Patton says pricetag for U-Pike's assets is nearly $200 million; Stumbo supports move

12/23/2011 11:40 AM

Former Gov. Paul Patton put a nearly $200 million pricetag on the University of Pikeville’s assets that would have to be transferred to the state for the institution to become a public institution.

“Any proposal will be subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pikeville,” Patton wrote in a column released to the media Thursday. “However, I believe the board will agree to the transfer of all the assets and liabilities of the university (excepting the endowment) to a state university on an equal status with the six existing comprehensive universities and with comparable funding, considering difference in size. The replacement value of those assets will be nearly $200 million.”

But he said the state support would allow the university to cut its $16,250 annual tuition rate by more than half.

Patton makes the case that “proximity promotes participation” and that Eastern Kentucky would see its economy grow more diversified along with a more educated population. Read the op-ed here: PattonOPED.docx

“If we had an 80-year-old state supported university like the rest of the state, we wouldn’t have our problems,” Patton wrote.

Meanwhile, the Floyd County Times quoted Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo of Prestonsburg as being strongly in favor of the purchase.

“I support it 150 percent,” he told the newspaper. “We have some opportunities (in higher education) at Prestonsburg, for example, but they’re not as far-reaching as they need to be.”

The paper also quoted Morehead State University President Wayne Andrews as expressing reservations about the move and said more study is necessary before Kentucky “buys another institution of higher education.”

Patton first told Pure Politics on Wednesday that discussions were underway among state leaders about the independent University of Pikeville, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, becoming the state’s ninth public four-year institution of higher education.


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