FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 17, 2014) — The Council on Postsecondary Education unanimously approved a resolution last week expressing strong support for reinvestment in public higher education in Kentucky, including restoration of the proposed 2.5 percent reduction to the operating budgets of the state colleges and universities and full funding of the Kentucky Employee Retirement Systems rate increase.
The resolution states that 40 states in the current fiscal year have increased state general fund support for higher education, but Kentucky is not among them. The council commends portions of the current budget proposal for its strong emphasis on general fund supported capital projects and research and economic development in the form of Bucks for Brains.
“Kentucky’s economic future depends on a vibrant and well trained workforce and educated citizenry; however, this cannot be achieved without a renewed investment in our colleges and universities,” states the resolution.
Also at its meeting Friday in Lexington, Pam Miller was re-elected to her third term as chair of the Council on Postsecondary Education and Dan Flanagan of Campbellsville was re-elected to his third term as vice chair.
“I am honored and proud to be a voice for our state colleges and universities,” said Miller. “Our campuses are educating more students for today’s demanding jobs, and doing it with fewer and fewer public dollars.
“If we want to improve Kentucky’s economy, we must increase, not cut, our investment in higher education,” she added.
The former mayor of Lexington-Fayette County, Miller was appointed to the Council on Postsecondary Education in 2008 and served as vice chair from February 2010 until December 2011. She is a current member and the former chair of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.
Flanagan, appointed to the Council in 2005, operates a large farming business. He formerly served as the deputy commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, held several positions at Campbellsville University, and is a retired pastor.
In other organizational matters, Miller appointed members Glenn Denton of Paducah, Joe Graviss of Versailles and Marcia Ridings of London to serve on the Executive Committee, which also includes the chair and vice chair. This committee reviews all agency budget and personnel matters, provides for an annual audit of the agency, and evaluates the president.
The council also welcomed new member Maryanne Honeycutt Elliott of Louisville.