- Associated Press - Saturday, May 10, 2014
Kentucky’s public universities raising tuition

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - It will likely cost more than $10,000 per year for students who live in the state to attend Kentucky’s largest public universities in the fall.

The University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky boards of trustees approved tuition hikes of 5 percent for in-state students this week. It was the maximum increase allowed by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, which must give final approval to all tuition increases.

Leaders at the other public universities are considering at or near the maximum tuition increases. The increases come after the state legislature approved a 1.5 percent budget cut for higher education. And they come as Democrats and Republicans battle for control of the House of Representatives.

The increases are already an issue in the 2015 governor’s race. Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway made higher education part of his platform when announcing his candidacy earlier this week.

“Kentucky must lead in higher education. We must stop pricing the cost beyond the reach of many families,” Conway said in a video announcing his candidacy.

University of Louisville trustees approved a 5 percent tuition increase on Thursday that pushed the cost of attending the school to $10,236 for in-state students. University of Kentucky trustees followed on Friday with a 5 percent tuition increase. That pushed a full year of tuition for in-state students to $10,464 for those in their first and second years of school; those in at least their third year will pay $10,768 annually.

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A look at tuition rates in Kentucky

With state funding for colleges and universities dwindling, many institutions of higher education are turning to tuition increases to cover expenses. Here is a look at what systems around the state are doing to make up for funding cuts:

-University of Louisville: The board of trustees has approved a 5 percent increase for in-state students, bringing the annual cost of tuition to $10,236.

-University of Kentucky: The board of trustees has approved a 5 percent tuition increase for in-state students. That pushed a full year of tuition for in-state students to $10,464 for those in their first and second years of school; those in at least their third year will pay $10,768 annually.

-Kentucky Community and Technical College System: The board will decide on a tuition increase at its June 13 meeting.

-Morehead State University: The board will consider a 5 percent tuition increase for in-state students at its June 5 meeting.

-Murray State University: The board will consider a 5 percent tuition increase for in-state students - about $200 per semester - on June 6.

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KSU president announces she will retire next month

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky State University President Mary Sias says she will step down from her position on June 30.

The State Journal (https://bit.ly/1l7ad7X) reports Sias announced her impending retirement on Friday at a special-called Board of Regents meeting.

In a statement, Sias said her decade as KSU president has been the most rewarding in her 36 years as an educator. She said she is proud of how much has been done in that time period “to provide access and opportunity to a diverse array of students.”

“While there is always more that could be done, now seems like the right time to step aside and let the next person provide the momentum to continue to move the needle forward for KSU,” Sias said.

She declined further comment to the newspaper immediately after the meeting.

Sias was hired in 2004, beating out three other finalists for the job. She was the 13th president at the university in Frankfort.

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Kosair Charities files lawsuit against Norton

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kosair Charities has filed a lawsuit against Norton Healthcare accusing it of misspending donations and refusing to provide an account of how contributions to Kosair Children’s Hospital are spent.

Kosair Charities President Randy Coe says the organization has given $114 million in contributions to the Louisville children’s hospital over the years. The lawsuit accuses Norton of not spending all of the donations on the children’s hospital.

“We have an obligation to the kids and our donors to make sure the money is being used to help children,” Coe said. “We don’t want our money to go into the Norton pot.”

Norton spokesman Thomas Johnson told The Courier-Journal (https://cjky.it/1m5Vlrx) that he wouldn’t respond point-by-point to the “outlandish allegations” in the lawsuit, but denied that “money designated for Kosair Children’s Hospital was somehow spent for any other purpose or in any other Norton Healthcare facility.”

“It is preposterous for Kosair Charities to suggest they do not know where their contributions go or how they are used. In fact, Kosair Charities gets to designate specifically how a significant part of their dollars are spent using a menu of options we provide to them.

“The remainder is spent in accordance with the terms of the agreement,” he said.

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