Council on Postsecondary Education
Council on Postsecondary Education hears updates on strategic agenda focus areas
A panel discussion on the commonwealth’s research environment kicked off the Council on Postsecondary Education meeting last week with leading experts stressing the need to seek another round of Bucks for Brains funding.
Bucks for Brains matches public dollars with private donations to improve the state’s research capacity to create new knowledge and economic growth. The funding has been a vital component in building the research capacity and educational attainment critical to Kentucky’s future.
The panel brought together Dr. James Tracy, vice president for research at the University of Kentucky; Dr. William Pierce, Jr., executive vice president for research and innovation at University of Louisville; and Kris Kimel, president of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation. Each provided an update on institutional and statewide research accomplishments and discussed other research-related items.
Pierce urged the Council to do everything possible to advocate for the continuation of the funding program “because it has meant everything to us.” He said that for every dollar invested in Bucks for Brains, UofL has brought in five dollars.
Kimel added the answer is relentless innovation and said Kentucky must “leapfrog in areas where we need to go.”
“We need to get out of the box or we will be here in 30 years having the same conversation with the same per capita income,” he cautioned.
In another economic development report, Mary Gwen Wheeler, executive director of 55K Degrees, discussed how the Louisville-based initiative is accelerating educational attainment to prepare residents to compete for 21st century jobs. The movement is a strong collaboration with the business and educational community, which aims to produce 40,000 bachelor degrees and 15,000 associate degrees by 2018.
Campus presidents from two institutions, Doug Whitlock of Eastern Kentucky University and Wayne Andrews of Morehead State University, provided updates on institutional progress toward key metrics. Both institutions are boosting performance by participating in the U.S. Education Delivery Institute, which is designed to help improve effectiveness of student success strategies such as degrees, graduation rates and achievement gaps.
When asked about the tipping point for tuition increases, Andrews responded, “What we have to do is talk about how we get the Commonwealth of Kentucky to step up and fund education because it is the solution to society’s problems. It is not the problem.”
In other business, the Council welcomed five new members: Kennedy Helm, Carolyn Ridley, C.J. Ryan, Arnold Taylor and Sherrill Zimmerman. They were administered the oath of office by Circuit Judge A.C. McKay Chauvin of the Jefferson Circuit Court.
In other action, the Council:
- Approved a revised administrative regulation for private college licensing that provides an exemption process for religious in-state colleges so that solely religious instruction or training shall not be restricted. The amendment provides a process by which a religious in-state college can request an exemption from standard licensure so that they can offer programs that prepare students for religious vocations as ministers or laypersons in areas of ministry such as music and theology. The revised regulation will go through a public hearing and review by the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee and the Interim Joint Committee on Education.
- Approved five new academic programs: a master of arts in gerontology at Kentucky State University; a master of arts in linguistic theory and typology, University of Kentucky; post-baccalaureate certificate, autism and applied behavior analysis, University of Louisville; post-master’s certificate, critical care nursing, University of Louisville, and bachelor of arts, Latin American and Latino studies, University of Louisville.
- Approved a statewide appeals process to resolve general education transfer disputes. Under the new guidelines, a student or a sending institution can initiate the appeals process if general education credit is denied following the receiving institution’s internal appeals process. Council staff worked with the Statewide Transfer Committee and the Council of Chief Academic Officers to develop the policy.
- Approved the University of Kentucky’s request to construct the Farmhouse Fraternity House using $3.6 million of private funds from the Farmhouse Fraternity and its members. Project scope is $3.6 million.
- Approved the University of Louisville’s request to implement the Health Sciences Center Utilities Hazard Mitigation Project with $1.1 million of federal and institutional funds ($825,000 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency and $275,000 from the University of Louisville plant funds). The project will replace approximately two blocks of high voltage electrical overhead utility feeder lines with underground lines. Project scope is $1.1 million.
- Approved the 2012-13 Council President’s Plan of Work to provide a clear set of policy priorities and tasks that will guide the work of the Council president and staff over the coming year.
- Set the Council meeting calendar for 2013. The dates are February 7 and 8, April 17 and 18, June 19 and 20, September 26 and 27, and November 14 and 15.
The Council also heard reports on the following: President’s Report, 2012-13 agency operating budget, GED New Horizons, Committee on Equal Opportunities, Commissioner of Education, and reports from the institutions.
Before adjourning, Chair Pam Miller presented resolutions for Jim Skaggs and Joe Weis for their distinguished service on the Council; appointed Lisa Osborne as chair of the Committee on Equal Opportunities; appointed C.J. Ryan, the Council’s student representative, to serve on the Committee on Equal Opportunities; and appointed Marcia Ridings to serve on the Executive Committee.
The next meeting of the Council will be November 15-16 at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.
Council meeting materials are available at: http://www.cpe.ky.gov/about/cpe/meetings/2012/September+14+Council+Meeting.htm.
We believe in the transformative power of postsecondary education. Stronger by Degrees, the new strategic agenda for Kentucky’s colleges and universities and adult basic education, is powering a stronger Kentucky economy and improving the lives of Kentuckians. To learn more about Stronger by Degrees, visit http://cpe.ky.gov/strongerbydegrees.
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