The Council approves tuition, academic programs and trust fund policies

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Council for Post-Secondary Education has finally approved campus proposals for tuition and mandatory fees. Overall, the change in tuition fees for resident students averages 1.5% across the system, the third-lowest increase in recent history.

All submitted proposals met the tuition fee ceilings set by the Council last year. The move allowed universities to increase tuition by up to 3% over two years, but no more than 2% in any one year. Kentucky Community and Technical College System campuses were limited to an increase of no more than $5 per credit hour over two years and no more than $3 per credit hour in one year.

“College affordability is a priority for both CPE and our colleges and universities,” said CPE President Aaron Thompson. “These historically low tuition increases are one of many strategies we are employing to ensure that cost is not a barrier to earning a degree or qualification in Kentucky.”

For resident students, rate changes include:

  • Eastern Kentucky University – 1%
  • Kentucky State University – 1.8%
  • Morehead State University – 1.1%
  • Murray State University – 1.9%
  • University of Kentucky – 2%
  • University of Louisville – 1.2%
  • Western Kentucky University – 1.1%

Tariffs for Northern Kentucky University and KCTCS were approved in April.

Elsewhere, the Council approved three new academic programs.

  • University of Kentucky Bachelor of Science in Leadership for Community Education and Human Learning: This 120-credit-hour program is designed to prepare students to lead educational programs in community organizations. The program is aimed at students who are aiming for a professional career in child and/or adult education outside of the traditional school structure. It does not lead to teacher certification.
  • University of Louisville, Master of Arts in Applied Philosophy: Students complete this 33-credit-hour program with three semesters of full-time coursework and a fourth semester of independent study. The curriculum trains students in ethical leadership with a focus on practical problems, health ethics and the non-academic labor market.
  • Northern Kentucky University, Master of Arts in Educational Leadership: This 30-credit-hour program trains teachers for administrative positions as elementary, middle, and secondary school leaders, as well as P-12 instructional leaders, and leads to Kentucky school leader certification.

For KCTCS, the council heard that staff have approved six Associate of Applied Science degrees under the program approval process since January. At Maysville Community and Technical College, they approved degrees in Human Services, Aviation Maintenance Technology, Health Science Technology, and Education. They approved a medical laboratory technician degree from Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College. At Hopkinsville Community and Technical College, they approved a degree in computer-aided manufacturing and machining.

Conservation Pool Guidelines

As a further measure, the Council approved guidelines for the 2022-24 Asset Preservation Pool enacted in the 2022-24 State Budget and delegated the authority to employees to approve investment projects funded from the pool.

This $683.5 million pool funds projects to preserve, refurbish and maintain educational and community facility assets at public post-secondary institutions in Kentucky.

The budget also authorized an additional $16.5 million for a standalone conservation project at KCTCS. Overall, the General Assembly approved $700 million for wealth preservation to meet a projected collective need of $7.3 billion.

The campuses must provide appropriate funds. Projects at the research institutions are matched at 30 cents per state dollar, while the match for full universities and KCTCS is 15 cents per state dollar.

In addition to the match requirements, the guidelines cover the use of funds, the reimbursement process, project identification, and the statement of expenditure.

dollars for brains

The council approved guidelines for Bucks for Brains, a foundation-match program designed to bring new funding from outside sources to public universities and to support efforts to create foundations for initiatives in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and… build health.

The General Assembly approved $40 million in government bonds for the program. Of the total, $30 million has been allocated to the Research Challenge Trust Fund. As required by law, two-thirds, or $20 million, will go to the UK and the remaining third, $10 million, to UofL.

The program’s remaining $10 million was allocated to the Comprehensive University Excellence Trust Fund. These funds are allocated to overall universities based on each institution’s share of the sector’s total general funds, excluding debt service and specialized non-teaching programs.

Universities need to increase government funding dollar by dollar.

Trust Fund for Human Resources Development

The Council approved guidelines for the $2.25 million allocated to the Workforce Development Trust Fund by the General Assembly. The purpose of the fund is to increase credential production capacity in academic disciplines that address labor shortages in five sectors: healthcare, advanced manufacturing, transportation and logistics, business services and information technology, and construction and trade.

In 2020-21, these industries had forecast annual job needs that exceeded the number of KCTCS graduates.

In another financial measure, the council approved two asset preservation projects for KCTCS: mechanical equipment and upgrades at the Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College totaling $2 million and a $1.5 million roof replacement for the Glema Mahr Arts Center at Madisonville Community College.

Kentucky State University’s request for $5.5 million from its $23 million for 2021-22 was also approved to fill the current year’s budget gap.

In another matter, Franklin County Judge-Executive Huston Wells took the oath of office to three new council members: Jacob L. Brown of Louisville, Connie D. Smith of Bowling Green, and Faith Kemper of Ft. Wright.

Also the advice:

  • Approved the staff recommendation to retain rule 13 KAR 2:045 in its current form. The ordinance governs residency status for admission and study assessment purposes.
  • Approved the Council agency budget 2022-23.
  • Approved resolutions to thank outgoing Council Members Carol Wright and Vidya Ravichandran for their service to the Council.
  • Maira Gomez appointed to the Equal Opportunities Committee.
  • Received a report from Council President Aaron Thompson that included updates on Kentucky State University’s management improvement plan.

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