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Legislators looking at compromise for HB 260

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

It's looking less likely that UPike, a privately owned university, will become a public one anytime soon.

It's been talked about for months, but now a compromise is in the works over whether UPike should become public university.

With this compromise, UPike would not become the states ninth public university, but instead it uses that money to focus on enabling students in the mountains to get four year bachelor degrees.

"I still think the best overall solution would be a state university in the region with a mission of serving the entire region, but I don't think that is available in today's atmosphere," said UPike President Paul Patton.

House Bill 260 is losing support in Frankfort, and now legislators are looking at some compromises to how post-secondary education could be improved in the mountains.

"Create a loan program where you can provide money to every student in the coal counties. If they want to go to college give them a tuition assistance loan," said Morehead State University President Wayne Andrews on Tuesday to the house committee hearing oral arguments about HB 260.

UPike President Paul Patton says while not ideal, a compromise is the best idea for the region at this time.

"This would be a more attainable approach, and in politics sometimes you have to do the attainable even if it's not the perfect," said Patton.

But, he has not given up hope that sometime in the future UPike will become a public university, just not in this session.

There are several versions of a possible compromise, so the details are not clear.

The committee meets again on Tuesday.

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