Regent fights for education, safety

Sharon Green, one of eight regents appointed by the governor, said her principal goals on the Board of Regents are to keep tuition low for students and provide western Kentucky with the best education possible.

Green was appointed in 2009 and is the current chair of the Regional Services Committee on the board and is a member of both the Institutional Advancement and Enrollment Management and Student Success committees. She said starting the Murray State regional campus in Paducah, Ky., has been one of the largest projects she’s been involved in as a regent.

The Board approved an agreement with the McCracken County Fiscal Court in 2011, issuing $10 million to fund the construction of the new Paducah regional campus. Once complete, students will be able to attend classes at West Kentucky Community and Technical College and complete a bachelor’s degree with Murray State in Paducah, Ky. The campus in Paducah is expected to be finished by approximately a year from now.

Murray State also offers regional campuses in Fort Campbell, Ky., Henderson, Ky., Hopkinsville, Ky. and Madisonville, Ky.

“Our regional campuses are so important,” Green said. “We have so many people who have to work for their families; they have to take night classes and work around their childrens’ schedules to get an education.”

Secondary education plays a large role in Green’s job as a crime victims’ advocate at the Graves County Attorney’s office in Mayfield, Ky. Green often deals with domestic violence cases where her position is critical to the future of the victims.

“I think women tend to stay in abusive relationships because they can’t get a job,” Green said. “They don’t have the education to help them get one.”

Green said she relates to the need many women face of having to support their family independently. Fifteen years ago, Green’s husband, Jeff, passed away, leaving her a single mother.

She said her experience on the Mayfield-Graves County Chamber of Commerce has proven the effects of education on local businesses.

“I see the need for businesses and industry to come to western Kentucky,” Green said. “I understand we have to have a well-educated citizenry to be able to attract those businesses.”

Her term on the board ends in 2015.

Story by Lexy Gross, Staff writer.