LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin issued a challenge to Kentucky's colleges and universities Tuesday.

Addressing higher education leaders at a conference in Louisville, Bevin admitted that tight budgets have meant tough times for institutions of higher learning.

Bevin challenged the schools to discover a handful of things they do best, and do them better than anyone else.

Many of the state's public universities will face tough budget decisions when the pension freeze passed earlier this year expires.

"If we could keep ignoring it, we could then build new buildings," Bevin said. "We could hire new professors. We could develop new curriculum. We could do any number of things, build bigger stadiums — whatever. We could do a lot of things on our campuses if we had the money to do it. We don't have the money to do it, because we've kicked the pension can down the road for so many years that now that piper has to get paid."

The schools are also facing a second year of having their state funding based on performance factors, such as graduation rates. The governor said that new funding formula is already causing universities to reset their priorities.

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