A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Commentary: Free textbooks and course materials will help college affordability during pandemic

By Dr. OJ Oleka and Dr. Lori Werth Special to KyForward In January 2020, college students were gearing up to return to campus. Many were looking forward to college sports, making new friends, and learning new content. Then, COVID. Job loss, healthcare expenses, rent payments, and utility bills — challenges that could be devastating if they happened individually — were now happening simultaneously....

Kentucky Nonprofit Network elects Marian Guinn, Dr. OJ Oleka as newest members for board of directors

Kentucky Nonprofit Network (KNN), the state association of nonprofit organizations, has elected two new members to its board of directors: Marian Guinn, President of MG Coaching & Consulting; and Dr. OJ Oleka, President of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU). Marian Guinn Guinn, a resident of Lexington, is a leadership coach, trainer and strategy consultant....

Study: Kentucky’s independent colleges and universities contribute nearly $1 billion to economy

A new study reveals that the 18 independent colleges and universities that make up the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) contribute nearly a billion dollars to Kentucky’s economy each year. The report emphasizes the substantial public benefits a healthy independent higher education sector provides to the commonwealth. In addition to the $850 million in annual economic...

Commentary: New generation set to lead Kentucky as torch is passed and challenges remain

By Ashli Watts and OJ Oleka Special to KyForward In 1960, as the American people entered a new year and, notably, a new decade, the electorate chose a new face to serve as its president. As the youngest president ever elected, John F. Kennedy’s historic victory signaled that a new generation of leadership was ready to serve. He would say so himself in his inaugural address: “Let the word go forth...

Oleka selected as president of Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities

After an extensive search, the Board of Directors of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) has named OJ Oleka as its next president. Oleka, who currently serves as Chief of Staff for Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball, will assume his duties as AIKCU president on Dec. 1. Oleka succeeds Gary S. Cox, Ph.D., who is retiring after serving as AIKCU president since...

Study shows Kentucky’s nonprofit private colleges contribute $700 million to economy annually

Kentucky’s private nonprofit colleges and universities add $700 million to the Kentucky economy each year and are responsible for creating nearly 10,600 Kentucky jobs, according to a new study commissioned by the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU). The report underscores the public benefits that a healthy private college sector provides to the commonwealth,...

AIKCU receives James Graham Brown grant to conduct data analysis of state’s private colleges

The James Graham Brown Foundation of Louisville has awarded a grant of up to $690,000 to the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities to help Kentucky’s private nonprofit colleges and universities engage in a strategic analysis of their core academic operations and enhance their viability. The James Graham Brown Foundation has long been a major supporter of Kentucky’s nonprofit...