Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, James

Committee Member

Hare, Dwight

Committee Member

Marshall, Jo

Committee Member

Wiseman, Marty

Committee Member

Blackbourn, Richard

Other Advisors or Committee Members

Stonecypher, Wayne

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


Prior to the passage of the 1997 Kentucky Postsecondary Education Reform Act, postsecondary education in Kentucky was governed by the Council on Higher Education. The council was responsible for overseeing the educational activities of the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, Morehead State University, Northern Kentucky University, Eastern Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University, Murray State University, and Kentucky State University. At that time, 2-year postsecondary education was segmented among 14 public community colleges under the control of the University of Kentucky’s Community College System and 15 state vocational–technical schools known as Kentucky Tech, under the administration of the Workforce Development Cabinet. With the passage of HB 1, the Council on Higher Education was replaced by the Council on Postsecondary Education, and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System was created, combining the 14 community colleges and 15 vocational– technical schools. This research examines the development and implementation of a funding model for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), from its inception in 1998 through its 10th anniversary in 2008. This examination reviews and analyzes the funding of KCTCS from its formation in 1997, until a new funding model was implemented at the beginning of the 2003–2004 fiscal year. The study then compares the funding of the 16 colleges of KCTCS prior to and after the implementation of the new equity funding model, to determine if the model was successful in providing a more equitable method of public funds allocation. This study utilizes two methodological approaches, the first being a comparative analysis of KCTCS and its 16 colleges’ funding for a period of 10 years and the second being a qualitative analysis of historical data interviews obtained from 8 key individuals who were directly affected by the passage of the 1997 Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act. The findings of this study detail the development of a new KCTCS equity funding model and show that when new appropriations were distributed utilizing the new model, the gap in funding inequities between the highest funded and the lowest funded colleges showed significant compression.