Council on Postsecondary Education
COST-CONTAINMENT FOCUS OF KENTUCKY HIGHER EDUCATION SUMMIT
The 2010 Governor’s Conference on Postsecondary Education Trusteeship kick-offs this morning as campus leaders and state and national policymakers participate in a one-day summit on issues related to controlling costs, and increasing productivity and efficiency.
“Strengthening Our Capacity to Serve: A Summit on Productivity, Efficiency and Cost Containment” grew out of the final report of the Governor’s Higher Education Work Group. The work group recommended that Council staff work with institutional representatives to organize a statewide summit to bring together higher education and other professionals to discuss cost containment strategies to slow the rising costs of college.
The economic downturn has caused significant cuts to state funding for colleges and universities, while at the same time causing spikes in college enrollments as workers turn to higher education to retool and expand job skills to increase employability.
Over a 10-year period, state support for full-time equivalent students, when adjusted for inflation, has decreased significantly. Meanwhile, tuition increases have replaced the declining state support, driving up the student share of the cost of a college education.
Additionally, the current budget and economic environment has heightened public interest in and demand for colleges and universities to be more cost efficient and find additional ways to contain and avoid institutional expenditures.
In the revised charge to the Higher Education Work Group in June 2009, Governor Beshear encouraged the group to consider “recommending additional cooperative agreements and arrangements that will result in greater operating efficiencies and cost savings for our colleges and universities.”
The afternoon sessions focus on four areas: 1) academic productivity and student success, 2) efficient business practices, 3) facilities construction, operations, and management, and 4) human resource management.
Following the conference, Council staff will prepare a summary with recommendations on cost containment, productivity and efficiency measures and collaborative opportunities that may arise from the summit. Follow-up discussions will help focus attention on next steps and implementation strategies.
The conference agenda and other resources are available at http://www.cpe.ky.gov/calendar/statewide/2010TrusteeshipConference.htm.