CPE President Speaks at CU

Sept. 2, 2009
For Immediate Release


By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Dr. Robert L. King, the third president of the Council on Postsecondary Education for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, said he was “certainly impressed with what I’ve seen here today,” during a luncheon in his honor Aug. 31 in the Chowning Executive Dining Room.

Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, and Dr. Robert L. King, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education, speak before a luncheon at CU in King's honor. (Campbellsville UniversityPhoto by Linda Waggener)

Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, and Dr. Robert L. King, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education, speak before a luncheon at CU in King’s honor. (Campbellsville UniversityPhoto by Linda Waggener)


King met with Ky. Sen. Dan Kelly (R-Springfield, Ky.); Brenda Allen, mayor of the City of Campbellsville; Roger Cook, Taylor County Schools superintendent; Ron McMahan, executive director of Team Taylor County Economic Development Authority; Campbellsville University educators and administrators and other interested parties.

King, in an address, said he has been on the job eight months and is learning about the state of the educational system in Kentucky. King is the former chancellor of the State University of New York, one of the largest comprehensive systems of universities, colleges, and community colleges in the world.

More recently, he served as president and CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation, a statewide charitable foundation with a strong focus on education, economic development and scientific research.

Dan Flanagan, co-chair of the Council on Postsecondary Education, said King was a good choice to lead Kentucky, and he was very knowledgeable in education.

King said the legislative leaders he has worked with in Kentucky are among the most knowledgeable and committed he has worked with in moving the state forward and enhancing educational attainment.

He said Kelly was a strong proponent of education and had been helpful to the CPC.

King said he was attracted to the Commonwealth of Kentucky because of the reforms put in place by House Bill 1in 1997 – generally known as the higher education reform bill in Kentucky – setting forth the goal of Kentucky meeting the national average of adults with bachelors degree’s by the year 2020 and other accountability measures.

King said Kentucky still has a long way to go in terms of doubling the numbers to raise the current 400,000 Kentuckians with a college degree to the 800,000 that is needed to reach the goal by 2020.

He said Kentucky can no longer afford to use its relatively poor economic status as an excuse to not pursue higher educational attainment.

He said 85 percent of 21st century jobs that pay a living wage require a post-secondary education.

King commended Campbellsville University for her leadership in regional stewardship and economic development, noting that the key leaders were present in the room including local and state government officials, P-12 education (local schools), Team Taylor County/Economic Development Authority and higher education.

He spoke of the important contributions of Kentucky’s 20 private colleges and universities, of which CU is one, and commended the continuing growth of programs and enrollment at Campbellsville University.

He said, “I have been very impressed with what I’ve seen here today.”

King said of every 100 Kentucky ninth graders, 72 graduate from high school. Forty-four of the 72 enter college, and 29 are still enrolled in the sophomore year.

He said 18, of the 100 Kentucky ninth graders, graduate from college.

“Kentucky ranks low in educational attainment,” he said. He said the Commonwealth is 47th in bachelor’s degree attainment with 20 percent of adults 25 and older in 2007. Kentucky also ranks 47th in high school attainment with 80 percent of adults 25 and older in 2007, including high school equivalency.

In Taylor County, he pointed out, 16 percent have bachelor’s or higher degrees, and 73 percent have a high school degree or equivalent.

He said the Commonwealth is making progress with 10,307 adults having earned a GED in 2008. However, over 786,000 adults still do not have a high school diploma or GED.

He said postsecondary enrollment increased 30 percent from 1999 to 2008, but 30 percent of entering students do not return for a second year in the Commonwealth.

King also said there is a greater proportion of African Americans and low-income Kentuckians going to college than a decade ago, but there is still much work to be done in overcoming the gaps in educational attainment among African Americans and low-income Kentuckians.

King said “decisive leadership and a renewed commitment to create a highly educated Kentucky” and, “We want the best educated, best trained workforce in the nation.”

He discussed the impacts of Senate Bill 1 passed during the 2009 General Assembly, which will bring the next wave of reform to Kentucky P-12 and higher education and noted that SB1 requires new partnerships to create a seamless educational system.

King answered questions from the audience concerning state financial aid programs, the ties between economic development and educational attainment and discussion of the role of Campbellsville University in providing support for the local community and region.

Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, presented key points concerning CU’s recent ranking as fourth in the South as an “up-and-coming” school out of 77 in the nation from the U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges Guide.” He said CU remains in the top 25 of “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South.

Carter said CU is a “private institution with a public purpose” with a range of academic programs. He pointed out the importance of the Technology Training Center in training of those in the community.

One of the programs operated by the Tech Center is Kids College in which younger children are introduced to education from CU. Kids College was taken to Albany and Hodgenville this summer with 152 participating in those cities as well as at CU.
Carter pointed out a new economic impact analysis shows CU contributes $90 million to the economy of Campbellsville and Taylor County with 1,403 jobs. The tax revenue from CU is over $960,000.

He said CU provided over $11 million in institutional aid for 2008.

He also said Campbellsville University has a projected enrollment for 2009-2010 of nearly 2,900 with over 790 new freshmen, transfers and re-admitted students.  A discussion concerning the importance of dual-credit courses (in which high school students take university classes and earn college credit) pointed out that the professors teaching dual-credit courses have rigorous credentials. Dual-credit courses at CU are a financial advantage of $50 per credit hour.

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2009 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South and as an “up-and-coming” institution in a new category. CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and designated as a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.