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### Kentucky Senate Endorses Proposal for Examination of Postgraduate Programs in Universities

State legislators have been deliberating the Kentucky higher education governing body’s involvement in proposed post-graduate programs, focusing on the timing of introducing these new initiatives.

The joint resolution urges the Council on Postsecondary Education to conduct a feasibility study on expanding postbaccalaureate offerings at comprehensive universities.

Additionally, there are bills permitting EKU, Murray State, and Western Kentucky to explore programs in osteopathy, veterinary medicine, and expanded research, respectively. GOP Senator David Givens, the resolution sponsor, mentioned that the allocation of initial funds will be a point of discussion during budget deliberations.

Givens stated, “I will advocate for setting aside funds if available, pending the outcome of this CPE study.” Several Senators expressed impatience, questioning why there should be a delay before these institutions can progress with their doctoral degree plans.

Senator Stephen Meredith from Leitchfield dissented, drawing on his medical background, where the approach is to “identify a problem, address it.” He contrasted this with the bureaucratic process in Frankfort, which he described as “study first, then halt progress.”

Meredith emphasized the importance of addressing longstanding needs in the state without further delay, applauding the universities for their forward-thinking approach and thorough research. He expressed confidence in the success of these programs.

Givens highlighted that the CPE study positively influences the pace of introducing new programs, emphasizing the importance of thorough evaluation before implementation to enhance the offerings.

In the midst of the debate, Senator Danny Carroll from Benton questioned, “Why impede institutions known for producing high-caliber graduates?”

Senator Brandon Smith from Hazard underscored Kentucky’s reputation as the horse capital of the world, emphasizing the necessity of a veterinary school in the state without requiring a study to confirm this need.

Senator Jared Carpenter from Berea, in supporting votes, acknowledged EKU’s need to adapt its business strategy for growth. Senator Chris McDaniel from Northern Kentucky raised concerns about potential disorganization if lawmakers dictate academic offerings, fearing they could be used as bargaining tools in Frankfort.

Senator Reggie Thomas from Lexington linked the study to Senate Bill one, which aims to explore research expansion statewide. He viewed this session as a step towards advancing higher education.

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