0:00

LANE: Marvelous. So we're here on September 20th with Dr. Thomas Layzell in his last week at the CPE offices. I'm setting this up for the recorder. Um, and I had asked you how it felt, and you're looking forward to the next chapter in your life.

LAYZELL: Absolutely.

LANE: Absolutely.

LAYZELL: It's, uh, been forty-one years in, uh, public higher education. So it's, uh, uh, kind of a bittersweet in a lot of ways because, uh, you know--I've enjoyed it tremendously. In my, uh, time in post- secondary education, but, uh, I am looking forward to, uh, whatever the next challenge might be.

LANE: Marvelous. Well, uh, you have such expertise that I'm sure you'll be in demand in this field.

LAYZELL: Well I--(laughs)--I'm in demand by my spouse--(both laugh)-- first, first some chores, around, around the house--

LANE: --first things first--

LAYZELL: That's for sure--

LANE: Well, you're a smart man--(both laugh)--

LAYZELL: --that's for sure--

LANE: You're a smart man.

LAYZELL: I know my first, uh, my first obligations are.

1:00

LANE: Well I appreciate you giving me this time as, as we have said, um, KCTCS is doing a ten-year history. An overview of, uh, the '97 reform- -how they came into being--and then what's happened with them in the last ten years. Um, ha-, before you came to Kentucky, had you heard about the '97 reform--the Postsecondary Improvement Act, House Bill 1?

LAYZELL: I had, uh, as most of us in the country had. I was actually in Mississippi at the time.

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: And, uh, so it was within the post-secondary community. It was pretty well advertised, so I--but I can't claim I had any detailed knowledge of it. I did, I did go to an SREB meeting, oh probably a year or so after the reforms were, uh, passed, and had a chance to hear, uh, Joe Barrows--

LANE: Is that right?

LAYZELL: --uh, talk about, um, some of the things that had been done and, and, and was very, uh, impressed with the way he described the reforms.

2:00

LANE: It appears that the legislators, particularly those who were intimately involved in, in acting that reform were very proud of it. Um, as, as you said, when Joe s-, was invited to speak about it across the country--that, that certainly says something for Kentucky.

LAYZELL: Well they, they were and they should have been very proud of it and, and they continue to be proud of it. We had a, a ten year retrospective at last weekend's, uh, Trusteeship Conference-

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: --and brought back, uh, you know, Governor Patton and, uh, Speaker Richards--

LANE: I read about that.

LAYZELL: --President Williams, uh, Chairman Moberly, uh, Gary Cox, uh, Ginny Fox who was in a much different role then.

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: Folks that, uh, were here then and asked, uh, them to comment on it. Now, you know, I have said, continue to say, continue to believe that this is the most comprehensive attempt that I know of in 3:00the country, by a state to use the resources of its post-secondary and its adult education system--

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: --to move, move the state forward. And there's a lot of states that have kind of bits and pieces, but nobody's really put the whole package together like Kentucky. And I think one of the, one of the, uh, best indicators of that, uh, is that other states--and there's probably not a month that goes by that we don't get inquiries about this or that aspect of, of the reform--

LANE: --of the reform--

LAYZELL: --movement. And you don't go to national meetings in higher education and talk about what states are doing, but that you don't hear Kentucky's name prominently mentioned. So it's still a, it's still a model out there in the country and, uh, and for a good, very good reason. We tried to--we were actually trying to do something similar, 4:00uh, in Mississippi in 2002, without knowing a whole lot about it--I mean it was kind of, it was independent really, of anything that went on, uh, here. But it was, uh, it fell, you know, far short in a number of respects, and never did get any traction down there. And I think, uh, I've always said there are kind of four things in my mind, that distinguish what Kentucky's done from anything else I know of.

LANE: Um-hm. [clicking sound]

LAYZELL: First, uh, they put it into law and, and you cannot overstate the importance of that. Uh, because it, it's, being in law then, the reforms transcend administrations, they transcend, uh, governors, legislators, councils and post-secondary education, university presidents, uh, and that's what has to happen. Uh, I think one of the- 5:00-it was really an act of genius, in my view, on the part of the folks that were involved in this and very unusual in state government. I've been in state government in three states now.

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: For over forty years but, uh, put it in law. They were comprehensive in their approach. I mean they--post-secondary education, and they put adult education in, and they had the Innovation Act and I, I, I think you've got to read those three pieces of legislation along with KERA, and you've got in those four pieces of legislation probably--

LANE: The whole gamut.

LAYZELL: --you've got the whole gamut, so it was comprehensive. It was long term. Now this is highly unusual in state government--

LANE: Isn't it though?

LAYZELL: --that a group of--

LANE: --those of us who have been there know how unusual--

LAYZELL: --of public officials would, uh, say we didn't get here overnight. Uh, we're not going to get out of this overnight, and they set a target date long after most of them were going to be out of, out of office. So that was, that was another thing--and I think the, 6:00uh, probably the fourth thing that was, makes this so unique is, uh, they changed the focus of the question from what did the institutions need, to what does the state need, and how can the institutions help the state achieve its goals. Now that doesn't sound like much, but in higher education that is a radical--

LANE: It is, isn't it?

LAYZELL: --shift in focus.

LANE: More customer-centered if you will.

LAYZELL: Right.

LANE: Those being those Kentuckians who need the education.

LAYZELL: Outcome-centered, customer-centered, uh, now, you know, it's not, uh, been an easy road but it--I think, uh, and it will not be an easy road going forward but it, uh, if any state, if it can be done anywhere it can be done here.

LANE: It's so good to hear you say that, and I was so pleased to read the reports that came out last week. This week about the enrollment, the projected enrollment figures.

7:00

LAYZELL: Right.

LANE: And that sort of thing. Because you know, you have your naysayers and your cynics who are always looking, looking at picking these things apart, but I felt that was progress.

LAYZELL: Well every, every indicator, uh, has been up--

LANE: Yes.

LAYZELL: --right from the beginning.

LANE: Yes, it has.

LAYZELL: Enrollments, uh--but even more importantly than enrollments, degree production--

LANE: --exactly--

LAYZELL: --has been up--

LANE: --exactly.

LAYZELL: Research and development expenditures have been up. I mean there's not a major indicator that we look at that has not been, uh, moving the in right, uh, direction. Even, even tuition that ever-, the increases in tuition, everybody's--

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: --legitimately concerned about we--

LANE: --concerned about--

LAYZELL: --have been able to keep tuition in, in Kentucky relatively affordable and still make the kind of progress that's been made. So I think it's, uh, I think people need to focus on that. And I mean you can always find things wrong with it.

LANE: Of course.

LAYZELL: And you can find--

LANE: Of course.

LAYZELL: --find this aspect or that aspect that hasn't moved as fast as you would want it to, but if we want, allow ourselves to be dragged 8:00into that kind of negative thinking, then I mean it's just going to undercut the reform.

LANE: I totally agree with you. I think attitude is an awful lot--has an awful lot to do with it.

LAYZELL: Huge, yeah.

LANE: It seems that you have been very successful at CPE in pulling those stats together and making them logical and organizing them and putting their five goals on the wall. I love your posters in your lobby. I think we should all illustrate what we're about the minute a visitor walks into our space. So I applaud you for that, because now I know what you're about, even if I hadn't studied it. But I feel like that organization has been very important. There is one voice saying here are, here are the stats, here is the budget. That sort of thing. How do you feel about that?

LAYZELL: Well that was, that was a key element of the reform to change Council into a more, uh, strategic body. I mean, probably the most important power that came out of that reform from the Council's 9:00perspective, is that the--they made it responsible for setting the public agenda. Somebody has to do that.

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: And that's been the role of the Council. Now, uh, I agree with you. I think they've done a very good job. I think the latest, uh, example of that is this Double the Numbers initiative now that has provided a much needed focus on what is it really going to take here for us to achieve the goals that have been set for us. And, and the, the importance of that initiative is not so much in the numbers but in the questions it forces you to ask.

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: I mean, take KCTCS. I mean, one thing we know that has to happen is we have to get more transfer students to come through KCTCS and go on into post-secondary four-year colleges and universities. Which means you've got to look at, what does KCTCS need to do? And 10:00what do they--what kind of resources do they need to accomplish, you know, their very important piece of this puzzle and how many--we know we're producing associate degrees pretty much at or above the national average--

LANE: Right, right.

LAYZELL: --right now. So people ask us, well why don't you focus on the associate degrees. Well the reason we haven't so far, it's not that we don't think they're important, but we're doing a pretty good job there.

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: What we've got to do is get more associate degree holders to transfer, and we got to think through the things that have to happen. We gotta think through--how do we get more kids to stay in high school, graduate--

LANE: --um-hm--

LAYZELL: --come to us prepared. I mean that drives you in the direction of even closer working relationships with K12. Adult education, I mean that, that was another stroke of genius here.

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: To put adult education in the post-secondary education arena. But you got a huge adult literacy problem in Kentucky.

LANE: Definitely.

LAYZELL: And, and, and drafters of that legislation recognized that 11:00if you didn't solve that problem you probably weren't going to solve anything else. Uh, because of the impact, not only on the work-force, but the impact on the future generation of children who come out of households where there's no, uh, there's no background in education--no appreciation of it.

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: I mean you gotta, you gotta come to grips with that. And--

LANE: I heard someone say that, uh, in another fashion that what we're offering to the next generations is hope. You know, if you're mired in that situation where, "I can't afford to go to school, I'm not smart enough," that is passed along to the next, to your children. That attitude--but if you think, well Mom's taking a class.

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: Wow.

LAYZELL: Exactly. Well--

LANE: Nobody in our family has ever done that--that's hope.

LAYZELL: Governor Patton said something like that, uh, Sunday, he, he said that in, in, in, in his recognition I, I give him tremendous credit.

LANE: Yes.

LAYZELL: I mean it would not have happened but for him.

LANE: He was a champion.

LAYZELL: People should never forget that.

12:00

LANE: I agree.

LAYZELL: Uh, but he said, "People are poor and they're uneducated and they don't--because they're uneducated they don't understand that their poverty is related to their lack of educational--

LANE: --exactly--

LAYZELL: --attainment," and it just becomes, it becomes, and has been a vicious cycle, and he, he realized he had to break that cycle. Uh, so that, uh.

LANE: That's the hope.

LAYZELL: Yeah that's it, that's, that's your--

LANE: --for the next generation--

LAYZELL: --your hope yeah--

LANE: It certainly is.

LAYZELL: --and KCTCS is a big part of that hope. I had all the years I've been in, uh, higher education I had, uh, never actually handed out diplomas. But I went over--Jackie Addington [knocking sound] over at--

LANE: Great.

LAYZELL: --Owensboro asked me to come over my first year here to speak at a commencement. I've done that.

LANE: Sure.

LAYZELL: But so, I did my remarks and I started to leave the stage. And she said, "No. Come here. I want you to help me hand out the diplomas."

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: And that was a great experience--

LANE: Isn't that wonderful?

LAYZELL: --to be presi-, that is one of the great experiences for presidents because you're--

13:00

LANE: --yes--

LAYZELL: --every one of those people that marched across that stage-- their life had been changed--

LANE: Yeah.

LAYZELL: --by what they had gained there at Owensboro. I don't care whether they were getting an associate degree, whether they were getting a certificate--didn't matter what they were getting. They had--their lives had changed, and you could see that they knew it.

LANE: I like, I like it put in that manner. We can talk about the merits of an associate or a certificate or a four-year degree. But they all change lives to some degree and I think that's a wonderful way to put it.

LAYZELL: --and their families, their families were there and, and--

LANE: They were beaming and they were proud of themselves--

LAYZELL: Yeah, proud of themselves--they had done--

LANE: --and their children were watching.

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: Some of the children were watching.

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: If, if you had non-traditional age students, which is that next generation.

LAYZELL: Yeah, and your point, your point about, uh, you know, well if Mom can do this I can do it is, I mean you can't, you cannot underrate that.

LANE: I feel very good about the role of the community and technical colleges in that arena. You have the sixty-four, sixty-five campuses and someone said the other day, "Most folks are going to go--if there's 14:00a school close to them they will attempt, perhaps if they have never been in the educational arena, to go and if they don't go to one close to them they will go to the one that has the best roads to it." Now you know that's where we live, isn't it? That's basic.

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: But you know it is a fact. And I, I think--I feel good about the impact of those, of having so many campuses.

LAYZELL: Kentucky has tremendous physical access.

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: I mean, that is not a problem.

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: There are not too few institutions nor or they too geographically dispersed. I mean there--probably everybody in this Commonwealth is within driving distance.

LANE: Yeah.

LAYZELL: Reasonable driving distance of some educational institution, most often a community college.

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: And then you, you couple that with the, uh, ability to deliver instruction through technology thorough the virtual campus.

15:00

LANE: Oh yes.

LAYZELL: I mean people in Kentucky cannot complain about lack of access. Now they, they can be concerned as they should be about, well can I afford it.

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: And that's, that is a problem--

LANE: It's a big one.

LAYZELL: And particularly for transfer students. I mean one of the reasons that we found and that Mike knows that you, you can't get more transfer students is they fall between the cracks, in most financial aid programs. So I mean, this is--told us we need to get some--

LANE: --we need to do--

LAYZELL: --we need to get some new financial aid programs. That's why adults don't come back. Now I started, I helped start a ----------(??) University in the south suburbs of Chicago back in the late sixties. And our clientele, at least the initial clientele then were mostly adults and they--it was a real eye-opener about returning adults that--

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: --that a place like KCTCS in particular provides such a, uh, 16:00assistance--

LANE: --welcoming--

LAYZELL: --a welco-, you know, you gotta--

LANE: --a welcome--

LAYZELL: --you don't think about adults having some of the anxieties that an eight-, an eighteen, I don't know sometimes eighteen-year olds don't have any anxieties.

LANE: Well, you never know.

LAYZELL: And you never know--(both laugh)--you never know what--(both laugh)--what's going through their heads.

LANE: And they're not the ones you want to know about. (laughs)

LAYZELL: Yeah right--yeah, I have to think back when I was eighteen but--(Lane laughs)--uh, that's another story--

LANE: Another story. (laughs)

LAYZELL: Another story for another day but, uh, they need a lot of hand- holding because they're--

LANE: --they do--

LAYZELL: --because they're, they're intimidated by coming back in. There not at all sure that they can do this and they, you know, the, the stepping into this alien atmosphere, as you will--if you will--

LANE: From a very full life.

LAYZELL: Yeah from a very full--

LANE: Perhaps a job and children and other responsibilities--sometimes an eighteen-year-old doesn't have.

LAYZELL: I'll tell you they--I--the president I worked for in those days had a rule that every administrator had to teach at least one course--

LANE: Great.

LAYZELL: --a year. Well I taught every semester I was there--

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: --and this, it was wonderful. I mean these students--I mean 17:00they were car-, they were, cared about what they were doing--they were prepared, they were focused. They challenged you, uh--

LANE: Yeah, they weren't there to just say oh I'm going to decide what I'm going to do--

LAYZELL: --yeah--

LANE: --about my life--they were doing something with their life they just wanted to improve it. I, I love the non-traditional age student as well.

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: Enjoyed their, uh, were--they were just more attentive to what they were doing.

LAYZELL: Well they are becoming more traditional all the time but--

LANE: Isn't that the truth, that may be the--

LAYZELL: --eighteen to twenty-four year old population is kind of flattening out on us, but--uh.

LANE: You were speaking of KCTCS and its responsiveness to the needs. I, I have--would like for you to comment on, on particularly Mike McCall's method of determining a problem and finding a solution in direct order.

LAYZELL: Well I'll do that. Let me come back.

LANE: Sure.

LAYZELL: I wanna, 'cause I wanna say something about KCTCS. I, I said this before, but I think that has been one of the huge successes of reform, and I know just by talking to people and just by being around 18:00knowing what I'm--

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: --tough political-- [clicking sound]

LANE: --oh yeah--

LAYZELL: --battle that must have been to make that happen but it, it did two things. I mean it, it created this access opportunity that, uh--yeah there were a lot of community colleges associated with UK, I understand that.

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: But it freed up UK to become what it its primary mission says it should be and that's a major research institution and the land grant institution. And it created a first-rate, uh, point of access community college system for Kentucky at a time when they, they really needed that.

LANE: Yes.

LAYZELL: And I'm not disparaging what had gone on at UK's--

LANE: No, I understand.

LAYZELL: --community colleges but it, it, it created--it made both a better community college system and a better University of Kentucky. Now I've told Lee Todd, I said I'm not sure you agree with my observation on this, but I think both the community college system and 19:00UK are better for that decision, even though it was such a tough.

LANE: Did he agree?

LAYZELL: Uh, I think, I think he does.

LANE: Uh, in some respects.

LAYZELL: I think he does. I mean--

LANE: It's been a very congenial relationship--

LAYZELL: --yeah--

LANE: --between the two.

LAYZELL: Lee's, Lee, uh--I'm working my way back to Mike here.

LANE: I understand. I understand.

LAYZELL: But Lee, uh, I have a lot of respect for Lee Todd too, because he understands that UK could become the twentieth best research university in America, but if it isn't dealing with the problems of Kentucky--

LANE: That's right.

LAYZELL: --it's failing. Now, you know--back to Mike, I have a lot of respect for Mike McCall. I mean you--his--he inherited a tremendously tough job to put this system together, in the wake of a very bitter political battle.

LANE: Definitely.

LAYZELL: And he has done that--they have done it expeditiously, uh, they have done it with a minimum of muss and fuss as far as I can see.

20:00

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: And so he and, uh, Keith and the others that have been responsible for that I think really deserve a lot of credit. And then President William's idea on Sunday made a special point of, uh, that observation too. I mean I think people really respect what, uh, what Mike and Keith and the others have done. And he is very much, as you say, he's very much, uh, identify a problem, get a solution, fix it. Uh--

LANE: Direct route.

LAYZELL: He does it, he does it very direct--doesn't dither around and, uh, and that's exactly what was put--what was needed--is needed and he's put together a very good, uh, leadership team.

LANE: He has.

LAYZELL: So, uh--

LANE: My observation.

LAYZELL: I give a lot of kudos to, to Mike and the folks that he has around him.

LANE: Do you visit the headquarters very often, have you been to Versailles?

LAYZELL: Yeah. I've been yeah.

LANE: That story is amazing in itself.

LAYZELL: Well it is. It is.

LANE: Illustrative, illustrative I think of, of having a problem, finding a solution just honing in on a solution. I'm a Versailles 21:00resident so I'm very proud of the, of the pact that they made with the city of Versailles and how that building has come about, they just opened up the, the other phase that they've been working on all summer now. We have windows all around and we're adding sixty, eighty more staff. More office spaces. So it's--the building has served them well, the people of Versailles love having KCTCS there and it's, it's been win-win for both.

LAYZELL: Well they--they've hired a very good group of community college presidents. I've, I've met most of them over the time I've been here. Uh, some I know better than others. And, uh, I saw he's lured Jay Box away from Hazard.

LANE: Yes he did.

LAYZELL: But and Jay was one of my favorites, uh--

LANE: He's great.

LAYZELL: --among that bunch. He, uh, he had a very clear vision for Hazard, uh--

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: --when he was down there as well. But, uh--

LANE: And he seems to be--he's able to indulge his passion with this IT business and just concentrate on that. And there's a lot to be done in 22:00that with your online learning.

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: And I think he is a good person to do it.

LAYZELL: Well they, they, uh, were the, uh, fiscal agent, kind of host institution--

LANE: Yeah.

LAYZELL: --for the University Center of the Mountains which is another kind of unsung--

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: --success story.

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: In terms of the--

LANE: Definitely.

LAYZELL: --post-secondary centers around this, this state, even though for some reason we never call that one a post-secondary center but we'll, we'll fix that--

LANE: --we'll, we'll have to work on that, won't we?--

LAYZELL: --we'll fix that, we're going to fix that problem, uh.

LANE: Excellent, excellent.

LAYZELL: Hopefully this year. But, uh.

LANE: I'm going to go back if I might just a minute. You were interviewed before you came to Kentucky, 2003?

LAYZELL: Um-hm.

LANE: Was it April?

LAYZELL: Right.

LANE: Spring of 2003 by Governor Patton and a group of legislators. What impression were you given particularly about KCTCS? I would love to talk about the whole, the whole issue--

LAYZELL: --well it was--

LANE: --but we need to concentrate.

LAYZELL: Well, the, I mean there was a lot of, uh, uh, commentary as I 23:00remember from, uh, everybody I, I talked to but, uh, Governor Patton and the legislators in particular, about the KCTCS system. I mean they were proud of that.

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: I mean that, that was such a integral part of that reform and, and even in four years ago, four and a half years ago I mean it was--it had already shown, uh, that it was going to be a successful, uh, experiment. So I, I heard a lot of positive comments about that. A lot of pride in what they had, had done.

LANE: And then soon after your arrival of course, Kentucky inaugurated a new governor. Did you--did the change in state government administration have an effect on the Council and its work? Did the politics change for you?

LAYZELL: You know that was--when I--(Lane clears throat)--let me go back a few months even before that--I had not really looked for the, I wasn't looking for a job. I left Mississippi, I had retired from 24:00Mississippi. I really hadn't given any thought to doing anything other than going back to Illinois. And, uh, the woman that was doing the, uh, search for the presidency--

LANE: --um-hm, search--

LAYZELL: --at that time had also, uh, got me to go to Mississippi. Anyway she--I don't know how she ever heard about me, but she had heard that I was--had retired from Mississippi and she calls me and she says "What about Kentucky?" And I said "Well, uh, first of all I've told the Mississippi board I'm going to stay through the transition, and I'm really not interested in looking at anything else." Anyway they, they--she kept after me and, and I got intrigued, uh, about it. So, uh, as--and I got impressed for all the reasons I've stated earlier--

LANE: Surely.

LAYZELL: --about was trying to go--what we were trying to do here. (Lane clears throat) Uh, but as I moved, uh, you know, closer it, uh, became even more impressive, uh, to, to see what was--

LANE: --study, um-hm--

LAYZELL: --what was going on here. And, and KCTCS of course is a big, 25:00is a big part of that.

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: Uh, I'd some experience with community colleges both in Illinois and, and in Mississippi.

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: But, uh, this is, this has been a first-rate, uh, first-rate undertaking.

LANE: Great.

LAYZELL: Now.

LANE: I'm glad it has been for you.

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: I'm glad it met your expectations.

LAYZELL: But when I, when it, but, when I came in--(Lane clears throat)- -uh, you know, this was the acid test.

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: Would the change in administrations affect the reform, because governors don't usually adopt [clicking sound] their predecessor's, uh, policies. I mean--

LANE: And this was quite a change.

LAYZELL: It was quite a change.

LANE: Uh, as big a change as Kentucky had had in how many years.

LAYZELL: --yeah, not just a change in governorship but a change in--

LANE: --party--

LAYZELL: --political control--

LANE: --that's it--

LAYZELL: --political party control. But to Governor Fletcher's credit, uh, he, he understood the importance of the reform. He certainly has understood the importance of community colleges, and I think that 26:00first--having passed that first acid test, whatever happens in this gubernatorial election, whether it's Governor Fletcher or Mr. Beshear becomes governor, uh, I don't have any concerns about the reform moving on.

LANE: Good.

LAYZELL: I mean there were, there were some concerns in '03.

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: You know, well is this just a one-shot deal because--

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: --Patton was so closely identifiable with this.

LANE: Exactly.

LAYZELL: --but, uh, it turned out not to be the case and, and it, it shouldn't have. I mean this is--any governor, any governor--this should be any governor's agenda.

LANE: It should.

LAYZELL: And there's plenty of room in that agenda for a governor to put his or her stamp on it.

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: And so that they're not just replicating everything Patton did--I mean you've got so much to work with here that, yeah--it just.

LANE: Well it's a star in our crown. And, and who would want to bicker with that? I think.

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: I really believe it is.

LAYZELL: Oh it is.

LANE: From 1990 with KERA on through the '97 reform.

LAYZELL: It would. It would be a very foolish person that would turn 27:00their back on this reform.

LANE: Well and I think we mentioned it before--the legislation--the legislators are so very proud of this. And I think that feeling carries throughout--that that gives it a little more strength.

LAYZELL: Yeah and even, even--(Lane clears throat)--as those legislators- -I mean, I mean, passage of time--the legislators--I mean you've already lost a lot of them--(Lane clears throat)--that were here in '97, but the people who are coming into office understand the importance of it.

LANE: And you know they hear from their constituents around those sixteen--particularly the community colleges, uh, the liv-,--about the lives that have been changed.

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: And that's impressive to any of us.

LAYZELL: Well the economy is just, the economy is driving everybody--

LANE: It sure is.

LAYZELL: --to get more and more education. I mean it's just the way it is.

LANE: That's true.

LAYZELL: And, uh.

LANE: That's true. We must or fall way behind.

LAYZELL: Right.

LANE: Let's talk a little about, uh, the insertion if you will, of KCTCS as an entity into this group of college--of university presidents. 28:00Of course you weren't here with the old system, the council on higher education and not for the first few years of this one. So I guess all the, the bugs had been shaken out, but is there a good rapport there?

LAYZELL: Oh there is.

LANE: Are the community colleges seen as an entity of their own, or still a--they're not still a stepchild, which is what someone called them.

LAYZELL: No. No.

LANE: When they were with the university?

LAYZELL: Not at all. I mean the--we've got, uh, kind of continuing issues with transfer--

LANE: Yes.

LAYZELL: --uh, making transfers easy as it can be. Uh, but no, Mike is very much an equal at the table when he is sitting there with the college and the other four-year college university presidents. So no, I don't think anybody views him as a stepchild. And, and, uh--that is not the case at all.

LANE: Seems he has earned--

LAYZELL: --oh--

LANE: --he and his system have earned that respect--

LAYZELL: --oh, they've earned it, yeah. I mean the institutions understand, uh, the institutional presidents, the four-year institutional presidents understand that, uh, that KCTCS is an integral 29:00part, important part of their achieving the goals. I think, and I think--I mean beyond me saying that I think the concrete evidence of that has been in the last couple of years when, on their own hook, several universities have created transfer scholarships.

LANE: Wonderful. I love that.

LAYZELL: Uh, be-, recognizing that we've got a gap at the state level that needs to be filled at least on an interim basis by the institutions. Now we're hopeful that were going to get, uh, permanent program in place. And we did get some small amount of money in, in the '06--

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: --session for transfer scholarships. But that's what, that's what's going to have to happen.

LANE: It will have to happen. And as your saying there has to be some financial--

LAYZELL: Right.

LANE: --uh, incentive and assistance along that line. Or the students are just gonna--

LAYZELL: Every state I've been in, uh, and I think this is true--(Lane clears throat)--nationally. I mean yeah, you'll still get some of this elitism among four-year college and university faculty about--

LANE: --I was going to ask you about that, I'm glad you're mentioning 30:00that--

LAYZELL: --about, uh, either their counterparts on the faculty at the community colleges, or the quality of students, but I'll tell you every, every research study I'm familiar with has shown that those who transfer into four-year institutions out of community colleges with an associate degree, or even if they don't have an associate's--they do as well or better than people who started--

LANE: Is that right?

LAYZELL: --as freshmen. I mean, so it's not a quality issue. I mean some of that is just kind of normal--

LANE: Academia.

LAYZELL: --(laughs)--normal stuff--

LANE: Gotcha. (laughs)

LAYZELL: --but, uh, they're good students I mean, and again most of them are adults, you know, they're--we just got to find a way to make sure that we get as many of them as far as they want to go, uh--

LANE: Yes.

LAYZELL: --in the community colleges.

LANE: Help with that, because if they take the initiative from their busy lives as adults to enroll in college they're going to be much more 31:00serious about that agenda--

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: --than some of--my niece for example, who just entered college, and she's not sure why she is there yet, but these--the adult learner usually is pretty sure why they're there.

LAYZELL: Yep. Yeah. Absolutely.

LANE: Have you seen the new KCTCS ads? The crazy ads--they're, they are on when, uh, some of the UK football games are on--

LAYZELL: No, I haven't.

LANE: --about students who, who sing I want a better job--they're pretty effective.

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: Uh, and I think they will appeal to students so--

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: --uh, uh, we have to get out there and meet people where they are and it's, it's television and ads and that sort of thing.

LAYZELL: You know we, we focus a lot on the economic benefits of increased education I mean and that's hugely important to people, because if they don't have a good economic base in their lives then a lot of other things are not gonna happen.

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: But, but it's, it's kind of the intangibles that go with that 32:00are hard to generate statistics about or, uh, generate a lot of, uh, sharply focused ads but I mean a quality of life--

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: --what, what Kentucky, Kentucky had two major purposes in this reform. One was to improve the standard of living--

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: --and everybody understandably focuses on that. The other was to improve the quality of life for Kentuckians, and an increased education is going to improve the quality of your life. Whether you're not--everybody's not going to become a millionaire.

LANE: No.

LAYZELL: You're gonna do better economically than you would have without education. But your life is going to be better. I mean it's going to open up more opportunities for you. The statistics will show, I mean right in front of you, there is one of these piles of the latest study from, uh, the College Board about the, kind of the non-economic benefits of, of, uh, post- secondary education, but--

LANE: Really?

LAYZELL: --public health, public health statistics in states get better. 33:00Volunteerism gets better. Voting, uh, things like voting, uh--

LANE: Oh records--

LAYZELL: --yeah, voting, yeah, I mean it's just--

LANE: Don't you think that goes back to self-esteem?

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: When I feel better about myself--

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: --I want to take better care of myself health-wise. And I think my vote counts. To me it's, it's, it's that hope and self-esteem. I heard Gordon Davies put it in this manner about the reform. Governor Patton has done something wonderful for Kentucky. It's not only bread on the table but roses too. And I think that speaks to the economic--

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: --viability and the quality of life that you're mentioning.

LAYZELL: Gordon had a good facility for a turn of phrase.

LANE: He did, didn't he? (laughs)

LAYZELL: That I always liked. And, uh.

LANE: It's fun to listen to, to him.

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: Now is this the article that he has written, did he write that article?

LAYZELL: Oh that was his--that was his, uh, closing interview--

LANE: I see.

LAYZELL: --with, uh, Ed. In fact--

LANE: --the Lanes--

LAYZELL: --I'm doing an interview with Ed Lane tomorrow.

LANE: Great, great.

LAYZELL: I was going back to--kind of look at Gordon's--

LANE: --to review sure--

34:00

LAYZELL: But, uh, it's--you might wanna get a copy--

LANE: I would love to get a copy maybe--

LAYZELL: --of, of this--

LANE: --I'll get Carrie (??) maybe to work on--

LAYZELL: --of this, of this--

LANE: --oh, this one--

LAYZELL: --this is that, uh, education pays--

LANE: --education pays--

LAYZELL: --but it's got a--

LANE: --of the College Board--

LAYZELL: --yeah but it's got--

LANE: I would love to have a copy. I'll--I will see if I can get that done. Great. Well I, I know your, your interview with Ed Lane will be much more in-depth. I, I had to, I had an hour with you and I had to focus on KCTCS because that's, that's my goal--

LAYZELL: Well, justifiably so.

LANE: --that's my goal and, uh, it's been wonderful to hear your thoughts. Tell me, are there other things you would like to, uh, to comment on as far as, as, as the progress of KCTCS in the time that you've been here?

LAYZELL: Well, I mean you just reported the largest enrollments in history. Uh, one of the interesting things to me about KCTCS is, uh, enrollment demographics has been a lot of it is in the, in the 35:00certificate and diploma--

LANE: --yes it, is--

LAYZELL: --category and that is, uh, interesting from a couple standpoints I mean, is it a ref-, it's, it's clearly a reflection of the job market. I mean because people are getting certificates and things that are immediately, uh, useful to them. And the question I guess, we've got to grapple with as we go forward is converting those who come for a certificate into a degree-seeking student, whether it be an associate degree or whether they, they go on. I think as they--as I think you observed here a minute or two ago--as, as people began to feel better about themselves, they may come in--and classic example I've always used--you come in, you want to be a welder. And you get a welding certificate which is, is a pretty high tech job anymore. It's not like it was--

LANE: No.

LAYZELL: --you know, thirty, forty years ago. Uh, but you do well 36:00in that, and maybe you get interested in doing something else. And, and it, it begins to accumulate. We created, uh, what we call, uh, completer degrees at each of the public universities, I think save one now. Uh, the, the simple way to describe 'em is--I don't care where you start--

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: --I use the welder's certificate as an example. There is a path to a baccalaureate for you. Where you--and it's a path that doesn't require a lot of back-tracking. I mean you can start here and you can kind of build on that, and you can end up, if you want, with a baccalaureate degree. And I think we've gotta, we've gotta strengthen that kind of, uh, pipeline itself. But, uh.

LANE: Convince me why that's important. Why is it important to transfer? I've, I've got my certificate. I'm, I'm making a lot more money than I did.

LAYZELL: You're gonna, you're gonna--

LANE: Got my degree. Why do I need a four-year degree?

LAYZELL: Well first of all the economy is going to demand it. So 37:00you're gonna make more money in the future. Uh, you know, I'm a great believer the more education you have the better your life is going to be, and I'm not denigrating anything by saying that, but I think it opens up--every level of education opens more opportunities for you. The major marker in this--in getting back to the economic aspects of--the major marker is the relationship between the baccalaureate degree and personal income and that is that when you look at states, and we've got a little chart we use that shows the states of rate along a continuum, there isn't a state in the country where that has a high level baccalaureate degree attainment and low per capita income. And the reverse is true.

LANE: It just doesn't happen, doesn't happen.

LAYZELL: So it will--employers are going to demand it first of all.

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: Uh, now whether you want to pursue it or not is certainly your individual choice. And if you want to stop with an associate degree 38:00that's perfectly fine too. But I think you will do better both from the quality of life aspect and from the economic aspect with every additional level that you add on here.

LANE: I like the way you put that in monetary terms, even though I know there are other issues than, than the monetary terms. But in one of your recent reports, if indeed we succeed at 2020 this will mean so many billions of dollars in tax income to Kentucky, and so many billions of dollars to personal income.

LAYZELL: Now we had--when we did the 2020 projections, uh, which were vetted with a lot of people. I mean it wasn't just a staff enterprise here. But, uh, the, the companion piece to that was all right, what, what will it mean to Kentucky?

LANE: Right. Why, why is that important?

LAYZELL: And, and our latest projections are that it would be about one hundred and forty billion dollars in personal income gain over that period of time, cumulative. And about nine billion dollars in tax 39:00dollars in tax revenues. That's what it will mean.

LANE: That's right and I think--

LAYZELL: And those numbers will keep going up. I mean I, I suspect our number, our Double the Numbers number is probably understated as we're sitting here talking, because it was based on 2000 census data.

LANE: Well of course.

LAYZELL: And every, you know, the other states are not waiting for Kentucky--

LANE: No they aren't.

LAYZELL: --to catch up.

LANE: No.

LAYZELL: They're, they're trying to--

LANE: --we have to move faster, don't we--

LAYZELL: --yeah they're trying--we've got to move faster. And somebody said Sunday, at the Trusteeship Conference, and, "You can move faster and still not make any gains," and that's kind of what's going on here.

LANE: It's, it's happening right now.

LAYZELL: Or not make it--or not make a proportionate.

LANE: That you want to.

LAYZELL: Yeah. Our, our baccalaureate degree attainment, for example, in the last six years has outstripped the nation's gain, but we're still--

LANE: --we're still behind--

LAYZELL: --down in the low or high forties.

LANE: We started behind. We started behind.

LAYZELL: Yeah. Everybody says thank God for Mississippi and they still remain--

LANE: Yes that's what Tom Clark used to say too--(laughs)--he said, "I 40:00hope those days will soon be over."

LAYZELL: Well they're--Mississippi, I've got a lot of respect for Mississippi. They're trying real, they're trying real, they're trying real hard to overcome, in some ways, even worse problems than Kentucky's trying to overcome. But, uh.

LANE: I noticed too, uh, that you--let's talk about the next ten years. The next few years. I, uh, read in one of your, one of your, uh, interviews with the State Journal, I believe, that you said you felt like the stars were aligned. I really like that term. Someone said that to me when I first came to do this history of KCTCS that the time of the reform, the stars were aligned. So I, I loved--I would sort of like to end with your, with your comment on that. Would you elaborate on what you mean there?

LAYZELL: Well I think--one of the things I meant by that was, uh, first of all we've got an excellent group [clicking sound] of leaders at all levels--

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: --in higher education here, post-secondary education. We've 41:00got excellent boards and board chairs. We've got excellent presidents. I have a lot of confidence in Brad Cowgill, who's taken over this position, even on an interim basis.

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: Uh, I think the economy is getting better. Both candidates, uh, are talking about the right kinds of things with post-secondary education. So I mean in terms of the people element of it, I think the stars are aligned. There's, there's not any, there's no dissident voices out here about, uh.

LANE: This isn't the right thing to do.

LAYZELL: This isn't the right thing to do.

LANE: Who can argue, who can argue with the progress?

LAYZELL: And, uh, I just, you know, it's more instinct than anything else. I mean you ask me to demonstrate it by statistics I'd probably, probably can't do that. But I think that we've got a, we've got a sharper focus now on this Double the Numbers. People know what they need to do.

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: It's already changing behavior in this system. That--I mean 42:00behavior that most people don't see, but things that are crucial to increasing degree production, that are being done on the campuses, that would not have been done otherwise, because people now have a goal--they have a very specific goal that they have to achieve. And so it, it--back to my earlier point, the important thing is the kinds of questions this goal forces you to ask, uh, both at the state level and at the institutional level. Now what do I need to do here on this campus now, uh, KC-, KCTCS example what kind of, what kind of transfer operation do I have to have on my campus for example.

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: What kind of additional counseling?

LANE: Right.

LAYZELL: What kind of additional course work do we need to provide?

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: Uh, now those are things that don't happen just by themselves. 43:00I mean they, they happen as a result of some pushing and some incentives and, uh, some realization that, you know, this has to happen.

LANE: But working towards the goal.

LAYZELL: Yeah I mean it's, you know, higher education is like any other massive, uh, bureaucracy, there's a lot of inertia in it and, uh.

LANE: You can get wound around in it, can't you?

LAYZELL: Yeah, you sure can.

LANE: Well and that's, that's a comment I would like to make to you. Simply studying your web site for example. It appears that you, you and your staff have done a masterful job of pulling all that information together in a very logical succinct manner. I, I can just breeze through your web site.

LAYZELL: Well thank you.

LANE: And I, and I think we so often in academia get lost in all of that and it and you just think it's too darn hard. But I, I salute you for making all of this more logical.

LAYZELL: Well and it's, it's--the trick always is in education in particular because people will spend enormous amounts of energy trying 44:00to find just the right statistic to justify their position.

LANE: Right, right.

LAYZELL: And, and what were saying with this Double the Numbers is look you figure out the best way to do this. Here is the outcome that we need. We need better production here. We need, we need to get more people to stay in college and graduate. We need to get more people to stay in high school and graduate. We need to get more adults back. Pretty simple, you know, about five or six simple things that have to happen. (Lane clears throat) But they aren't really simply accomplished.

LANE: No, the methods aren't.

LAYZELL: But you put the responsibility where it belongs, down at the local level, and say all right, you guys need to figure out how to do this. And they are. (laughs)

LANE: They appear to be.

LAYZELL: Yeah they are.

LANE: Let's go back very quickly to something you mentioned that brought up another question. Is there, is there a feeling of elitism, if you will, about the quality of classroom education--teaching at the four- year institution versus the community colleges? Is there any of that?

45:00

LAYZELL: You'll find, yeah you'll still find some of that and, and you're always going to find some of that.

LANE: I suppose so.

LAYZELL: I mean that's just--

LANE: The nature of the beast.

LAYZELL: Human nature. Uh, but I think you--it's not as, it's not so wide-spread that it's, uh, a drag on the system. I mean I think the community college faculty and the college faculty--I've--I've always said if you kind of get out of the way and let faculty talk to faculty, they will do--in most cases they will do the right thing.

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: They care about the same kinds of things. Or you pull K-12 teachers in and let them talk to their college counterparts. I mean there's, they have more in common.

LANE: Yes.

LAYZELL: They have more in common than not.

LANE: They sure do.

LAYZELL: And they're good people and they're trying to do the right things. And you need to kind of stay out of their way and let 'em do 'em.

LANE: That's smart. I, I read a wonderful essay that one of our high school seniors wrote about how schools could prepare us better for 46:00college. It was so practical and so logical and so right on as far as I'm concerned. I thought, why don't they put the students, and you're saying the faculty, get together from the high schools and the colleges. There is a great disconnect. That is something else we need to work on.

LAYZELL: Well--

LANE: Diligently.

LAYZELL: --we have I mean, that is to me, that is probably a crucial job now that has to occur moving forward. We need--we, Gene, when Gene Wilhoit was here as commissioner of education. He and I did something that was kind of unprecedented here and probably in most states. We submitted a joint budget request--

LANE: Right, I read about that. Um-hm.

LAYZELL: --for some aspects. I mean it was mostly around technology.

LANE: Sure.

LAYZELL: More of that has to happen because there's more--we got more in common than not. We've got--there's a lot of overlap here.

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: We prepare teachers. We've got--they use the teachers. We got to make sure that that teacher preparation program is really producing teachers that are capable of handling the classroom of today, which are 47:00not the classrooms when my wife started teaching.

LANE: Well, my no. Nor when I did.

LAYZELL: So many, many years ago.

LANE: But the term seamless comes to mind.

LAYZELL: Yeah.

LANE: When we talk about that. We cannot put elementary in a box and secondary, uh, if you will and post-secondary but they--there has to be a seamless transition.

LAYZELL: But there's a lot of that going on the ground that doesn't really--you don't see but--and, and that's where it has to happen. It's not going to happen here in Frankfort. I mean it's going to happen in Owensboro--

LANE: Um-hm.

LAYZELL: --it's going to happen in Pikeville, it's going to happen in Bowling Green or Northern Kentucky--(Lane clears throat)--and the communities there have to come together and, and the P-16 movement is part of that.

LANE: You see that happening.

LAYZELL: Our regional stewardship initiatives are part of that. But if it doesn't happen on the ground it's not going to happen just because--

LANE: No, it can't be mandated, can it?

LAYZELL: No, no you cannot mandate it.

LANE: --it has to come from the ground up, ground up--

LAYZELL: So.

LANE: I thank you so much.

LAYZELL: Okay, well good talking to you.

LANE: It's been, it's been good talking with you, I appreciate it. You will be a part of our history, our ten year history.

48:00

LAYZELL: (laughs) Well good.

LANE: Oh, I shall tell Mike McCall that I enjoyed speaking with you.

LAYZELL: Well I've enjoyed.

LANE: I appreciate your--

[End of interview.]

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