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CPE conference to focus on higher ed’s role in building stronger workforce

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 11, 2013) — The Council on Postsecondary Education on Thursday will kick-off the Governor’s Conference on Postsecondary Education Trusteeship at 2 p.m. at the Marriott Downtown, Louisville.

“Building a Stronger Workforce through Postsecondary Education” will focus on higher education’s role as a catalyst for workforce and economic development, and will feature leading higher education and economic development experts. More than 200 university regents, trustees and campus staff are expected to attend.

The opening plenary will feature Ted Abernathy, executive director of the Southern Growth Policies Board, who will speak about higher education as an engine of economic growth and competitiveness. At 3 p.m., Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson will moderate a discussion with Kentucky economic development and business leaders on What Businesses Want from Higher Education and What They Can Contribute. Panelists include:

  • Mike Price, vice president of administration, Toyota Motor Manufacturing
  • L. Tracee Whitley, COO, Bingham McCutchen, LLP
  • Kim Tharp-Barrie, system vice president, Norton Healthcare, Institute for Nursing and Workforce Outreach
  • Thomas Zawacki, secretary, Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The topic of entrepreneurship as an economic development strategy will take center stage at 4:15 p.m. Kris Kimel, president, Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, will moderate a discussion with the following panelists:

  • Geoffrey S. Mearns, president, Northern Kentucky University
  • Ian Mooers, executive director, Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship, and Technology, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Griffin Cottle, director, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center, Jefferson Community & Technical College

Friday schedule

On Friday, the conference resumes at 8:30 a.m. with Arizona State University President Michael Crow and his “The New American University.” Crow is one of TIME magazine’s top-10 college presidents. The line-up that day also includes: Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson who will deliver the luncheon remarks; presentation of the Oak and Acorn awards to outstanding alumni and faculty; and an interactive panel of university presidents who will share next steps for economic and community development.

Breakout sessions are listed below.

Universities as Drivers of Regional Planning and Development, moderated by Council Vice-Chair Dan Flanagan. Panelists:

  • Mary Gwen Wheeler, executive director, Louisville’s 55,000 Degrees Initiative
  • Kara Williams, vice president of strategic initiatives, Vision 2015
  • Bill Weinberg, director, Central Appalachian Institute for Research and Development

What Colleges and Universities Can Learn from Workforce Data, moderated by Jay Box, chancellor, Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Panelists:

  • Patrick Kelly, director, Information Center for State Higher Education Policymaking and Analysis, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems
  • Charles McGrew, executive director, Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics

Rethinking Career Services for Today’s College Students with moderator Aaron Thompson, Council’s senior vice president for academic affairs. Panelists:

  • O. Ray Angle, director, University Career Services, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Lee Svete, associate vice president, University of Notre Dame

More information on the conference is available at cpe.ky.gov/kygovconf.