Student Aaron Price appointed to Council on Postsecondary Education
Gov. Steve Beshear recently appointed Aaron Price, a third-year Brandeis School of Law student, as the student representative to Kentucky's Council on Postsecondary Education.
As such, Price serves as the voice for thousands of college students around the state.
Price earned a bachelor's degree in communication and political science from UofL. While an undergraduate, he was a member of the Student Government Association, Omicron Delta Kappa, Order of Omega, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Interfraternity Council and the UofL Malcolm X Debate Team. As a law student, he's a member of the Moot Court Board, Brandeis Society and Kentucky Justice Association.
Price, of Louisville, talked to UofL Today about his new appointment and how he hopes to help his peers across the state.
Q. Why were you interested in serving as the CPE rep?
A. As a political science major, I was always interested in what strong education systems can do for a state and strongly believe that improving the higher education system of the state will help Kentucky's economy and provide a better quality of life for the citizens of the commonwealth.
Additionally, when I was a member of student government I noticed a lot of educational issues around the state that needed a long-term focus. Student government leaders only get to address short-term, localized issues, but as the CPE rep I will get to assist with the statewide long-term planning I was interested in long ago.
Q. How did you come to be named to this post?
A. The Board of Student Body Presidents was informed of a vacancy and asked to submit nominations to the governor's office. Sana Abhari, UofL's student body president and vice-chair of the Board of Student Body Presidents, submitted my name. Four people were considered by the board and two people, myself and one other individual, were submitted to the governor for his consideration. From there, the governor's office appointed me.
Q. What will be your responsibilities as the CPE representative?
A. As the student member, I am the sole member tasked with representing student interests. That is not to say the other members don't care about students, they do. In my brief time with them I have already learned that they are deeply concerned about the financial problems students face and the quality of education students receive. What is unique about my position is that I am on the board specifically for the purpose of providing a student's perspective.
CPE itself has too many duties to list, so I will just focus on some of the more well-known ones. It sets tuition caps that the individual public universities, such as UofL, cannot go above without permission. It oversees all of Kentucky's adult education systems and approves new programs — such as the recently approved B.A. in art history at Western Kentucky — at the public universities. It also licenses the independent colleges around the state.
Q. Are there any issues you plan to focus on?
A. As I make my way around the state I want to ask Kentucky students what's important to them, and I will make that my number-one goal. That being said, I personally want to make sure more students know about the CPE and are involved in its decision-making process, including, if possible, some of the incoming students that will be affected by our decisions in upcoming years. I am also interested in finding ways to incentivize AP, CLEP, international baccalaureate, and other dual-enrollment options so high school students can earn college credits and current college students can graduate faster and cheaper.
Q. Why should students across the state pay attention to the decisions the CPE makes?
A. The most noticeable immediate impact on students is often tuition, but I don't believe it's the most meaningful. CPE is dedicated to helping improve the quality of Kentucky's educational institutions. As our universities become stronger, students' degrees become more valuable and more jobs stay in Kentucky for those students.
Q. Is there anything else you'd like to add that I didn't ask you about?
A. Getting the CPE message out is one of my goals. With that in mind I will be creating a Facebook page as well as some other Web-related outreach programs. I want to encourage Kentucky students, and student leaders in particular, to utilize these new programs to keep in touch with me and the rest of the council.
In the meantime, students can read my bio and contact me through my CPE profile.