Council on Postsecondary Education
COUNCIL’S FUNDING REQUEST FOCUSES ON INCREASING EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT AND RESEARCH
The Council on Postsecondary Education approved its 2008-10 budget request today, which recommends a funding increase of $174 million, or 16 percent, for Kentucky’s postsecondary education institutions over the biennium. The funding request focuses on increasing access to postsecondary education and meeting state goals, including increasing the state’s educational attainment by doubling the number of college graduates in the state and promoting research, economic and community development.
“Our new funding approach is designed to create a tighter contract with state policymakers to ensure they are clearly seeing the return on their investment in postsecondary education,” said Brad Cowgill, interim president of the Council on Postsecondary Education. “This request seeks to achieve a new level of accountability and transparency in the way we do business in postsecondary education, while maintaining quality and ensuring access and affordability for Kentuckians to earn a college degree.”
The Council’s budget request comes as the result of months of discussions with university presidents, chief budget officers, chief academic officers, state policymakers and others.
The request includes funding for strategic statewide investments including:
- $25 million for a new incentive funding program called the Double the Numbers Degree Fund. This fund would reward public four-year universities for increasing bachelor’s degree production and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) for increasing the number of associate degrees and transfers to four-year institutions. Proposed additional incentive funds would encourage degrees awarded to minority students, developmental education students, transfer students and students earning degrees in science, technology, engineering and math fields.
- $22.5 million for the KCTCS Access Initiative to offset the costs of freezing tuition over the biennium at Kentucky’s community and technical colleges.
- $200 million to fund the Bucks for Brains program, which matches private donations with state funds. The Council recently released a ten-year report for this program showing it has resulted in more than $282 million in private gifts to public universities and a 47 percent increase in annual giving at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.
- $40 million to implement the recommendations from statewide task forces on developmental education and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to accelerate improvements in each of these areas.
The budget request also includes a recommendation of $800 million for capital projects at Kentucky’s public colleges and universities. These funds would begin to address the backlog of renovations and repairs identified by a 2007 statewide assessment of public university campus facilities as well as designate $497 million for new education and research building on public campuses.
Kentucky is in the middle of the most dramatic economic and social transformation in its history. Double the Numbers: Kentucky’s Plan to Increase College Graduates explains that increasing bachelor’s degrees is the quickest, most direct way for Kentucky to increase its economic prosperity. College graduates earn more, are healthier, create a more robust economy, and enjoy a higher quality of life. The Double the Numbers plan outlines five statewide strategies for Kentucky to achieve this ambitious, but achievable goal. While this effort will not be easy, the benefits of Doubling the Numbers will be felt by all Kentuckians.