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Council unanimously approves resolution calling for reinvestment in public higher education

Friday, 02 14, 2014

Sue Patrick
502-573-1555
Cell: 502-330-6596
Sue.Patrick@ky.gov

The Council on Postsecondary Education unanimously approved a resolution expressing strong support for reinvestment in public higher education in Kentucky, including restoration of the proposed 2.5 percent reduction to the operating budgets of the state colleges and universities and full funding of the Kentucky Employee Retirement Systems rate increase.

The resolution states that 40 states in the current fiscal year have increased state general fund support for higher education, but Kentucky is not among them. The Council commends portions of the current budget proposal for its strong emphasis on general fund supported capital projects and research and economic development in the form of Bucks for Brains.

“Kentucky's economic future depends on a vibrant and well trained workforce and educated citizenry; however, this cannot be achieved without a renewed investment in our colleges and universities,” states the resolution.

Also at its meeting held earlier today in Lexington, Pam Miller was re-elected to her third term as chair of the Council on Postsecondary Education and Dan Flanagan of Campbellsville was re-elected to his third term as vice chair.

“I am honored and proud to be a voice for our state colleges and universities,” said Miller. “Our campuses are educating more students for today's demanding jobs, and doing it with fewer and fewer public dollars.

“If we want to improve Kentucky's economy, we must increase, not cut, our investment in higher education,” she added.

The former mayor of Lexington-Fayette County, Miller was appointed to the Council in 2008 and served as vice chair from February 2010 until December 2011. She is a current member and the former chair of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

Flanagan, appointed to the Council in 2005, operates a large farming business. He formerly served as the deputy commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, held several positions at Campbellsville University, and is a retired pastor.

In other organizational matters, Miller appointed members Glenn Denton of Paducah, Joe Graviss of Versailles and Marcia Ridings of London to serve on the Executive Committee, which also includes the chair and vice chair. This committee reviews all agency budget and personnel matters, provides for an annual audit of the agency, and evaluates the president.

The Council also welcomed new member Maryanne Honeycutt Elliott of Louisville.

In other business, the Council took action on several items, including:

  • Approved the tuition and mandatory fee policy and a tuition-setting timeline to provide a framework for establishing public postsecondary tuition and fees for 2014-15.
  • Approved seven academic programs:
    • bachelor of arts in convergent media and bachelor of arts in strategic communication, Morehead State University;
    • bachelor of science in radiologic science and bachelor of science in respiratory care, Northern Kentucky University;
    • bachelor of science in information communication technology, University of Kentucky;
    • master of fine arts in studio art and design, University of Louisville; and
    • bachelor of arts in criminology, Western Kentucky University.
  • Approved two capital projects to be completely funded with private funds:
    • football training facilities and fields on the University of Kentucky main campus with a total project scope of $45 million; and
    • Delia Baster renovation for cardiac research at the Health Sciences Campus at the University of Louisville with a total project scope of $2.5 million.
  • Adopted a resolution honoring and commending the late Representative Jim Callahan, who served four terms as the House Majority Caucus Chair, for his service to postsecondary education as a sponsor and advocate for the passage of the Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997 and for his service to Northern Kentucky University.

The Council also heard reports from the CPE President, Commissioner of Education and Committee on Equal Opportunities.

The next meeting of the Council will be April 28-29 at Murray State University.

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Council meeting materials are available at https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicAgenda.aspx?ak=1001061&mk=50103907