UK provost David Blackwell won’t renew tenure, Capilouto says


Barkley Truax

The latest update in a string of administrative hirings and restructuring is the announcement that Provost David Blackwell will not renew his tenure following the end of his term in June of 2021.

UK president Eli Capilouto said in an email to the campus community that Blackwell will be considering, “several solicitations about the possibility of be-coming president of higher learning.”

In a statement given to the Kernel through UK public relations, Blackwell said he had agreed to not pursue other positions until his term as provost ended.

“I promised myself that if it appeared that I would have the opportunity to serve in leadership at the next level at another institution, I would let the President know,” Blackwell said. “There are potential leadership opportunities that I am interested in exploring that would allow me to utilize the years of experience I have as an academic administrator to contribute to the progress of another institution.”

Blackwell has served as provost since 2018. Prior to that has served as a Professor of Finance and Dean of the Gatton College of Business and Economics from 2012 to 2018. 

“Dave led enhancement of our academic excellence in a number of dimensions, including the hiring of eight deans during his tenure and setting the stage for growth in fully online programs contributing to Kentucky’s workforce through UK Online,” Capilouto said in the email.

Blackwell’s previous posts include a four-year stint at Texas A&M University as a professor and associate dean in the business school and as head of the Department of Finance at Texas A&M from 2002 to 2008.

He earned his B.S. degree in Finance in 1981 and Ph.D in Finance in 1986, both from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

“As dean, he placed the College on a trajectory for growth and added innovative programs such as our joint Executive MBA program with the University of Louisville, the Master of Science in Finance program and the Social Enterprise Scholars Honors Pathway,” Capilouto said.

Blackwell also led the $65 million campaign to complete the new Gatton College building in 2015; “a lasting legacy of his service”, Capilouto said.

Blackwell thanked Capilouto for trusting him with the role of provost and would cherish his remaining time at UK.

“I will do my very best to continue serving UK as Provost at the discretion of the President, and with deeper consultation with him—especially on decisions with long-term implications,” Blackwell said.

Capilouto says that he will immediately begin talking to faculty, staff, students and administrators about what UK should look for in the next provost.

Capilouto said he would communicate next steps to the campus.

“It is a challenging time for our campus,” Capilouto said, “ But I know – without a doubt – that this community will emerge from this time poised and positioned to thrive.”

WKU announced the retirement of their provost Cheryl Stevens on Jan. 19 also, according to the College Heights Herald.