UK Happenings

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, UK Martin School Host 2nd Part of Urban-rural Issues Roundtable Series

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 19, 2021) — Education will be the theme of the next edition of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and University of Kentucky Martin School of Public Policy and Administration’s Kentucky Public Policy Roundtable Series, “Bridging Kentucky’s Urban-Rural Divide.”  

The webinar program is set for noon on July 27 and is the second of a three-part public policy collaboration between the chamber and UK’s Martin School to find common ground on public policy issues facing both urban and rural areas. To register for the event, please visit this link.

The roundtable will include key Kentucky legislators and Martin School faculty with expertise on education issues. The discussion will focus on both the needs of and differences in educational opportunities in urban and rural areas, and how they are impacted by public policies and government actions.

“Having honest conversations about the different needs and experiences of students, educators, parents and employers across the Commonwealth is a key part of bridging Kentucky’s urban-rural divide,” said Kentucky Chamber Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Kate Shanks. “Our goal with this conversation is to bring together top policymakers and education policy experts to explore the most pressing educational challenges Kentucky’s urban and rural areas are dealing with.”

Panelists include: 

  • Sen. Max Wise, chair of the Kentucky State Senate Education Committee;
  • Rep. Regina Huff, chair of the Kentucky House Education Committee;
  • Ron Zimmer, Martin School director and professor; and
  • Rajeev Darolia, the Martin School’s Wendell H. Ford Professor of Public Policy and director of graduate studies, Masters of Public Administration (MPA) and Ph.D. programs.   

Zimmer’s research has focused on school choice and school finance. Darolia’s research interests include how public policy, especially education, affects economic mobility and financial security.

“Urban and rural educational systems both face significant issues, but they are different in need and scope,” Zimmer said. “The challenge for public-policy makers is to identify and implement solutions that improve educational quality and opportunities for both. We very much want to help in whatever ways we can to achieve them."

The first program of the roundtable series centered on health care and was held June 8. The final segment will be on economic development and will take place in August. UK’s Martin School has been providing postgraduate studies in public policy and public administration since 1976. Starting in Fall 2020, the school now offers an undergraduate public policy degree.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.