The president of the University of Kentucky says the state’s economy and the proposed super-region between Louisville and Lexington relies in part on upgrades to public universities.The super-region would be based around manufacturing, most of it for the automotive industry. Capilouto says research at the universities will play a role, and that, in turn, will require more modern facilities.
“I think there are many colleges and universities across the United States that have significantly upgraded their facilities, introduced technology, have an architecture and form that support this 21st Century learning. It’s going to be essential for Kentucky to be a competitor not only in our region, but the country,” says Capilouto, who visited Louisville today to speak at the downtown Rotary and with University of Louisville President James Ramsey.
However, state support for higher education has been either stagnant or waning in most recent state budgets.
“We live in a new normal where the likelihood for significant increases in federal support and state support are dimmed because of our lagging economy. So we’ve got to look for other ways to do this,” says Capilouto.
He says that will involve finding private companies or foundations that will help finance research or education that will be mutually beneficial to the funding source and the school. He adds that it will be important to make sure the results of the partnerships are in line with academic standards.