KCTCS BOR approves SJR 179 response plan, 3% cost-of-living increase

Published on Jun 17, 2024

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System Board of Regents approved a response plan to Senate Joint Resolution 179, the 2024 legislation aimed at improving and advancing the state’s community college system. The meeting was held last week in Bowling Green.

 “We have been given a once-in-a-generation opportunity to design our own roadmap for the future of KCTCS,” said KCTCS President Ryan Quarles. “I know what a rare chance we’ve been given, and we are being intentional and purposeful in our approach to developing this action plan. We are involving all the colleges and other external stakeholders. We want to be transparent — we are committed to building a system to serve future generations of Kentuckians.”

 The legislation identified 11 topics for study and required that KCTCS present specific action steps on each one. The topics include academic and training programming and relevancy of credentials, a comprehensive state workforce plan, consolidations, accreditation, governance structure, KCTCS funding model and adequacy, tuition, personnel system, dual credit, transfer, and outdated statutory language.

Five work teams of college faculty and staff and system office staff will research and make recommendations on each of the topics, arranged into five scope areas -- governance and organizational structure, affordability, administrative organization, academic programming, and student pathways, including a statewide workforce plan.

The plan is due Dec. 10 to the Legislative Research Commission.

Citing the increased cost of living and the need to remain competitive with compensation to attract and retain top talent, the regents approved a 3% cost-of-living adjustment for all regular, full-time employees hired on or before March 31. The $8.8 million cost of the salary increase was factored into the 2024-25 annual budget, which the board also approved.

“I am thankful to our board for recognizing the importance of all our employees,” said Quarles. “This is a signal that we care and value everyone in the KCTCS family — we know the importance of the recruitment and retention of talented faculty and staff across our system. We planned for this increase and budgeted for this increase, and we’re happy for the support.”

In board elections, Barry Martin was re-elected chair, Keith Hamilton was re-elected vice chair, and Brianna Whitten was re-elected secretary.

In other action items, the regents:

  • Approved the 2023-24 Board Evaluation Report.
  • Accepted the audit committee's recommendation to extend the Dean Dorton internal audit contract through fiscal year 2024-2025.
  • Approved the 2025 meeting calendar.
  • Ratified personnel actions from Feb. 1 through April 30.
  • Ratified 14,805 candidates applying for credentials, duplicated, and 9,482 unduplicated, from Jan. 6 to April 5.
  • Awarded degrees to both KCTCS student regents, including an associate of arts to Layah Hodges, Jefferson Community and Technical College, and an associate of science to Alexandra Lipovanu, Maysville Community and Technical College.

The regents also heard a wide range of reports relating to organization success, learner success and employment success.

The next meeting of the board of regents will be held Sept. 19-20 at Henderson Community College.

More information on the SJR action item is available here.