Beshear signs Stivers-backed resolution for postsecondary education study
Illustration from Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education’s Facebook page.
Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear has signed a resolution sponsored by Republican Senate President Robert Stivers that aims to study the state of Kentucky’s public higher education.
Senate Joint Resolution 98 directs the Council on Postsecondary Education to complete a comprehensive review of postsecondary education by Dec. 1. A House floor amendment added a provision to release funds to the State Fair Board in fiscal year 2024 for an expansion project of the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
Findings of the review could be taken up in the next legislative session.
Stivers, from Manchester, has said questions that need to be explored include leaving technical education to the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and traditional academic subjects to regional four-year public universities and if a public four-year university would be feasible in Southeastern Kentucky.
“There’s a lot of questions, but that should be their (CPE’s) function, and we’re asking them to perform this function. Give us what you think the state of our higher education system is,” Stivers told reporters after introducing the resolution earlier this session.
He has referenced the when the General Assembly passed the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997, which created CPE about 25 years ago. Until then, the community college system was under the University of Kentucky.
Much has changed since then, especially the rise of remote work and online learning. Stivers said “one glaring hole” is in Eastern Kentucky, which faces a large out-migration of population.
Kentucky has eight four-year public universities. KCTCS has 16 colleges at more than 70 locations statewide.
KCTCS Acting President Larry Ferguson expressed support of the review and said that the system is “open to working” with the General Assembly and CPE. KCTCS began its own analysis in December 2022.
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