Tuition Hikes & Who Will Lead Higher Education in KY

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Heads of student governments and presidents of Kentucky universities had a chance Wednesday to make their case for and against proposed tuition hikes.

This comes on the heels of the president of the Council on Post Secondary Education announcing his resignation. Brad Cowgill announced his resignation on Tuesday and it was accepted at the meeting.

Governor Steve Beshear said he was glad Cowgill decided to do this so the state can move ahead with finding a national candidate for the job. Council members unanimously voted to create a presidential search committee and begin the national selection process.

The replacement of Cowgill wasn't the only thing the CPE was dealing with. Members also heard from students and university presidents on proposed tuition hikes.

Western Kentucky's president Gary Ransdell said he's requesting an 8.9% raise or $284 per semester. That's middle of the road compared to what other public colleges and universities are asking for.

Student body president's from various universities were also on hand today to express concerns from their fellow students.

Brian Hoffman, president of University of Louisville's Student Government said, "tuition at my university has gone up 10% in the past 6 or 7 years every year it's a 10 % increase. We're seeing improvements but not that big."

While many of the student leaders say they understand the economic crunch we are in, they argue that skyrocketing tuition rates will hurt the commonwealth in the long run.

David Fifer, outgoing Student Government President at Eastern Kentucky University said, "there are people close to me friends and loved ones don't know how to pay bills next semester. Kentucky wants double numbers to change socioeconmic dynamics and way of life not really providing means to make that happen."

Of all Kentucky's public colleges and universities, KCTCS is asking for the largest tuition hike of 13 percent and Morehead is requesting the smallest hike of just under seven and a half percent. UK is requesting a nine percent increase.

The CPE will vote on the tuition hike proposals may 9th.

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