A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Statement from CPE President Aaron Thompson on higher education’s response to COVID-19

By Aaron Thompson
Council on Postsecondary Education

In light of the threat from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), now a national emergency, many of Kentucky’s colleges and universities have temporarily suspended classes, moved instruction online, or have closed or are considering closure for the remainder of the semester.


The Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) is operating on a regular basis, but staff are working from home until further notice.

These decisions, though difficult, were necessary to protect the health and safety of our students, staff, their families, and our most vulnerable populations.

Our number one priority at this time is keeping people safe and mitigating the spread of this virus.

We realize that many students face food insecurity and may not have a place to stay, so campus leaders are working to address these issues with students. Faculty are quickly being trained to deliver classes remotely, and resources are being made available to support high-quality instruction.

As you know, the situation changes by the hour and we’re constantly engaging campus and state government leaders to discuss next steps.

I encourage you to tune in to the Governor’s daily press conference for the most up-to-date information.

This pandemic is different from anything we’ve seen before. I know many of you are alarmed or uncertain.  However, I feel confident we can get through this if we take precautions, work together and help one another. I know our higher education family will rise to this challenge and continue to provide guidance and support to local communities with skill and compassion.

Visit CPE’s new webpageto check for updates from CPE and the campuses about this evolving situation.

The Council on Postsecondary Education is leading efforts to get more Kentuckians more highly educated. By 2030, at least 60 percent of working-age adults in Kentucky will need to have earned a postsecondary education degree or credential to meet expected workforce demands.

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