State Sen. Robert Stivers files resolution to further study HCTC transformation, HCTC President Dr. Jennifer Lindon responds | HCTC

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State Sen. Robert Stivers files resolution to further study HCTC transformation, HCTC President Dr. Jennifer Lindon responds

State Sen. Robert Stivers, who represents Kentucky Senate District 25 in the legislature and serves as president of the Senate, filed Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 132 on Feb. 8.

The resolution calls on the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) to conduct a feasibility study on transforming Hazard Community & Technical College (HCTC) into a four-year, residential university that offers specific technical and baccalaureate programs. 

Dr. Lindon HCTC President

Dr. Jennifer Lindon serves as president and chief executive officer at Hazard Community & Technical College.

HCTC President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jennifer Lindon released the following statement regarding the study:

“HCTC is excited to learn about legislators’ continued interests in expanding access to post-secondary educational opportunities in eastern Kentucky. As an institution, we work to empower students by providing equitable educational opportunities that lead to student success, rewarding careers and community enhancement.

“This study will be extensive. It will provide significant information about our institution's operations, allow for data collection about stakeholder engagement, benefits, risks and student demands. It will gauge our contributions to economic and workforce development in our region.

“At the center of our current work and this study's premise are the needs of the seven counties we serve. Regardless of tomorrow, we will spend today as we have in the past, inspiring hope and transforming lives through progressive educational opportunities. We will do this through two-year degrees, diplomas, certificates and existing partnerships with four-year universities.”

The topic of a new public university in southeastern Kentucky has been center stage since CPE released its findings and recommendations in response to SJR 98 (2023).

Also filed by State Sen. Stivers, SJR 98 (2023) directed CPE to study placing a new regional, residential four-year university in southeastern Kentucky, along with the allocation of responsibility between the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and regional universities.

In its report, CPE determined that the Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD) would provide an optimal location for an increased university presence. HCTC’s primary service region overlaps with KRADD.

CPE’s preferred approach: HCTC becoming a stand-alone college or university offering both sub-baccalaureate technical programs, associate programs and a few bachelor’s programs. However, CPE cannot provide an official endorsement without further study.

To learn more about the college, visit the Hazard Community & Technical College webpage.