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.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.