Regents press conference
Aug. 31, 2001
you all for coming out this afternoon to this historical press conference with
the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.
event today is proof that we have advanced in so many ways and continue to move
in the right direction since in 1997.
want the university presidents to touch on their progress in a few minutes but
first I want to brag a little on how we are meeting the reform goals.
our postsecondary education system has been one of the greatest issues this
administration has faced. This system is crucial in providing the human capital
needed to allow the Commonwealth to be a leader in the global economy of the 21st
is what we have accomplished:
1997, Kentucky’s citizens went to college at rates far below the national
average. In fall 2000, there were
7,600 more Kentuckians enrolled in postsecondary education than there were in
number will continue to grow as we provide Kentuckians with a variety of ways to
enter the postsecondary system. An example is the Kentucky Virtual University,
which is the most successful startup of its kind in the nation, providing our
citizens with the courses they need any time and anywhere.
in the courses offered by the virtual university has increased from 200 to more
than 4,700 in just two years. And as it defines its market, its primary
attention is on two-year degrees, certificates, workplace training, adult
education and selected master’s degrees.
are, also, giving Kentuckians greater access to resources for teaching and
learning. The Kentucky Virtual
Library now handles more than 600,000 searches a month from public school
students, adult learners, people in the workforce and researchers.
1997, we challenged our community and technical colleges to work together to
provide better and more efficient workforce training and greater access to
postsecondary education. The Kentucky Community and Technical College System has
been an unqualified success. In less than three years, it has become one of the
chief trainers of employees statewide.
1998 and 2000, enrollment in our community and technical colleges went up almost
15 percent. Enrollment is increasing again this fall, especially in our
the same time, we are increasing the intellectual talent at our research
institutions. “Bucks for Brains” has matched, dollar for dollar, more than
$200 million raised at the University of Kentucky and the University of
Louisville. That’s $400 million added to their endowment.
There’s another $60 million being added to the endowments of our six
effort has allowed UK and U of L to increase the number of endowed chairs from
47 to 123; endowed professorships have increased from 55 to 172.
The program is attracting national and international attention and
world-class scholars and research teams.
example, the world’s first successful implantation of the AbioCor Replacement
Heart has brought international attention to the University of Louisville,
Jewish Hospital and Kentucky. “Bucks
for Brains” made it possible for U of L to attract scientists whose research
has been critical to this and other accomplishments.
2000, we realized that a critical piece of the education puzzle is the part of
Kentucky’s adult population that lacks basic skills. So we turned our attention to adult education.
In less than 18 months, enrollment in our adult education programs in
Kentucky has increased from 50,000 to 63,000.
This year we’ll reach 75,000, and we’ll be at 100,000 two years
in 1997, we needed to help our colleges and universities meet these and other
challenges in new ways. We have
created trust funds that have helped focus our collective attention on the
challenges of increasing enrollments, retaining more students, improving teacher
quality, building programs of distinction and developing Kentucky’s
wanted to change the culture of postsecondary education in Kentucky.
We needed our colleges and universities to look beyond their individual
needs and aspirations and begin the hard work of building a system that serves
the needs of all Kentuckians in an efficient and effective way.
are doing that as UK and U of L take a major step to link their planning,
computing and research initiatives together -- which we will see here today.
challenges we face in Kentucky are too great and the needs of our fellow
Kentuckians too important to settle for anything less than a fully cooperative
spirit. Having said that, I will turn it over to our guest and let them tell you
about their collaborative efforts.