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Local News

Council Approves Tuition Increase for Higher Education

The Council on Postsecondary Education has approved a six percent tuition increase for the universities of Louisville and Kentucky.

The council also capped tuition at four percent for community colleges system and five percent for the state’s comprehensive universities. It’s expected these rate increases will result in over $40 million for the institutions but schools are still expected to accrue deficits due to cuts to the state budget and rising maintenance costs.

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Local News

Urban League Education Summit to Focus on College Degree Initiative

The Louisville Urban League will hold its 2012 Education Summit this weekend.

President and CEO Ben Richmond says this year’s session will focus on raising awareness among African-American churches about the league’s 15K Degrees intiative.

That’s the effort to have 15,000 African-Americans earn a college degree by the year 2020. It’s part of the community-wide 55,000 Degrees initiave.

Richmond says African-American churches can play a major role in the effort if they’re given the proper resources.

“We’re introducing a tool kit that we’re calling the 15K Faith Action took kit, showing churches and parents things that they can do to help grow a college-going culture,” he said.

The Urban League’s Education Summit begins at 9:00 Saturday morning at Central High School. Richmond says there will also be information available about applying for college and for student financial aid.

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Local News

Kentucky Colleges, Universities Sign Consortium Agreement

Reporting by Kentucky Public Radio’s Charles Compton.

A dozen universities and colleges in central and eastern Kentucky have strengthened their partnership this week, which may help students frustrated by a lack of options.

The 12 colleges and universities that have signed the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium are trying to ease the administrative headaches that come with being a student.

Under the agreement, students will have the opportunity to take certain courses within the consortium and those credits can be applied toward their degree.

The agreement may remove many of the barriers that separate these institutions, said Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock.

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Frankfort Local News

CPE President Says Higher Tuition Won’t Make Up for Budget Cuts

The head of Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education foresees a dire future for higher education if the state can’t correct its budget woes soon.

CPE President Robert King told a budget subcommittee today that Governor Steve Beshear’s 6.4 percent budget cut on higher education will definitely mean higher tuition for college students. But another increase won’t be enough to fill the hole created by four years of budget cuts.

“But if we were to raise tuition seven percent for all students, full-time, part-time, in-state, out of state, graduate, undergraduate, etc. It would only produce sixty-one million dollars of revenue against one hundred and twenty to sixty million dollars of hole we have to fill,” King told the panel.

Those numbers are based on the CPE’s projections on university needs for building maintenance, faculty retention and operating expenses. King says those areas have either not been funded or have been severely cut in past years. King has one piece of good news for students. He says despite the budget cuts, CPE will not allow universities to increase tuition seven percent or more.

As part of his presentation, King pleaded with lawmakers to focus on education as a way to fix the state’s poverty problems. He said if the state funded higher education then budget drains like Medicare and jail funds would decrease.

“What I think this shows us is that we are expending our money and our public policies to the symptoms and now starting to seriously underfund the cure (of poverty),” he said.

Reduction of financial commitments or budget cuts has left universities unable to maintain buildings and retain faculty, much less make needed improvements, he told the committee.

The General Assembly has until April 10 to pass the next two-year budget

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Local News

White House Seeks Input From Ivy Tech’s Snyder

The leader of Indiana’s community college system says he came away from a White House meeting last week optimistic that the Obama Adminstration wants to address the soaring cost of higher education and rising student debt.

Ivy Tech President Thomas Snyder was appointed to the Roundtable of Affordability and Productivity in Higher Education. The panel met a week ago with the president and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Snyder says there was a sense of urgency at the meeting “that college affordability was going to be a barrier to increasing attainment as we re-engineer America.”

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Local News Politics

Ivy Tech President To Serve On White House Roundtable

The leader of Indiana’s community college system has been selected by President Obama to serve on the White House Roundtable on Affordability and Productivity in Higher Education.

Ivy Tech President Thomas Snyder is among several college presidents appointed to the panel, which will also include Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Snyder says the roundtable will discuss the soaring costs of higher education and how to make college more affordable.

Snyder also took part in last year’s White House Summit on Community Colleges.

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Here and Now

Improving Relations Between India & Pakistan, Bureaucracy in Higher Education, Film Compares Coal Shortage in 1980s Wales to Modern Appalachia: Today on Here and Now

1:06pm: Today Pakistan agreed to normalize trade relations with India when Pakistan’s cabinet granted ‘Most Favored Nation’ status to its neighbor. Indian granted MFN status to Pakistan in the 90’s, but Pakistan did not reciprocate.

1:12pm: From 1975 to 2005, the costs of attending public universities in the U.S. have tripled. Benjamin Ginsberg argues that much of the cause is administrative bloat. Ginsberg writes that since the 1970s the number of administrative staffers has risen by 235%, while the number of faculty and students has increased by about 50%.

1:35pm: The coalfields of Appalachia are running out of coal, and there’s not a large-scale effort to diversify the region’s economy. But there are lessons to be learned from a similar transition in an unlikely place: the small United Kingdom country of Wales. Now, a documentary filmmaker is exploring parallels between 1980s Wales and modern-day Appalachia. WFPL’s Erica Peterson spoke with Tom Hansell and joins us with a report.

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Local News

UK President Says Schools Must Modernize

The president of the University of Kentucky says the proposed super-region between Louisville and Lexington relies in part on upgrades to public universities.

The super-region would be based around manufacturing, most of it for the automotive industry. UK President Eli Capilouto says research at the universities will play a role, and that, in turn, will require more modern facilities.

“I think there are many colleges and universities across the United States that have significantly upgraded their facilities, introduced technology, have an architecture and form that support this 21st Century learning. It’s going to be essential for Kentucky to be a competitor not only in our region, but the country,” says Capilouto, who visited Louisville today to speak at the downtown Rotary and with University of Louisville President James Ramsey.

However, state support for higher education has been either stagnant or waning in most recent state budgets.

“We live in a new normal where the likelihood for significant increases in federal support and state support are dimmed because of our lagging economy. So we’ve got to look for other ways to do this,” says Capilouto.

He says that will involve finding private companies or foundations that will help finance research or education that will be mutually beneficial to the funding source and the school. He adds that it will be important to make sure the results of the partnerships are in line with academic standards.

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Local News

Study Shows Improvements in Kentucky’s Higher Education

by Stu Johnson, Kentucky Public Radio

A new study shows that Kentucky’s higher education reforms have been among the most successful in the nation, but state officials say there’s still significant work to do.

The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems conducted the study. It looked at progress made since Kentucky enacted the Higher Education Reform Act in 1997. Kentucky ranked first among states in the percentage gain for adults with college degrees. The Commonwealth also took the first spot for its gains in six-year graduation rates at four-year institutions.

“We have gained more in those measures than any other state in the union in aggregate,” says Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock. “Now. But as you heard somebody say, we moved from 44th to 35th.  You know, nobody else moved nine spots, so we’ve still got work to do.”

Former Governor Paul Patton, who is now president of the University of Pikeville, says the state is about halfway to where it needs to be in higher education.

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Here and Now

Flooding & Power Loss After Irene, Rising College Costs and Dropout Rates: Today on Here and Now

1:06pm: Flooding from rains dumped by tropical storm Irene have isolated entire towns in the Northeast, and some communities are warily watching swollen rivers for signs of cresting. More than 2 and a half million people from North Carolina to Maine lacked electricity today, three days after Irene churned up the Eastern Seaboard. The storm has been blamed for at least 40 deaths in 11 states. One of the hardest hit is Vermont. We get the latest from Candace Page, senior reporter with the Burlington Free Press.

1:12pm: Community College is supposed to take 2 years, but 80% of the students who enroll fail to graduate even after 3 years. The numbers at 4 year colleges are not much better — only half the students who enroll manage to get their Bachelors’ degrees in 6 years. Statistics like those, says reporter Jon Marcus, “have helped push the U.S. from 1st to 10th in the world” for the proportion of college graduates, and “threaten to make this generation of college-age Americans the first to be less-well educated than their parents.” President Obama vowed to reverse this trend with a major speech at Macomb Community College in Michigan 2 years ago. Marcus visited Macomb this year and found that things have actually gotten “much, much worse” for public and community college students — severe budget cuts have translated into higher tuition and fees and less financial aid, forcing students to work more while they go to school. The budget cuts also mean fewer classes, making it harder for students to find room in required courses. We’ll speak with Marcus about what he found out.

1:50pm: Getting caught up in fictional lives, whether in a book or on TV, or daydreaming about the future may seem like a waste of time. But according to Yale University Psychologist Paul Bloom, getting involved in works of the imagination, whether it be in a daydream or a movie can have value, and people spend more time in that kind of leisure activity as opposed to activities they say they do more, like eating or playing or sex. Bloom writes about the benefits of exploring fantasy worlds as part of his book How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like — and he joins us this hour to explain.