A proposal to make the private University of Pike ville the ninth school in Kentucky's higher education system runs counter to national trends of consolidation and privatization, according to education experts. In fact, the last time a state absorbed a private school into its public system is believed to be 1970, when the University of Louisville became a state school, according to the American Council on Education.
"Over the last generation, states have consistently reduced their support for public higher education and expected those institutions to behave more like private schools," said Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education. "Certainly, Kentucky is not immune to this development — sadly, the general pattern is for states to be disinvesting in education."
These days, it's far more likely that public university systems will merge two public schools in the name of efficiency instead of taking on a new campus.