12:01am

Mon January 9, 2012
State Capitol

Details Slow House Action on UPIKE

An attempt to add the University of Pikeville to the commonwealth’s public university system has slowed amid a flurry of technical questions. House Speaker Greg Stumbo is leading the attempt to make the private UPIKE Kentucky’s ninth state university. If UPIKE is accepted into the state system, the commonwealth would control all of the school's assets, including campus property. But former Kentucky Governor and current UPIKE President Paul Patton wants to know if the university will get the assets back if state funding falls through.

Stumbo said late last week he didn't have all the answers to questions like that. So he's planning to talk issues over with Patton soon.

“The bill’s pretty simple right now," Stumbo said. "But he had some questions about what happens to the assets if the state funding doesn’t materialize, what happens. Those sorts of questions. And I wasn’t prepared to answer those cause I don’t know the answer to them right now.”

The private university has sent lawmakers an information packet on why the school should be the ninth public state university. In the packet, the university says it would need $13 million from the state every year and plans to use money from the coal severance tax fund to make that appropriation. The university would transfer all assets except a $17 million endowment and will lower it's tuition to $7,000 a year.