Local News Politics

Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock is staying neutral on the proposal to bring the University of Pikeville into the state college system.

EKU is one of two universities expected to lose students if UPIKE becomes public. The other is Morehead State University, which is actively campaigning against the move.

Whitlock was scheduled to testify on the issue before the House Education Committee today, but a presentation by Morehead President Wayne Andrews took up all the committee’s time. Afterward, Whitlock told Kentucky Public Radio there are issues with poor education in Eastern Kentucky region and there are several remedies.

“UPIKE’s a possible solution,” he said. “The sorts of things that President Andrews just outlined around increased collaboration and such thing as University Center of the Mountains, that’s also a possibility.”

Whitlock also mentioned giving student loans to those in the region to study at other state universities that would be forgiven if they returned to far eastern Kentucky afterward.

Whitlock also said the state could give Eastern Kentucky residents forgivable student loans to study at other state universities.

The committee is expected to continue hearing testimony on the UPIKE bill for at least one more week.