Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium
Charter Agreement

Signatory Institutions:

Asbury University, Berea College, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Centre College, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown College, Midway College, Morehead State University, Kentucky State University, Sullivan University, Transylvania University, University of Kentucky

 Purpose

This document describes the vision, goals and administration of the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium (BHEC) and is the agreement among the signatory colleges and universities for the support and creation of the Consortium.

The charter will be reviewed annually to ensure relevance and efficacy for supporting the mission of the BHEC and to affirm the commitments of the charter entities.

The nonprofit Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium is established by the presidents of 12 central Kentucky regionally accredited universities to explore collaborative opportunities that address lifelong learning, college readiness, economic and workforce needs, and advancement of the central Kentucky region.

Vision

The Vision of BHEC is to create and support collaborative action and innovation among higher education, and as a result improve educational attainment and economic opportunities for central Kentuckians.  True collaboration involves more than the sharing of information; it involves creating trustful relationships that support efforts to benefit all partners and students.  The outcome will be an exceptional partnership that will provide resources to guide and support mutual exploration of opportunity and the development of an extraordinary Bluegrass Region.

Mission

 The Mission of BHEC is to foster collaboration among member institutions of higher education for the development and implementation of programs to advance the region educationally and economically.

Goals

Initial common interests and goals for BHEC have been developed through university presidents roundtable meetings in 2011 and research conducted by Bluegrass Tomorrow and the Bluegrass Area Development District, surveying university presidents and university academic officers of the Bluegrass Region. Specific activities and conditions for utilizing/sharing facilities, venues or resources will be negotiated in writing for each specific case in accordance with the policy of the involved members.   Goals include, but are not limited to:

  •  Create a university center sharing model to include faculty exchange,academic program/course sharing, transfer of credits, sharing of facilities and services, sharing of arts programs/resources, shared departments/centers, and access to all member libraries and collections.
  • Design Professional Development/Leadership Development opportunities for administration, faculty and staff including the formation of an AcademicChairsAcademy, and a regional leadership emphasis for Presidents and upper administration.
  • Develop partnerships on teacher training at the secondary level to credential more educators to teach college level courses resulting in increased college readiness and increased early college and middle college programs.
  • Support networking, and collaborative discussion with K-12 superintendents to identify and consider best practices on college readiness.
  • Support networking and collaborative discussion with business leaders, chambers of commerce and economic development professionals.
  • Facilitate information exchange about academic program best practices, research & development initiatives, faculty resources and more.
  • Continue research and asset mapping of academic programs available in the region, creating valuable information for student and economic recruitment.
  • Collaboration on student professional readiness and development, including soft skills, interview skills, and professional expectations of employers.
  • Support networking and collaborative discussion with arts staff, administration, and faculty, focusing on the sharing of arts programs, offerings, resources, venues, cross promotion, and earned humanities credits for students.
  • Develop partnerships on international study abroad opportunities and focus on internationalizing curriculums giving our students a more global learning experience.

Structure and Administration

BHEC is a joint agreement among the 12 universities, with administrative support to be provided by Bluegrass Tomorrow, in cooperation with other partner organizations including the Bluegrass Area Development District and the Council for Postsecondary Education.  Initially, BHEC will operate as a standing committee of Bluegrass Tomorrow as the consortium is in development.

A Board of Directors will be appointed by respective university presidents.  Each school will be represented by the president and at least one other appointment.  The presidents will act as the executive committee of the board of directors.  A chairperson, or co-chairpersons, who are university presidents, shall be appointed by the executive committee.

The purpose of the Board is to ensure that the Consortium functions in support of its mission and in the best interests of the partnership and the participating universities.

Other members of faculty and administration from these respective universities will from time to time be appointed to task specific ad-hoc work groups by the board of directors to execute specific projects and programs as designated by the board.

The BHEC will seek to establish partners with other organizations to support its mission, and will establish an ancillary membership for those institutions and organizations that do not meet the criteria of charter membership.  Such potential partners would include the Kentucky Department of Education, the Council for Postsecondary Education, the Kentucky Educational Standards Board, the Bluegrass Area Development District, the Bluegrass Workforce Investment Board, Commerce Lexington and regional chambers of commerce, and other regional educational institutions.

Funding

The BCHE will develop and manage its own funding, under the 501(c)(3) designation of Bluegrass Tomorrow, through donations, grants and appropriations.  Sufficient annual funding to meet the strategic needs of BCHE, as determined by the Board of Directors, is the joint and co-equal responsibility of the charter members and Bluegrass Tomorrow, agreed to by charter members and Bluegrass Tomorrow.

The value of donations, gifts (in-kind services, material, or monetary), grants, appropriations, or other financial considerations directed to a single university for the primary purpose of support for BCHE will be administered and accounted for in accordance with the policies of the recipient university.