Here's a little follow up on the...
Bob King is the president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Prior to taking this post in in 2009, Mr. King served as the Chancellor of the State University of New York, one of the largest comprehensive systems of universities, colleges and community colleges in the world. Since coming to Kentucky, he has led statewide efforts to work collaboratively with K-12 education, focused on student success and encouraged significant reform in teacher and principal training.
Dr. Aaron Thompson is the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Since 2009 Dr. Thompson has diligently served in this role by providing oversight and management for a variety of programs linking the academic programs of Kentucky’s postsecondary institutions with a public agenda addressing the needs of students, citizens our local communities and the overall economy. Dr. Thompson has an impressive track record as an accomplished author, educator, and higher education administrator during his tenure at both Eastern Kentucky University and CPE.
Representative Rita Smart has diligently served the people of the 81st district in Madison County since 2011. A small business owner and supporter of civic and non-profit community organizations she works to move her district forward every day. With committee assignments in agriculture, appropriations & revenue, postsecondary education, local government, and veterans, military affairs, and public safety she has a broad scope of influence to shape our community and the state of Kentucky.
Representative Jonathan Shell represents the 36th district which now encompasses Garrard, Rockcastle and part of Madison County. Elected in 2013, Representative Shell is the youngest member of the KY General Assembly at 25 years old. Representative Shell is a life-long farmer, entrepreneur and proud EKU alum. His committee assignments include agriculture, banking and insurance, local government, and rural issues.
Representative Arnold Simpson proudly represents the 66th house district which is part of Kenton County in Northern Kentucky. An attorney by trade, Representative Simpson has served nearly a decade in the House of Representatives. His distinguished service has earned him the honor of co-chairing the budget subcommittee on postsecondary education. He is vice-chair for appropriations and revenue, and a member of the economic development, licensing & occupations, local government, transposition, and rules committees. Under his leadership, not only has his district prospered, but all of Kentucky.
Senator Jared Carpenter was elected in 2011 to represent the people of the 34th senate district. Growing up right here in Madison County, Senator Carpenter has been a life-long supporter of our community. He is a graduate of EKU with a major in communication, a minor in business administration. He is also a distinguished member of our athletic program. During his professional career he has worked as a banker, developer, and entrepreneur. Senator Carpenter has been a strong supporter of our local businesses, entrepreneurs, schools and community organizations. He currently holds committee assignments as the chairman of natural resources & energy, vice chair for banking and insurance, and vice-chair of the Senate education committee.
Index of Video:
(00:08) EKU Associate Professor of Educational Foundations Richard Day:
Good afternoon. My name is Richard Day and it is my privilege to host this afternoon’s Forum which will attempt to answer the question: What’s new with higher education budgeting in Kentucky?
Our program today will come in three pieces. Following introductions, we will learn about the higher education budget being proposed by the Council on Postsecondary Education. A moderated discussion with our legislators comes next, and I’ll be around with a microphone for questions from the audience at the end.
Any students who are eligible for course credit based on their attendance today can have the back of their program signed by any member of the Faculty Senate. And let’s have all faculty senate members stand. Thank you.
At this time I’d ask that everyone pull out their web enabled devices and silence them – but please don’t turn them off. Instead we hope you will join the conversation on Twitter at (hash tag) #EKUForum, which you will see reprinted on your program. That would be a nice way for you to participate in the discussion about higher ed funding.
Now, to bring greetings on behalf of the EKU Faculty Senate, it is my pleasure to call up our Chair, Dr. Sheila Pressley.
(01:45) EKU Faculty Senate Chair Sheila Pressley: [A]lthough President Benson is new to EKU, he is not new to this type of forum. And he jumped in full steam ahead, ready to help us put this on and we really appreciate him for that. We also appreciate the vision that he has for our institution. We all understand that higher education is important, but it's from the angle and the values that we all come from that make the difference. So, without any further ado, I want to introduce…President Michael Benson.
(04:30) EKU President Michael T. Benson: I would argue that higher education is the worthiest of causes, because an investment in human capital, in people, particularly in educating our workforce, is the best investment a state can make…This is an important occasion for us to hear from [our legislators] about the budget.
(06:40) Richard Day:
Let me start by thanking our panelists (again) for being here today. (To Legislators) I don’t know if I’d want to be in y’all’s shoes right now. As the young Mister Truman Benson might say, “Too much problems.” Kentucky certainly has its share. If you will permit me a personal note - I am proud to say that my father served in the Kentucky House of Representatives in the mid-1950s. In the history of Kentucky public education, the Minimum Foundation Program passed by the 1954 legislature stands as Kentucky’s crowning achievement of the post-World War II years. (Representative Simpson: He was in the old Kenton County 58th out of Ludlow.) And as you might imagine, that was not the only thing going on in 1954. That legislature also faced great challenges, and had to decide how, and how much, to invest in its schools.
(To King and Thompson) As a College of Education professor, and former Kentucky school principal, I have a deep appreciation for the vital public service our state education agencies provide. CPE’s steadfast support for better educational opportunities for all Kentuckians is commendable…and we thank you.
(To audience) When I entered the University of Kentucky as a freshman in 1969, my middle-class parents were able to afford my tuition, room, and board. I worked full-time every summer, and part-time during the school year, to cover my additional expenses. I couldn’t afford a car, but I had a bus ticket home, and everything I really needed to get started in my chosen profession of teaching. I graduated in four years, without any debt…and have contributed to the economy for four decades now.
In those days America was focused on increasing the percentage of baby-boomers who were college educated. Higher education was seen as having a direct correlation to Kentucky’s economic prosperity, and Kentucky contributed as much as two-thirds of the cost of a college education in the belief that the state would realize a return in a more productive citizenry – and the state’s GDP soared.
For today’s students the circumstance has reversed. Revenue growth, which stood at 14% in the 60s, shrunk into the 2% range in the 2000s, and is estimated to be around 2.7% next year. The state now supports about one third of a college students’ costs, leaving Kentucky families to make up the other two-thirds.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics and Forbes Magazine, today’s average US college student graduates in just under 6 years and leaves school with an average debt of $27,253. That’s a 58% increase over the past seven years. At the same time, the median earnings for bachelor's degree-holders, 25 and older, have fallen by 3 percent, and delinquency on student loans taken out since 2010 stands at 15.1%...and that’s bad for business.
As Bill Ellis wrote in his History of Education in Kentucky, our colleges and universities have had difficulty balancing their budgets in the new century, with a full-fledged recession beginning in 2008. Public universities saw their endowments drop 20% - and faculty raises became rare.
Economists say the state’s antiquated tax structure is not responsive enough to changes in the economy, and we could face a $1 billion deficit by 2020, unless something is done. But it’s not clear what’s being done.
These facts will be of no comfort to our legislators who, as the Herald-Leader reported, will be called upon to address a host of challenges that include other legitimate public demands in healthcare, pensions, and other public services. Weak state revenues have limited legislative choices, while the state’s most recent blue-ribbon commission on taxation produced a report the nonpartisan Tax Foundation called a “disappointing grab bag.”
The preparation of the state’s biennial budget will be the lawmakers’ major task when the Kentucky General Assembly convenes in January. They must divide just under $20 billion, 45 percent of which goes to public education. The other 55 percent funds everything else, including postsecondary education. And public education funding, which has a constitutional mandate behind it, is expected to be a hot topic.
Fixing all of this is not an enviable job, but it is a critically important one.
Amid all of this turmoil, higher education budgeting may be taking a turn. The faculty has heard talk of performance-based budgeting, but lacks a clear picture of what that might look like in Kentucky. The leadership of UK and UofL sound supportive.
Today’s Forum provides a unique opportunity to learn about, think about, and ask questions about, the Council on Postsecondary Education’s proposed budget.
To help us moderate today’s discussion, we have called upon EKU’s Exec Dir of Governmental Relations and Regional Stewardship David McFaddin. Prior to coming to EKU David spent 15 years with AT&T Kentucky where he was the regional director for legislative and external affairs. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Communication at EKU where he teaches government relations and journalism. Please welcome with me, our Moderator, David McFaddin.
(12:45) EKU Ex. Dir. Governmental Relations David McFaddin: Intros panel
(17:50) CPE Budget Proposal
CPE President Bob King: First, thank you so much for inviting Aaron and me to this forum. It is an opportunity that we don't often get, which is to meet directly with faculty and students. And we do get to see our legislators quite a bit, but we're delighted that the four of you are here as well. The budget that we're going to describe to you…is the work product of over six months of effort that involved the input, not only from our staff, but from our campus presidents, provosts, campus business officers, people in the governor's office, working together to come up with a proposal that we hope will be successful and effective in persuading the General Assembly to make further investment in public higher education here in Kentucky. What we spend a great deal of time on is trying to articulate first and foremost, for the operating budget, what would be the rationale that would be persuasive to legislators struggling with all of the challenges that they have to make these investments in higher education.
(21:15) CPE VP Aaron Thompson: Many of you know that…the 2009 version of Senate Bill 1 call[ed] on higher education and K-12 to work together…(and I see former Representative [Harry] Moberly here…was very much a part of that bill)…to get more K-12 students prepared for college, and then called on higher education specifically to get them through, once we get them there. So, we went to the legislature a few years ago, and asked for a little money…to kinda get us started, and we got a little bit…We were fortunate enough to get a few million dollars…(very few)…to seed universities [and] colleges…to do exactly that, and we have been very successful with that. And thanks to Eastern, we’ve done a lot of work in this part of the country…Appalachia…to help many of our students that are most disenfranchised academically.
(23:21) [The budget] comes in three buckets, if you will. The first bucket is college readiness. And this college readiness bucket is going to kind of help incentivize our universities to work with K-12 members, districts, and they're region, to do some of the things that we started without a lot of funding…Items like transition courses. What we know now is about 29% of all the students that come to higher education now college ready, comes through the form of the Compass or the Kyote which was very much a part of the effort that higher ed and K-12 worked together, in addition to the ACT, to indicate that they were ready. [T]ransition courses. This money goes to that. It goes to dual credit. It goes to us working directly with our region in order to help those students become more academically prepared. The second piece of the bucket, if you will…is that of developmental education. Eastern, as well as several of our institutions, we still have a lot of students coming to us that are in academic need…I know that it's more than just the academic issues that you have to deal with…This money goes to think about redesigning our development ed program…The third bucket in this group goes to teacher preparation. So this part goes to a deep induction level process. Increasing clinical models.
Bob King: The next two pieces I'm going to talk about. Research and economic development is really a bucket of money targeted at UK and U of L to help them grow research in areas that are of particular interest to Kentucky…The third, and it's one that I'm hearing some concern about, is performance funding. Legislators have been saying to us for a number of years, coming back from the national conferences that they attend, that shouldn't there be some relationship between how we fund higher education and higher education performance? … this budget proposal…is focused on degree production and it assigns to each campus...and I'll use the word, points…Every degree that is awarded by a campus is worth a certain amount of points…determined, in part, by the value that that degree has in the economy measured in dollars, compared to other degrees… we said that if a degree is awarded in certain fields--STEM degrees, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or in health related areas--we will accord to those points a premium of 3/10 of a point for that. We also said that if the degrees are awarded to certain groups of students--low income students, underrepresented minority students--that the points awarded for awarding a bachelor's degree to one of those students would get a premium as well of 3/10 of a point. The last factor that was added in kind of late in the going is some recognition of the difference in cost of instruction. That in fact, the cost of instruction at a research institution is higher and more costly than at a comprehensive, which is higher and more costly than in a community and technical college.
(37:55) Bob King: On capital projects…2007 study (updated this year) showed…across Kentucky’s universities…there is over ten billion dollars of need. About 55% of that is in asset preservation projects, about 45% of that would be attributable to new construction...asking the legislature for a 6-year plan…The request is $600 million…in this first biennium…(not cash but debt service)…$60 million in technology…
(40:40) David McFaddin calls for legislators’ comments.
(41:50) Rep. Arnold Simpson: Our economy has not rebounded (from the recent recession) to the point where we can invest the funds that we ought to invest. And that’s all born of a very simple notion. Our constitution creates our financing mechanism for taxation. It was adopted in the last decade of the 19th century. Quite candidly, it doesn’t work. It will not provide the revenue to commit, in my opinion…to do the people’s work. (44:45) It’s not a line item. It’s a responsibility.
(46:20) Rep. Rita Smart: “Kentuckians, we tend to make the same mistakes over and over again. We do need a modernized tax code. We don’t have the money. …there’s only so much revenue that we are able to garnish to do the kinds of things we want to do.”
(51:30) Rep. Jonathan Shell: We have to have some kind of tax reform moving into this next session. From all of the reporting I’ve seen, it doesn’t look like we’re actually going to tackle that. Kick the can down the road for another year. Our Speaker in the House just said that he doesn’t know that we’re going to tackle that. I’m very disappointed in that.
(54:10) Rep. Jerod Carpenter: The way Eastern does is the way Madison County does. Our economic growth is viable because of Eastern Kentucky’s growth and success…that’s why our commitment…has to be to help education because that’s our future growth and future opportunity…
EKU Emeritus Professor of History (retired) Bill Ellis: Encouraged the legislature to spend smarter, reform the tax code…
(1:02:45) Richard Day: You were talking about performance-based budgeting, and it seems like you all are drilling down pretty finely to determine what degrees are worth out in the work world…Then you were talking about how different institutions…might be funded based on their cost for producing that degree and you laid out Research 1s, Regionals, and others…How well do you drill down into that? Does it cost more to train a teacher at UK than it does at Eastern?
Bob King: Well, the argument at UK is, yes.
Richard Day: Yes, I’m sure it is.
Bob King: That particular element of the formula that we use is done by sector. And so we took…the average faculty salary...that growth. It’s not a very fine tuned element but it was something that the research campuses insisted be included in the model….the cost of instruction piece adds...say at the comprehensive, a bachelor’s degree…relative to the 1.0, is worth 1.2. At a research campus it might be worth 1.45…
Richard Day: I would probably buy UK’s argument in medicine, and perhaps a number of fields, but in teacher preparation, where I come from...I’ve taught at Eastern and I‘ve taught at UK. If there’s a difference there, I don’t get it.
(1:07:02) Rep. Arnold Simpson: I have a lot of opinions on performance based funding. A lot of the states are going to that. That doesn't mean we should do it, but I think we need to have a discussion relative to its merits. We applaud the CPE's proposal, but in some instances, that's the first time I've heard the proposal today, I think it's perhaps too complex…We want to know how many students you have coming out, how quickly they're coming out, what they look at, and are they working within their degree areas, for instance. Those are the information I seek, that is information I think that we need to create an incentives for all universities to achieve a higher and better outcomes, per se….
(1:13:21) EKU Faculty Regent Amy Thieme: I'm concerned with the formula that President King gave us that, with performance funding, that we could be on a slippery slope to doing away with programs that don't have to do with STEM or health. Is that a correct assessment?
Aaron Thompson: Well, no, it's not…What we're saying is that there are crucial areas that we have to concentrate on in addition to all other things that we're doing well. Even in professional degrees, employers are telling us all the time we need to create more critical thinking, problem solving, folks that can work with people on the ground sort of thing. So having that conversation in which we're having clearly doesn't indicate that…We're looking at incentivizing you extra, if you will, beyond the base performance funding to do those high impact, high employable and, in many cases, high wage, while at the same time getting more people who have been disenfranchised from higher education in the loop and us doing more impactful engagement to making sure that that happens.
(1:16:50) EKU Faculty Member Jason Marion (Environmental Science): We have to justify building cafeterias and residence halls. Agency bonding authority, has that been addressed in Kentucky yet? I know the honorable David Williams is more honorable now than before and… [LAUGHTER] agency bonding with Senator Damron had been going on for years and that gentleman was a roadblock on that. I think 46 of 50 states have got it now. So why should we be debating cafeterias and residence halls when we could be debating medical centers and research?
(1:18:07) Rep. Arnold Simpson: Well, this past session there was a bill introduced and passes that authorized specific projects for universities to fund. You referenced Representative Damron and his bill that would permit universities to use agency funds-- that's the funds generated through your cafeterias, your housing-- to bond your own projects. I've always been supportive of that. But, having said that, I understand very well President Williams' reservation. His reservation was born very simply of the notion that, notwithstanding universities are standalone, his concern was in the event of a default. If you use your agency bond authority haphazardly, the state would probably back you up. Therefore, his position-- although I disagreed- was, in order to be responsible stewards of our revenue, we have to ensure that the universities do not overspend…Representative Damron's bill has never been passed. Now that President Williams is now a judge, perhaps it would.
(1:23:09) EKU Faculty member Nancy McKinney (former faculty representative to the Council for Postsecondary Education): I heard many times about the budgetary problems of higher education. One thing I remember Dr. King saying more than once was that two of the biggest reasons we don't have enough money for higher education or other education are that we spend a great deal on prisons and Medicaid. And I'm wondering-- this is mostly directed at the legislative representatives-- do you see any movement on prison reform such that we'll not incarcerate so many people for nonviolent offenses, which would presumably save a lot of money? And, also, if you have any comments about the matter of Medicaid, do you foresee any improvement in that situation as a result of the health care reforms going on right now?
(1:24:19) Sen. Jerod Carpenter: we actually did a couple years ago, had house bill 463 that was to try to slow down recidivism and also put less folks behind bars for crimes that were nonviolent. And it's made a difference in our budget across Kentucky. Unfortunately, we're not seeing a tremendous amount of that cost savings yet. But, I mean, it had major hold backs from our judiciary branches, our judges here locally and some of our prosecuting attorneys had concerns with it. But it has made a difference. Small steps, baby steps, because we're just, unfortunately, we have so many issues with incarceration in Kentucky with drug abuse and drug use and stealing now. But we're trying to make-- we tried with 463 to make those processes for people that did nonviolent offenses less so we didn't incarcerate so many people…Medicaid is just another major hurdle with Affordable Health Care Act. We're all on the edge of our seats trying to figure out what that's going to the bottom line of the budget. We all know that the health reform is like tax reform. It's needed but there's a cost associated with it that nobody understands what that cost is going to be.
(1:27:59) Rep Rita Smart: one of the things that I am hopeful…is that through that Affordable Health Care Act in Kentucky, with the number of jobs that it will create--private sector jobs in the health realm--that we can see some returns come in and additional revenues, therefore, that would offset that.
Rep. Arnold Simpson: we can talk about the increase in Medicaid and that's a very legitimate concern. I'm not dismissing that. It's going to increase the amount we are going to have to devote. But the fact of the matter is, the 600-pound gorilla is this. Health care, individuals without health insurance is a cost now. We don't see it. The cost is being transferred now to people who pay, or people with insurance.
1:29:16) EKU Dir. Of University Advising Benton Shirey: I work with the most at risk students on campus. And I guess my concern is that, having worked with those students for about 10 years now, I know that our students are capable of doing as well as anybody else's students with the proper support. But they do require more support. More academic support, more social support, more emotional support, than other students out there at some of the flagship universities. And I would say to you that my concern going forward is that we'll somehow forget about those students in our effort to get more, and that we'll forget about the fact that it takes more resources to support those students to be successful…
(1:32:07) Rep. Arnold Simpson: I don't know if the portal that a lot of our students who are underprivileged are going through is really in their best interest. The best portal for higher education for those in need, in my opinion, is community colleges. One, it's less expensive. As we sit here, we're dealing with a country where our students are facing over a trillion dollars of student loan debt. Therefore, to funnel kids to traditional comprehensive universities when they better have a higher degree of success if they go to a community college, I think is wrong. I think that's ill advised….what we have to do is not only make the commitment to make the financial commitment, but we also have to adopt policies to ensure that we're going to create the most--the highest likelihood of these students to be successful.
Sen Jerod Carpenter: [W]e have to make sure when kids get out of school that they're debt load is not tremendous. I'm a banker by trade. I count dollars, that's what I think about how, it's how my mind works. But there's also lots of students right here in central Kentucky, and what our mission was directed at Eastern Kentucky University, the need to make sure that they have an opportunity to go to a university like this to experience things that they might not get to experience in their home communities, to make them better citizens for Kentucky.
(1:35:22) Dr. Aaron Thompson: think we do have to do a better job of having the pipeline to target our students to the greatest success opportunity to whatever campuses it is whether it's a community or technical college, or Eastern Kentucky University, or University of Kentucky…We also have to do a better job of figuring out how we get more money and state financial aid and federal financial aid. We run out of money fairly quickly by first of February…We have to do a better job internally to reallocate. And I appreciate the reallocation that happened here [referring to last spring’s strategic budget reallocation at EKU] that targets and focuses on those high impact strategies to help all of our students, no matter where they're at…we understand that. That's why we're adding the premium, that's why we have the college readiness pool. I mean, these dollars go a long way but we're going to have to reform developmental education, folks. I mean, we just have to. And I understand its heresy, me saying that, but the amount of students we lose in that process is huge. We have to figure out how to have high engagement, high impact, high rigor, high expectations…I'm an EKU graduate. You talk about disenfranchised? A black kid from Clay County, Kentucky. Illiterate father. People like Bill Ellis knows the story. I mean, people like him helped me get through. So faculty play an important piece and I would be remiss if I didn't call on faculty and staff to really understand the role that you're playing here. It's not just money.
(1:39:12) David McFaddin: [O]ne of the screens that popped up a minute ago was talking about, particularly our number one priority at this university, which is funding a phase two of our science building. That is a critical component for us as an institution to complete the STEM initiatives and be able to compete in that marketplace. Currently we have part of our science is located in phase one of our science building. We have biology, geography, geology, several of our other sciences that are not in that facility. As we're looking at this budget cycle, I think we know what the revenue projections are going to be. We're roughly a little over 2% for revenue projections. We still don't know what all the expense numbers are going to be. Do you feel like there's going to be an opportunity, in this legislative session, to fund some capital projects in the state of Kentucky for higher education?
(1:40:05) Sen. Jerod Carpenter: I think that there is opportunities for funding capital projects, and I think there's opportunities when universities and university presidents are willing to put themselves on the line and get out and make sure that they're raising money privately to help allocate money that's been put in publicly through our tax dollars. And I think that's what President Benson is doing now. I think he's out bringing some different revenues to the table. Because we see its private-public partnerships. We talk about that a lot in Frankfort because it's going to take those public dollars and private dollars to be able to see funding go forward. But being an alumni of Eastern, and what it's done for me, the opportunity its provided, I want to do everything I can to continue to see Eastern go forward. And we'll definitely be advocating to try to see those dollars come together…a sad time for me was a couple years ago whenever some of the other universities had some revenue sources to be able to see new capital projects be put into place, and Eastern Kentucky wasn't in a position because it didn't have some of the endowment and some of the revenue sources to be able to see those projects put into place.
(1:41:46) Rep Jonathon Shell: I don't have anything really to go on beforehand, but now, to this point that he's been the President of the University, and being able to see him throughout the community and getting in touch with those people and building partnerships with people like myself to encourage others to come in to the University and into Kentucky so that he can fund raise off of this and make sure that the University's put in the best position possible moving forward. That's my commitment to the university, is to be in contact and help with Dr. Benson and doing everything that we can ensure that the University is putting its best foot forward.
(1:42:20) David McFaddin: Representative Simpson...as to postsecondary in general from a budgeting standpoint, what do you think the 2014 session holds for postsecondary budget funding?
(1:42:38) Rep. Arnold Simpson: If we, collectively, don't have the courage to embrace new revenues by tax reform—and that's talking about tax growing areas, perhaps services…and the elimination of exemptions--it's going to be very difficult for universities to have bonding authority outside of agency bonds that we spoke of earlier. We have not bonded projects for, I think, for a couple budgets. And our budget this year is more daunting that it was last year because no one's talked about the fact that last year our budget was that structurally sound, which means that we use a lot of one time money to balance our budget. I mean, let's face reality. We get our public teachers--I mean, the teachers retirement system. They're asking for $400 million the first year, $500 the second year. It's not going to happen. But the fact of the matter is, they can ask. We have the challenges of funding our pension reform. We passed it last year, but we didn't fund it. So, in light of that, being realistic, I don't see it as a possibility unless we [address it] collectively as a state…Now the 6% debt cap, I'm not married to that. I mean, if the universities can make a good argument that it's going to move this state forward, I would advance our debt more. As long as the rating agencies that we spoke of earlier would not threaten to reduce our bond rate. But until we get the courage to do what we need to do, which is to provide necessary services, we're not going to have the luxury of funding these much needed projects. I just don't think it's going to happen.
(1:45:31) Rep. Rita Smart: I will assure you that if universities get projects, we will get ours. But it's pretty slim right now.
David McFaddin is the Executive Director for Government Relations and Regional Stewardship at Eastern Kentucky University. Prior to coming to EKU, David spent 15 years with AT&T Kentucky where he was the regional director for legislative and external affairs. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Communication at EKU where he teaches government relations and journalism.
Dr. Richard E. Day is an Assoc. Prof. of Educational Foundations at EKU. He joined the Curriculum & Instruction faculty in 2007 following a 31-year career in Kentucky public schools, 25 years of which were spent in school administration. Dr. Day was recognized for his Outstanding Scholarship during the 2010-2011 Academic Year, by EKU's College of Education. His 2003 Dissertation, "Each Child, Every Child: The Story of the Council for Better Education, Equity and Adequacy in Kentucky Schools" received the Dissertation of the Year award from the Education Law Association. His influential blog, Kentucky School News & Commentary, is widely read in state education circles.