Call to Order and Roll Call
The4th meeting of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education of the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue was held on Thursday, October 27, 2011, at 10:00 AM, in Room 154 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Jared Carpenter, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Guests: Bob King, President, Council on Postsecondary Education; John Hayek, Senior Vice President for Budget, Planning, and Policy, Council on Postsecondary Education; Dr. Aaron Thompson, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Council on Postsecondary Education; and Dr. Melissa Bell, Director for Student Success, Council on Postsecondary Education.
National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) Report
CPE provided an overview of a report conducted by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems entitled "Realizing Kentucky's Educational Attainment Goal: A Look in the Rear View Mirror and Down the Road Ahead." President King and Dr. Hayek explained that the report looks at the progress that the state has made during the past decade and what gains need to be made between now and 2020 to realize the college attainment and degree production goals set forth in the 1997 Postsecondary Education Improvement Act (HB 1 1997 Special Session).
In response to a question asked by Representative Simpson, Mr. Hayek stated that the figures in the report do not include Sullivan Universityís information. Representative Simpson stated that he would like to see technical training added to the data. President King stated that this report was based on census data which does not include technical training as a category of its own. Mr. Hayek stated that Sullivan University is included in the population degrees portion of the data.
In response to a question asked by Representative Simpson, President King stated that last week members of CPE attended a conference on how to help students recognize career pathways. The conference concentrated on job-focused advising and directing students away from unnecessary courses.
In response to a question asked by Representative Meeks, President King said that Kentucky is improving faster than any other state but because other states are improving as well it will take some time to close the gap. President King added that at the time the goal was set by the legislature reaching the national average would have positioned us to compete in a global economy but other countries are advancing so rapidly that Kentucky will need to surpass the national average to be able to compete.
In response to a question asked by Representative Meeks, President King answered that there is a flow of communication between CPE and Jefferson County to achieve education goals in the metropolitan area and increase the number of degree holding citizens by 55,000.
In response to a question asked by Representative Richards, President King answered that the financial aid program has grown tremendously since the decision was made to apply lottery proceeds to financial aid. President King added that actual spending per student has gone down. President King said that the state share of tuition has gone down while tuition continues to go up.
In response to a question asked by Representative Stacy, President King answered that in the strategic agenda the first part of the agenda is to help K-12 be successful by producing increasing numbers of students that are college ready. He added that by making K-12 more successful, the areas on the map in the report with lower degree attainments levels will see an increase in their numbers. Representative Stacy asked what the private universities were being asked to do, and if they were being held to the same standard as the public universities. President King answered that the private institutions were producing nearly 25 percent of graduates in Kentucky each year. He added that CPE has no budgetary or tuition setting control over private universities.
In response to a question asked by Representative Stacy, President King stated that the notion to be competitive business wise and to make the universities more nimble and adaptable is being taken seriously. President King added that as technology improves there will be an increasing availability for students in all parts of the state to access higher learning.
In response to a question asked by Representative Henley, President King answered that, at the beginning of the 2000s, about 60 percent of the operating budgets in the institutions were financed through state support. He stated that number has declined to 50 percent. Enrollment is increasing, and, to address the impact of that growth, tuition will increase. President King stated that most enterprises do not hire PHDs and do not need the same amount of technological infrastructure that goes into a college campus, which puts pressure on raising tuition prices.
New Academic Programs Policy and Procedures
Dr. Aaron Thompson gave a presentation on the Council on Postsecondary Educationís revised policy for approving new academic programs and new approach for reviewing existing academic programs at public institutions. Dr. Thompson indicated that CPE approved the revised policy for the approval of new academic programs and a new approach for the review of existing academic programs at its September 2011 meeting. He explained that the policies tie the two processes together with a focus on student learning outcomes, student and employer demand, academic needs, centrality to the institution's mission, consistency with the state's strategic agenda, and prevention of unnecessary duplication of programs at other state institutions.
In response to a question asked by Representative Meeks, Dr. Thompson answered that non-profit and private institutions follow the same process as public institutions. He added that there is a more complete group of people to review each campus at public institutions.
Representative Simpson asked Dr. Thompson and Dr. Bell to return to the next subcommittee meeting on November 29, 2011 to provide ample time for their presentation.
Representative Henley stated the importance of national accreditation of programs. He added that if a program is nationally accredited students can be assured a good education because these programs are reviewed every three to four years.
In response to a question asked by Representative Carney, President King answered that that last year the General Assembly passed legislation that would provide a new tax benefit for the creation of scholarships if they are done through a community foundation. He agreed that encouraging more employers to provide educational support to their workforces is essential.
Representative Simpson thanked Greg Rush for his time served as the analyst for the Postsecondary Subcommittee, and welcomed Kelly Dudley as the new analyst.
There being no further business before the committee, the meeting was adjourned at 12:09 PM.