Support HB 260 and UPIKE as the ninth university in the state's system
  • Petitioned Joe Grieshop

This petition was delivered to:

Harlan County Judge/Executive
Joe Grieshop
Johnson County Judg/Executive
R.T. Tucker Daniel
Martin county Judge/Executive
Kelly Callaham
Magoffin county Judge/Executive
Doc Hardin
Letcher county Judge/Executive
Jim Ward
Kentucky Governor
Kentucky State Senate
Kentucky State House

Support HB 260 and UPIKE as the ninth university in the state's system

    1. Jared Arnett
    2. Petition by

      Jared Arnett

      Pikeville, KY

There are 29 high schools in the 12 coal-producing eastern Kentucky counties that would be served by UPIKE as a state institution. In that region, only 9.1 percent of adults over the age of 25 have obtained a bachelor’s degree, as compared to the state average of 17.1 percent.

That is 100 years of neglect and it appears that local high school students attend college in other parts of the state and later move out of eastern Kentucky.

Only 17.2 percent of those students enroll in a state-supported university, while in the rest of the state, it’s 49.1 percent. That’s a startling statistic on its face. It proves that this region is not being adequately or fairly served by the state-supported university system. The region is 86 percent less than the rest of the state and that is what this bill will begin to correct.

Eastern Kentucky will never meet the state average in terms of the number of students who obtain bachelor degrees unless a state-supported university is opened in eastern Kentucky.

Three ways in which the state support would help UPIKE increase the number of bachelor degrees: by educating middle school and high school students about the possibility and importance of attending college, by working with community colleges in the 12-county region to provide off-site UPIKE satellite centers, and by reducing UPIKE’s tuition from $17,050 to $7,000, which is more in line with other state-supported universities.

Education attainment is directly related to household income and the ability to diversify the economy of eastern Kentucky. It's time for eastern Kentucky to receive the foundation to stand on its own and reverse 100 years of neglect.

Recent signatures


    1. HB 260 Compromise

      Jared Arnett
      Petition Organizer

      After much debate, a compromise has been reached on HB 260. The amendments removed the language that would bring UPIKE into the state's system but creates a fund for scholarships. The scholarships would be available to students from coal producing counties to attend a college "IN" the coal producing counties. The new HB 260 will begin to address the needs of our region, and that is increasing the education level of our citizens. We believe this is a strategic investment in the economy of generations to come. The amended version passed the House Education Committee this morning and its next stop is the house floor.

      Our voice was heard, the issue is in the open, and tremendous progress has been made. But in the words of Speaker Stumbo, there a debate for another day. Our petition is more important now than ever so continue to share with your friends as we continue our efforts in moving this bill through Frankfort. Follow the link for more details.

    2. Reached 1,500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • William Thacker INDIANAPOLIS, IN
      • about 2 years ago

      This would indeed be the greatest thing to happen to Eastern Kentucky since the construction of the Mountain Parkway.

    • Brandon Layne PIKEVILLE, KY
      • about 2 years ago

      It's the right thing to do. Why deny all of these local students the right to stay home and attend the University Of Pikeville. Pike County is not on the largest county in the entire state, but it is also Kentucky's #1 coal producer. It's only fair that coal severance money that all the other state funded universities have been taking advantage of get split between the University Of Pikeville as well.

    • Anita Dillon WILLIAMSON, WV
      • about 2 years ago

      I attended Pikeville College. It was such a great 3 years. I would love for others to have the same or better opportunity as I had.

    • Autumn Copley ELKHORN CITY, KY
      • about 2 years ago

      Making UPike a state university would provide much needed educational & economic opportunities for eastern Kentucky

    • Betty Dotson PHELPS, KY
      • about 2 years ago

      Our Students Need & Deserve This University!


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