Patton gives up seat on higher education panel

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Former Gov. Paul Patton has resigned his seat as chairman of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education to avoid a conflict of interest in his push to have the private University of Pikeville added to the state's system of public universities.

Patton, the university's president, announced his resignation from the council on Friday.

The Council on Postsecondary Education will have an advisory role on the issue of whether the state takes over the Pikeville campus, which includes an osteopathic school of medicine.

Gov. Steve Beshear has ordered a study of the proposal to add Pikeville to the state's higher education system. A consultant will be hired soon to lead that study.

Supporters say a public university in Appalachia would provide an educational and economic stimulus to the state's mountain region.

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