Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

President's Message: CPE's strategic agenda provides higher ed cornerstone

July 06, 2021

Aaron Thompson

In architecture, the cornerstone is the first brick placed in the foundation of a building. Every subsequent brick is laid relative to the cornerstone, which usually is inscribed with the builder's name and construction date. Thus, the cornerstone has both structural and historical significance.

The statewide strategic agenda is the cornerstone of public higher education in Kentucky. It establishes the vision to which we aspire, the objectives we aim to achieve and the measures that define our progress. Public colleges and universities align their strategic plans to the statewide strategic agenda. It lives on as a record of past achievements and assumptions, which informs the next iteration of the plan.

Although the current strategic agenda, "Stronger by Degrees," runs until the end of 2021, the planning and development process for 2022-30 is well underway. With the help of Eastern Kentucky University's facilitation center, CPE has conducted dozens of focus groups with hundreds of constituents. We've reached out to national policy organizations and higher education leaders in other states. We've talked with university presidents and administrators, legislators, employers, K-12 educators, alumni, students and parents. Through these conversations, we're getting a sense of the big challenges and opportunities we'll face in the years leading up to 2030, the date associated with our 60% educational attainment goal.

As a next step, CPE will review trend data on key metrics and perform additional modeling to determine degree productivity levels needed to reach the 60x30 attainment goal. The Council's Academic and Strategic Initiatives Committee will be instrumental in guiding the plan's development from start to finish, as well as other standing CPE committees.

By the end of the year, CPE will lay the first stone in a plan for the next era of public higher education in Kentucky. Once the blueprint is finished, I'm counting on you to help us build it.

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Aaron Thompson, Ph.D.

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Last Updated: 7/26/2021