The Council on Postsecondary Education gave final approval to campus proposals for tuition and mandatory fees at its meeting last week. Overall, the tuition rate change for resident undergraduates averages 1.5% across the system, the third-lowest increase in recent history.
All submitted proposals complied with the Council’s tuition ceilings set last year. The move allowed universities to raise tuition up to 3% over two years but no more than 2% in any one year. The Kentucky Community and Technical College System campuses were limited to no more than a $ 5 per credit hour increase over two years and no more than a $ 3 per credit hour increase in any one year.
“College affordability is a priority for both CPE and our colleges and universities,” said CPE President Aaron Thompson. “These historic-low tuition increases are one of many strategies we are employing to help ensure that cost is not a barrier to earning a degree or credential in Kentucky.”
For resident undergraduates, the 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%
Rates for Northern Kentucky University and KCTCS were approved in April.
In other business, 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 targets students who want a professional career in education for children and / or adults outside of the traditional school structure. It does not lead to teacher certification.
• University of Louisville, Master of Arts in applied philosophy: Students will complete this 33-credit hour program with three semesters of full-time course work and a fourth semester of capstone independent study. The curriculum trains students in ethical leadership focused on practical problems, health care ethics and the nonacademic job market.
• Northern Kentucky UniversityMaster of Arts in educational leadership: This 30-credit hour program will train teachers for administrative positions as elementary, middle and secondary school principals as well as P-12 supervisors of instruction and leads to principal certification in Kentucky.
For KCTCS, the Council heard that staff approved six associates of applied science degrees since January, in accordance with the program approval process. At Maysville Community and Technical College, they approved degrees in human services, aviation maintenance technology, health science technology and education. At Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College, they approved a medical laboratory technician degree. At Hopkinsville Community and Technical College, they approved a computerized manufacturing and machining degree.
Asset preservation pool guidelines
In other action, the Council approved guidelines for the 2022-24 Asset Preservation Pool that was enacted in the 2022-24 state budget and delegated authority to staff to approve capital projects funded from the pool.
This $ 683.5 million pool funds asset preservation, renovation and maintenance projects for education and general facilities at Kentucky public postsecondary institutions.
The budget also authorized an additional $ 16.5 million for a stand-alone asset preservation project at KCTCS. In total, the General Assembly authorized $ 700 million for asset preservation to meet a projected $ 7.3 billion collective need.
Campuses will be required to provide matching funds. Projects at the research institutions will be matched at 30 cents for every state dollar, while the match for comprehensive universities and KCTCS will be 15 cents for every state dollar.
In addition to the match requirements, guidelines include uses of funds, the reimbursement process, project identification and expense certification.
Bucks for Brains
The Council approved the guidelines for the Bucks for Brains, an endowment match program designed to bring new money from external sources to public universities and support efforts to grow endowments for science, technology, engineering, math and health initiatives.
The General Assembly authorized $ 40 million in state bond funds to the program. Of the total amount, $ 30 million was appropriated to the Research Challenge Trust Fund. As required by statute, two-thirds, or $ 20 million, will go to UK, and the remaining third, $ 10 million, will go to UofL.
The remaining $ 10 million in the program was appropriated to the Comprehensive University Excellence Trust Fund. These funds will be allocated among comprehensive universities based on each institution’s share of sector total general fund, excluding debt service and specialized, noninstructional programs.
Universities are required to match the state funds dollar for dollar.
Workforce Development Trust Fund
The Council approved guidelines for the $ 2.25 million appropriated 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 workforce shortages in five sectors: health care, advanced manufacturing, transportation and logistics, business services and information technology, and construction and trades.
In 2020-21, these industries had projected annual job demand numbers that exceeded the number of KCTCS graduates.
In other finance action, the Council approved two asset preservation projects for KCTCS: mechanical equipment and upgrades at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College totaling $ 2 million, and a $ 1.5 million roof replacement for Glema Mahr Arts Center at Madisonville Community College.
Kentucky State University’s request for $ 5.5 million from its $ 23 million 2021-22 special appropriation was also approved to address the current year budget shortfall.
In other business, Franklin County Judge Executive Huston Wells administered the oath of office to three incoming Council members: Jacob L. Brown of Louisville, Connie D. Smith of Bowling Green and Faith Kemper from Ft. Wright.
Additionally, the Council:
• Approved the staff’s recommendation to keep the regulation 13 KAR 2: 045 in its current form. The regulation specifies the residency status for admission and tuition assessment purposes.
• Approved the 2022-23 Council agency budget.
• Approved resolutions to thank outgoing Council members Carol Wright and Vidya Ravichandran for their service to the Council.
• Appointed Maira Gomez to the Committee on Equal Opportunities.
• Received a report from Council President Aaron Thompson that included updates on the Kentucky State University Management Improvement Plan.
Heard reports from the Academic Strategic Initiatives Committee and Committee on Equal Opportunities as well as the Annual Campus Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Evaluation Report. Good News Reports from the campuses were also presented.
Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education