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The debate over whether to make the University of Pikevillle public took center stage in front of a statewide audience.
KET hosted the debate Monday night featuring UPike President Paul Patton and Morehead State President Dr. Wayne Andrews.
Patton, a former governor, says a state-funded school is necessary to pull students living in his area out of poverty.
"Our students enroll in a state university at one third the rate of the rest of the state. By definition we are under served by the state university system."
But Morehead State's president says another public university would add to an already strained system.
"It doesn't make any sense to add a ninth slice to the pie that currently has eight slices and that's what many of us believe will happen if the University of Pikeville becomes a state supported institution."
The idea has been met with opposition from those who don't like the idea of using coal severance money to pay for it. The legislature is expected to weigh in on the future of the University of Pikeville this week.