Frequently Asked Questions
about the future of
Lexington Community College and
the University of Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 12, 2004)

(Return to News Release)

  1. What was the accreditation problem facing LCC?

    A committee appointed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) visited the Lexington Community College (LCC) in November 2000 to evaluate its accreditation status. SACS reaffirmed LCC’s accreditation in June 2001 and asked for a follow-up report to address 17 remaining recommendations. Several recommendations concerned the need for LCC to demonstrate that it had an organizational structure and the institutional autonomy required of a separately accredited institution. Over the next two years, UK and LCC successfully addressed most of these recommendations. However, SACS informed LCC on July 3, 2003, that it was placed on probation for 12 months for failure to demonstrate that “it has sufficient autonomy to be accredited separately…” and that “it is sufficiently autonomous from the University of Kentucky in the perception of the public.”

    LCC was asked to submit a report addressing this problem “approximately six weeks before” a SACS Special Committee return visit in the spring of 2004. As a result of the probation and the need for a resolution, the UK Board of Trustees had to consider alternatives for ensuring LCC’s continued accreditation.

  2. What options for resolving this problem were considered?

    Four options were considered. All of them would require a dramatic change in the existing UK-LCC relationship. After careful study, three options were rejected.

    • The option of LCC losing its accreditation and being absorbed under the University’s accreditation was found unacceptable by both LCC and UK.
    • The option of having LCC accredited as a free-standing institution was seen as impractical and inconsistent with the goals of House Bill 1.
    • The option of having LCC remain associated, as an independent institution, with UK was rejected because it would require an inefficient organizational structure, add administrative duplication and expense, and cause many conflicts between the two institutions. Attaining the required level of autonomy would have required the creation of a new, separate legal institution. For example, LCC would have had to establish a separate faculty senate; create an independent development office and fund-raising operation; change diplomas to reflect LCC, not UK; and contract as an independent institution for purchasing and operational services.
       
  3. Why did the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees pass a resolution that delegated the management of LCC from the University of Kentucky to the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS)?

    The Board evaluated this matter very carefully and considered all points of view, including unanimous recommendations (to transfer LCC to KCTCS) by a specially appointed Presidential Task Force and its own Academic Affairs Committee. The Board concluded that:

    1. LCC’s mission would best be advanced as part of KCTCS, which is a national model of success for a comprehensive community college system
    2. LCC’s partnerships with UK would best be continued with an arrangement that would not continually call LCC’s autonomy into doubt
    3. LCC’s funding and space needs would best be addressed as part of KCTCS
    4. UK’s missions of teaching, research, and service would best be advanced by an administrative structure that focuses on those missions as is the case with UK’s benchmark institutions
    5. LCC’s joining KCTCS was most consistent with the needs and goals of higher education as stated in House Bill 1.
         
  4. How will this change affect faculty and staff at LCC?

    All employees of LCC as of the effective date of the transfer are entitled to be governed by UK regulations concerning employment status, benefits, and tenure. These individuals also have the choice of opting to become a KCTCS employee. Faculty and staff of LCC hired after the official transfer will be employees of KCTCS.

  5. Will LCC students have access to UK facilities and services?

    Yes. Students enrolled at LCC through June 30, 2006, will have the same rights, responsibilities, services, and privileges that are granted with the mandatory student fee. On July 1, 2006, and after, LCC students will be free to participate in student services and activities provided to UK students by paying the appropriate fee required of all participants. LCC students will continue to be provided access to UK residence halls.

    Students enrolled at LCC on, or before, September 1, 2004 shall have six years to complete their degree programs and receive a diploma conveyed by the UK Board of Trustees.

  6. How will this change affect future students at LCC?

    See answer to Question 5. The resolution ensures that LCC students can benefit from the academic resources, student services, campus housing, and recreational facilities of UK, as they have in the past.

  7. Will LCC students be able to transfer their course work to UK?

    Yes. This change has no effect on the transfer of credits earned at LCC to the University of Kentucky. Transfer of credits earned at LCC will continue to be treated, just the same as in the past and just the same as the transfer of credits from any community college in KCTCS.

  8. Will LCC be able to use its current facilities on Cooper Drive?

    Yes. UK has assured LCC and KCTCS that LCC will have use of the Cooper Drive facilities for as long as it needs them.

  9. What happens to LCC’s current funding as a result of this change?

    All funds appropriated for LCC by the General Assembly would be allotted to KCTCS for the benefit of LCC. Equipment and instructional resources designated for use by LCC also would be allotted to KCTCS for the benefit of LCC. Gifts and endowments for LCC would be allotted to KCTCS consistent with the donor agreements.

  10. What kind of relationship will LCC and UK have in the future?

    The Board’s resolution recognizes and endorses the distinct missions of LCC and UK and is intended to ensure that both missions are achieved successfully. UK and LCC will be able to continue strong ties that benefit LCC students, particularly those desiring to take advantage of UK services and to transfer to UK after studying at LCC. UK will introduce a UK-LCC transfer program that encourages and enables LCC students to make a smooth transfer to UK.

Questions to: ukpr@uky.edu


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