testing the effects of new drugs and tracking the potential spread of diseases, as well as high-performance computing for complex calculations such as particle physics simulations or genomic sequencing. Further, this will provide a secure computing environment with support for all the compliance rules of the federal funding agencies.

“This effort to re-envision and grow our research computing further advances our researchers’ capacities to create and apply knowledge that makes lasting – and, often, life-saving – impacts on society,” Schatzel said. “This will be a game changer for public health and will allow the university to leapfrog our peers and put it on the leading edge of artificial intelligence research.”

Research and innovation move beyond the laboratory and into the community. UofL Health is building a regional cancer center in Bullitt County, and UofL is committing, through state appropriations, $12.5 toward cancer research and rural cancer care. Also through state appropriations, a $1.5 million investment will establish an Immigration Law Clinic to provide critical legal services to the public, teach students the necessary skills to practice law and develop a pipeline of immigration law attorneys. An allocation of $5.3 million to the Kentucky Manufacturing Extension Partnership will support and solve problems for manufacturers across the commonwealth and ignite innovative growth.

Although there were no changes in mandatory student fees, a tuition increase of 2.44% for resident undergraduates and 5% for resident graduate students was approved. To help mitigate rising tuition costs, scholarship support was increased by $5.7 million for a total scholarship pool of nearly $78 million. The Cardinal Commitment program, UofL Health collaboration the Border Benefit program and graduate stipends all received additional funding. Tuition rates for active-duty military and members of the Reserves and National Guard remain unchanged.

“UofL has made every effort to keep these increases as small as possible,” said Schatzel. “We understand tuition costs are a concern. To ensure students get the most from their education, we’re investing in several areas including academic advising, engaged learning opportunities and online classes. Keeping higher education affordable remains a university priority.”

The budget also includes a 5% housing rate increase to maintain current programming and for facility maintenance; a 3% student and employee parking permit rate increase to support capital improvements and transportation services; and a 5% increase in dining services to enhance dining options and support capital improvements in dining facilities.

Recommendations for FY 25 tuition rates and fees were made to university leadership by the tuition taskforce, which includes representatives from faculty, staff and students.

Employee compensation remains a priority for FY 25 with an investment of $17.8 million to increase salaries and wages. That investment supports a 2.5% general wage increase for eligible faculty and staff as well as $10.5 million toward the faculty and staff compensation study. The university will continue to absorb 75% of health insurance expenses for FY 25. The 7.5% retirement contribution from the university will remain the same, with the option to participate in the employer 2.5% match.

Finally, as noted in Schatzel’s recent update on Kentucky’s 2024 legislative session, the state is making significant investments in UofL. FY 25 state appropriations to UofL total $176.5 million. Increases in the state performance funding pool will generate an additional $1.2 million in 2024-25 over UofL’s current allocation of $17.6 million for a total of $18.8 million.