The University of Kentucky's consideration of a public-private partnership for dining services got attention from two fronts during Monday's meeting.
The UK Board of Trustees meeting began with a student protest. The protesters asked the board to reject any and all proposals to privatize public dining services at the school. Their primary concern is with one potential vendor, the Sodexo Group. The students say Sodexo cited the Affordable Care Act as a reason to cut off full-time benefits for some of its employees at another school.
The just-approved state budget calls for a one and a half percent cut in operating funds for universities, but does include a number of capital projects.
Lawmakers appropriated 66 million dollars for completion of phase two of Eastern Kentucky University's science building. EKU President Michael Benson says work could begin in three months, "We literally could break ground on July 1, which we hope to do."
Presidents of Kentucky’s two largest public universities took their case before a House budget review committee in Frankfort Thursday. The Universities of Kentucky and Louisville both face a two-and-a-half percent cut during the next year as suggested in Governor Beshear’s budget.
Transylvania University's new president comes to Kentucky from New England. The new head of the Lexington school is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. Dr. Seamus Carey succeeds Owen Williams who came to the liberal arts college in 2010.
Science Building on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University
Credit Eastern Kentucky University
A review of higher education budget issues has included a call for merging education administration and urging university presidents to become more politically vocal. The discussion occurred during a meeting of the state budget review committee.
Eastern Kentucky University is setting aside a half million dollars to boost pay for well over a hundred employees. E-K-U President Michael Benson says the Step-in-Grade Program is being supported by monies freed up by budget reallocations. Those affected by the move include custodians, laborers, relocation specialists, groundskeepers, and repair technicians.
Before you can ‘hit the ground running’, you’ve got to get the boots on properly. Some 184 students at Eastern Kentucky University are going through ‘boot camp’ this week. They all begin their student teaching assignments Thursday. Doctor Peggy Petrilli heads up the Professional Lab Experience Office at Eastern.
Central Kentucky educators from kindergarten through college will continue to push for career readiness initiatives in the New Year. There are 12 college and university presidents as well as school superintendents from 18 counties who are a part of the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium.
A non-partisan economic policy group has released a report showing large gaps in per-student funding among school districts that approved tax increases this year. A majority of Kentucky school boards approved the maximum 4 percent property tax increase to help fund public schools.
Anthony Hayden, owner of the Lexington Academy of Barbering.
Credit Tessa Lighty / Lexington Herald Leader
Making the move from incarceration into a productive life can be helped with career training. During a visit today to the Lexington Academy of Barbering, Mayor Jim Gray met with ex-cons who are trying to learn a trade. The academy is directed by Anthony Hayden.
Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes (left) and EKU President Michael Benson (right) showing the new paint scheme for four city owned water towers.
Four water towers in Richmond should deliver a new and consistent message about Eastern Kentucky University. Over the next several months, the city-owned towers will be repainted with new logos. Some will underscore the partnership between EKU and the city. University President Michael Benson and Mayor Jim Barnes made the announcement this morning.
Advocates for public education raised their collective voices today in Lexington. They’ve been ask to lobby their state legislators for more money. Participants at the Education Summit heard from Lexington Paul Lawrence Dunbar senior Andrew Brennen, who says overcrowded classrooms and worn out textbooks are a concern.
Racist flyer found posted in classroom buildings at Eastern Kentucky University.
Credit Charles Compton / WEKU News
White supremacist flyers have circulated around the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. They claim a “non-violent genocide” has been launched against so-called “white countries.” University spokesman Marc Whitt confirms several flyers were posted in classroom buildings that serve police and firefighter trainees. Whitt says an official investigation is underway.
Education advocates will meet Thursday to discuss funding for Kentucky schools at a Lexington summit. The meeting will include presentations from numerous education experts. Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday is slated to discuss school funding issues. And Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson will talk about tax reform efforts.
The Army is ending 13 officer training programs nationwide, including the ROTC program at the University of Tennessee at Martin. The Army approved the closures after a comprehensive review of resources last month. The 13 programs are mostly in rural areas that are producing too few officers to justify their operation. Along with UT at Martin, Tennessee closures include Tennessee Tech University, East Tennessee State University. The only Kentucky program shuttered was at Morehead State University. Morehead Military Science Chairman Lt. Col. Robert Mason said the cuts may be aimed at changing the program's demographics.
After some years of decline, enrollment this fall at Eastern Kentucky University this year is holding steady. Over 16-thousand students now attend classes at EKU. Vice President Elizabeth Wachtel says declines are not necessarily bad. Wachtel says the school might now be at its optimal size.
Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson
Eastern Kentucky University is working to improve its staying power with prospective students, potential donors, and the community at large. The field is narrowing for a new position of Vice President for University Relations and EKU Branding. The first of three open meetings with finalists is scheduled later Monday on the Richmond campus.
Successful early childhood education efforts in southern Kentucky are bringing the U.S. Secretary of Education to the Commonwealth Friday. Arne Duncan plans to spend part of the afternoon in Williamsburg. He is scheduled to visit with a Whitley County family in ‘Save the Children’s Early Steps to School Success program. Save the Children administrator Mark Shriver says the program is currently found in ten Kentucky Counties, serving more than 12 thousand children.
A well known fast food restaurant chain is promoting the General Education Document program in almost half of Kentucky’s counties. People dining at McDonald's restaurants in 53 counties will be encouraged on customer tray liners to take the GED test.
In what’s being called a grassroots movement, dozens of Kentucky school boards have passed resolutions requesting more state funding for public education. Brad Hughes has been with the Kentucky School Boards Association for 20 years. He says during that time there hasn’t been a stronger message sent to lawmakers that current funding levels are inadequate.
Left to Right, Austin Jeffries, Wesley Holt, and Chris Fuchs
Credit Amanda Nelson / University of Kentucky College of Education
Educators looking for ways of breaking away from traditional teaching methods gathered in Lexington Tuesday. The "Innovate to Learn Institute" focused on investigating new learning techniques. Some teachers working to generate interest among their students are turning to the so called ‘maker movement.’ It’s a method of learning through building.
Eighth-graders in Kentucky are doing better than their peers around the globe when it comes to math and science. A study being released today compared every state, the District of Columbia and Defense Department schools against 38 countries and nine additional subnational education systems.
Kentucky has been selected as one of seven states participating in a two year pilot program to train future teachers. The Council of Chief State School Officers created the Network for Transforming Education Preparation. The aim is to help all new teachers be ready on the first day of their careers to prepare students for college, work, and life.
Kentucky’s middle school teacher of the year sees a need to provide non-traditional specialized education. Melanie Trowel is a science educator at Lexington’s Carter G. Woodson Academy. She believes too few minority students are involved in gifted education programs.
A southeastern Kentucky school district is making progress under state management. Education Commissioner Terry Holliday cited a number of improvements during a stop in Jackson today. Those include an increase of 150 students in the average daily attendance rate, a graduation rate above the state average, and a 30 percent increase in the college and career readiness rate over three years.
A 26-year veteran in education is the 2014 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. Murray Elementary third grade teacher Holly Bloodworth was recognized during today’s event in the state capitol. Bloodworth says she has grown wiser over the years.
The University of Kentucky is plowing forward with a $65-million expansion and renovation of its business college. The overhaul of the Gatton College of Business and Economics is funded with private dollars. Governor Steve Beshear, along with state leaders and university officials, participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday. When completed the college’s footprint will expand by 40 percent.
A mock emergency is planned Thursday at Berea College. The purpose is to test six different agencies in their response to a campus shooting scenario. Chris Maguire is Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications at the southern Madison County College. “There will be what appears to be an active shooter on campus and the whole purpose is to test our public safety and our coordination with the various police agencies locally and throughout the county,” said Maguire.
Centre College has received a $1 million donation to support international travel by students and faculty. The liberal arts college in Danville says three-fourths of the gift will be used for study abroad grants for students. The grants will go to students who complete two years of foreign language study at Centre and want to visit a country where that language is spoken.