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Morehead State Continues Enrollment Gains

by John Gregory | 04/28/14 4:49 PM

Despite declines in state funding, Morehead State University has posted three years of record enrollments. This academic year, the Rowan County institution had 11,400 students, of which 88 percent are from Kentucky - and the majority of them are from the state’s Appalachian counties.

Wayne Andrews, the 13th president of MSU, joined Bill Goodman for a One to One conversation about his school and education issues in the commonwealth.

According to Andrews, state funding for the school has been cut every year since he became president in 2005. Even after downsizing staff and outsourcing some campus services, he says MSU has had to rely on tuition increases to help cover declining state dollars. The result is more students leave school thousands of dollar in debt, while others may no longer be able to attain a college diploma.

"The most significant investment a community, a state, or a nation can make is in education," Andrews explains. "We've got to convince policy-makers to fund education because it is the great equalizer. It is the one thing we know that lifts people up better than anything else we can do."

But Andrews says it's not just funding for higher education. He also argues for supporting pre-kindergarten programs to make sure children start their lives with a strong educational foundation.

The Future of MSU
Andrews says his board of regents recently adopted a strategic plan for the school and a master plan for the campus that includes construction of a new education and performance building at the main entrance to MSU.

Morehead is also one of only five schools in the nation offering a bachelor's degree in space science, which trains students on design and build circuitry and other components for satellites, and training to develop software for spacecraft. Andrews says the school will launch a new master’s degree in space systems engineering this fall. The space-related diplomas complement MSU’s other leading degree programs in education, business, and biotechnology.

Watch the full One to One conversation.