Interim Joint Committee on Education

 

Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education

 

Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 3rd Meeting

of the 2007 Interim

 

<MeetMDY1> October 8, 2007

 

The<MeetNo2> third meeting of the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on<Day> Monday,<MeetMDY2> October 8, 2007, at<MeetTime> 10:00 AM, in<Room> Room 131 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Charlie Borders, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Senator Charlie Borders, Co-Chair; Representative Mary Lou Marzian, Co-Chair; Senators Johnny Ray Turner and Ken Winters; Representatives Jim DeCesare, C. B. Embry Jr., Bill Farmer, Tim Firkins, Jim Glenn, Tom Riner, and Charles Siler.

 

Guests:  Mr. Fred Carter, Education Cabinet.

 

Legislative Guest:  Senator Walter Blevins, Jr.

 

LRC Staff:  Jonathan Lowe, Sandy Deaton, Jacinta Manning, and Lisa Moore.

 

Senator Borders asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the meetings on August 13, 2007 and September 10, 2007. Representative Siler made the motion to approve the minutes and Representative DeCesare seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by voice vote.

 

Senator Borders introduced Mr. Brad Cowgill, Interim President, Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), Mr. John Hayek, Interim Vice President, Finance, CPE, and Mr. Sherron Jackson, Assistant Vice President, EEO and Finance Council on Postsecondary Education.

 

Mr. Cowgill said the double the numbers goal means the percentage of bachelors' degree holders in Kentucky will be equal to the national average by 2020. He said the single factor with the greatest power to explain differences in per capita income between states is the percentage of the population who are college graduates.

 

Mr. Cowgill said the most dramatic economic transformation in Kentucky's history will occur from 2000 through 2020. Kentucky had 402,000 college graduates in 2000, and if Kentucky continues to perform at current levels, it will have 580,000 college graduates in 2020. He said the number of college graduates needed by 2020 to achieve the projected national averages is 791,000, creating a gap of 211,000.

 

Mr. Cowgill discussed the five strategies for CPE to meet the double the numbers goal. They are: 1) increase postsecondary participation and quality; 2) improve GED to college transitions; 3) enroll more first-time students at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS); 4) raise high school graduation rates; and 5) increase migration and economic development.

 

Mr. Cowgill said the message that CPE wants to deliver to the General Assembly in the 2008 legislative session is that the goal of doubling the numbers was fixed by the General Assembly in permanent law, is realistically achievable with diligence, and will create economic prosperity for all of Kentucky. He said the plan is a principal responsibility of the CPE by utilizing the five strategies described above. Finally, he said the CPE is working on a funding model to advance the plan and the goal. The funding plan will provide incentives and supports for goal-driven behaviors by the institutions and by students, as well as emphasize outcomes rather than inputs. He said the funding plan will be essential to the achievement of the goal because the funding drives the plan and the five strategies outlined above.

 

Mr. Jackson discussed the capital study conducted by the CPE in collaboration with the institutions in order to develop a blended approach toward postsecondary education's capital request. He said the study serves to: better understand short-term and long-term needs; tighten the link between facility condition, fit-for-continued-use, and need for new capacity. He indicated the key findings of the study, which include that  most of Kentucky's buildings are over 30 years-old, are in relatively poor condition compared to national standards, and many major systems have exceeded their useful life expectancies and now need attention. He described the purpose of the study to be to help emphasize the direct link between improving the reliability of an aging plant and student access, expanding capacity to education of students, and providing research space for increased economic and community benefit to support the 2020 goal and the double the numbers goal.

 

Mr. Jackson discussed the key findings and results of the VFA: Facility Condition Assessment and Space Study Project. He said nationally recognized experts independently analyzed the capital needs of the postsecondary system for the purpose of planning for 2020 reform success. The study assessed over 700 buildings, or about 63 percent of the system's square footage. He said the 2020 projections for educational attainment were used to scope out the needs in the system for the next 15 years.

 

He said the Commonwealth of Kentucky would have to invest $5.3 billion into the fiscal plan in order to reach zero in the facility condition index over the next 15 years. Most of Kentucky's buildings are over 30 years old and their current condition is consistent with their age. He said as good stewards, institutions extended the life of building systems well beyond the expected the life cycle.

 

Mr. Jackson said that compared to the accepted industry standards, Kentucky's facilities are in poor condition, with a current facility condition score of 22 percent; but if left unaddressed, it will be twice as high at 36 percent in five years compared to the average of 18 percent for other institutions reviewed by the consultant.  He also said many of the systems in these aging buildings have exceeded useful life expectancies and now need attention.

 

Mr. Jackson said state investment will be needed over the next several biennia to improve the condition of existing space, to ensure enough new space is available for current and projected student enrollment, and to align existing space with modern educational standards.

 

Mr. Jackson said the study develops a long-term funding plan for the next 15 years that balances needs in the three critical areas: 1) over $5.3 billion for system renewal or condition; 2) $860 million for adequacy or fit for use, and 3) $6.4 billion in capacity building.

 

Mr. Jackson said the findings and cost estimates suggested in the study will be used to inform long-range planning efforts by the CPE and postsecondary institutions. He said the details of the study will be used to develop an action plan and to inform the capital priorities of the system starting with the 2008-2010 budget recommendation.

 

Mr. Jackson said the CPE will work with the institutions to develop long-term strategies to improve institutional investments for maintaining facilities consistent with industry best practices. He also said the Commonwealth and the postsecondary education system will need to infuse a significant amount of resources to address current and future needs of postsecondary education facilities.

 

 Mr. Jackson discussed the capital review process. He said the CPE will use data to ensure that infrastructure is adequate to achieve 2020 reform goals. The CPE will implement an evaluation system that is fully integrated, fair, equitable, and meets the needs of citizens, regions, and the state. He said the CPE will blend capital investments to make sure that facilities fit their intended purpose, and innovate to meet future education needs efficiently. The CPE will recommend capital projects that support degree production, research capacity, and asset preservation, while pursuing a sustained infusion of funds to promote high quality learning and services.

 

Mr. Jackson said the postsecondary capital budget plan will establish five distinct categories of capital priorities. They include: capital renewal, maintenance and infrastructure; space adequacy and renovation; new construction and expansion; research and economic development; and information technology initiatives. He said there will be opportunities for institutions to complete projects with cash or issuance of debt that is supported by project revenue streams and not through the general fund. He also discussed some key dates for the next steps of the CPE and this is included in the meeting folder located in the Legislative Research Commission library.

 

Senator Borders discussed Governor Patton's vision for postsecondary education reform. He said the number of college degrees needs to be increased, but the General Assembly needs to utilize the common sense approach that the CPE seems to have embraced. He said the legislature owes it to the next generation to not let individual initiatives stand in the way of funding for postsecondary education aligned to statewide needs.

 

Senator Borders asked if the 800,000 degrees needed in 2020 was taking into consideration where Kentucky's surrounding states are now or where they are expected to be in 2020. Mr. Cowgill said this is where competitive states are expected to be in 2020.  He said the goal, as defined in the law, is that in the year 2020, Kentucky will be at the average of the country in that year.

 

Senator Borders said he is pleased that is the case. He also said that being from a rural background, he recognizes that the state must adequately fund the economic engines across the Commonwealth such as Central Kentucky, Louisville, and Northern Kentucky so that they may prosper and send dollars back to help rural infrastructures with things such as water and sewage. He said there are vastly different needs in different areas of the state.

 

Representative Farmer said the state has done an atrocious job of maintaining  the infrastructure in the postsecondary institutions. He wanted assurance that if funding was provided for upgrades for the facilities, that money would also be reserved for maintenance, or Kentucky will be in the very same boat of needing renovations again in ten years.

 

Mr. Cowgill said Representative Farmer's point was well taken and he agrees with him. He said CPE is committed to developing the operating side of the budget by providing requirements and funding for maintenance of facilities.

 

Mr. Jackson said institutions have done a good job maintaining their facilities, but over the life of the buildings, the institutions have not been able to receive funds to renovate the facilities. He said father time has taken its toll and it is just time for the buildings to be renovated.

 

Senator Winters referred to the five strategies that the CPE outlined to obtain additional college degree holders. He wanted clarification regarding whether "increasing postsecondary participation and quality" was saying that Kentucky should be geared toward funding levels being based on performance-based criteria at the college campuses, and Mr. Cowgill said that was correct.

 

Senator Winters discussed the strategy to improve GED to college transitions. He is very excited about the adult education program in Kentucky, but said the GED test of today is not preparing students to enroll in postsecondary education. He said there may need to be two tests offered; one as a limited form, and one that steps up a level to prepare students for college. He said the GED population is a crucial element to reach out to in order for Kentucky to reach its 2020 goals.

 

Senator Winters said recent data has shown that KCTCS enrollment of full-time students is on the decline, and the great part of their growth is attributed to the part-time, non-traditional student. He was glad that the CPE included enrolling more first-time students into KCTCS as a strategy.

 

Senator Winters said raising the high school graduations rates is key to finding success in 2020. He said postsecondary education needs to work very closely with elementary and secondary education to ensure the target rates are in-line with both systems.

 

Senator Winters asked if increasing migration and economic development referred to bringing in people from other states into Kentucky's system, and he feels this critical to meeting the goals in 2020. He said Kentucky's retention rate of migrating students contributing to Kentucky's economy is very impressive and makes this group a viable target.

 

Mr. Cowgill said when Kentucky institutions attract students to receive college degrees and then locate here to begin a career, this is an economic development victory for Kentucky. He said while the migration of students is important, it is also vital to maintain the talented Kentucky natives through their postsecondary education and their careers.

 

Senator Winters said migration is important in the teaching field as well. He believes Kentucky needs to attract high quality mathematics, physics, and chemistry teachers from surrounding states.

 

Representative Firkins said the CPE's strategies are good and well organized, and he strongly supports the goal of doubling the numbers, however, he wants to emphasize the importance of the quality of a college education. He would also like to see future discussions around prioritizing the operating budgets of the universities. He is concerned when one institution is currently funded at 150 percent of the recommended funding, and another university is funded at 75 percent of the recommended amount, when both universities have been mandated with large research goals.

 

Representative Siler said collaborating with private institutions and extended college campuses is a great way to reach out to adult education students. He said collaboration with private schools to utilize classroom space should be included in the CPE's plan.

 

Representative Glenn discussed the facility condition assessment and space study project. He asked what percentage of buildings should Kentucky be renovating or replacing on a bi-annual or annual basis.

 

Mr. Jackson said the national suggested norm is that 2.5 percent of the replacement value of facilities should be re-invested on an annual basis. He said it does not specifically refer to buildings, but rather the systems in the building to keep them current.

 

With no further business before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 11:05 a.m.