Frankfort Local News

Stumbo Pushes Back on UPIKE Detractors

The leaders of a movement to bring the University of Pikeville into the state college system made their case to the House Education Committee today.

There was little new information revealed in the hearing, but it gave lawmakers a first-hand account of how the move would work.

It also allowed proponents a chance to strike back at detractors. Many lawmakers affiliated with Morehead State University have spoken out against the UPIKE move, and so has Morehead State President Wayne Andrews.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, a main supporter of the UPIKE move, told the committee such concerns are unfounded.


Details Slow UPIKE’s Path to Public System

An attempt to add the University of Pikeville to the commonwealth’s public university system has slowed amid a flurry of technical questions.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is leading the attempt to make the private UPIKE Kentucky’s ninth state university. If UPIKE is accepted into the state system, the commonwealth would control all of the school’s assets, including campus property. But former Kentucky Governor and current UPIKE President Paul Patton wants to know if the university will get the assets back if state funding falls through.

Stumbo said late last week he didn’t have all the answers to questions like that. So he’s planning to talk issues over with Patton soon.

“The bill’s pretty simple right now,” Stumbo says. “But he had some questions about what happens to the assets if the state funding doesn’t materialize, what happens. Those sorts of questions. And I wasn’t prepared to answer those cause I don’t know the answer to them right now.”

The private university has sent lawmakers an information packet on why the school should be the ninth public state university. In the packet, the university says it would need $13 million from the state every year and plans to use money from the coal severance tax fund to make that appropriation. The university would transfer all assets except a $17 million endowment and will lower it’s tuition to $7,000 a year.

You can see the full packet here.