Discussions are underway about making the private University of Pikeville a part of the state's public higher-education system, Pikeville President Paul Patton confirmed Wednesday.
The idea came up during conversation between state officials and university leaders, Patton said.
The legislature would have to approve making Pikeville a state university.
Patton said the move would benefit Eastern Kentucky by lowering the cost of attending Pikeville, making higher education accessible to more people. The annual cost to attend Pikeville now is more than $16,000, compared with $6,5000 to $7,000 at state-supported regional universities, he said.