Council on Postsecondary Education
Statement of John Turner on the Resignation of Brad Cowgill as President of CPE
Note to media—There will be no further comment today from Chairman Turner.
It is with mixed emotions today that I accept Brad Cowgill’s resignation as President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.
Brad Cowgill took the reigns of the CPE as interim president last fall during a challenging time in the life of the Council. The overarching objective of moving the public policy agenda of Double the Numbers forward received Brad’s singular energy and intellect, attention to detail, and unique communication skills. He handled each assignment with distinction and aplomb.
The months preceding a budget session – which are devoted to shepherding Kentucky’s colleges and universities through the development of a two-year higher education budget request – are among the toughest the Council faces. With a gubernatorial race underway, the political environment was constantly shifting.
Brad Cowgill came on the job ready to work and willing to act. He is a person of great vision and his performance over these eight months has exceeded the Council’s high expectations. Brad’s willingness to work with a broad base of constituents across the postsecondary spectrum proved especially reassuring to me.
Although “interim” was part of his title, he understood going in this was not a job for someone easily satisfied or simply looking to mark time until the “real” president showed up. He brought to the position the confidence to build honest relationships with key policy and education leaders along with a reputation as a thoughtful policymaker and strong, principled leader.
Most importantly, he has an untiring and unwavering commitment to the goals of postsecondary reform and to the long-term economic and educational interests of Kentucky citizens. As Chair, I wish Brad, Margaret, and their family much good-health and success in the future. I am proud to have him as an esteemed colleague and even prouder to call him a friend.
Kentucky is in the middle of the most dramatic economic and social transformation in its history. Double the Numbers: Kentucky’s Plan to Increase College Graduates explains that increasing bachelor’s degrees is the quickest, most direct way for Kentucky to increase its economic prosperity. College graduates earn more, are healthier, create a more robust economy, and enjoy a higher quality of life. The Double the Numbers plan outlines five statewide strategies for Kentucky to achieve this ambitious, but achievable goal. While this effort will not be easy, the benefits of Doubling the Numbers will be felt by all Kentuckians.