Capilouto ‘honored’ to share UK’s story with lawmakers


UK President Eli Capilouto gives a speech during Linda Gorton’s mayoral inauguration ceremony in the Gatton Student Center Grand Ballroom in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Jacob Eads

In an all-campus email Thursday, University President Eli Capilouto said he was recently given the opportunity to speak to members of Kentucky’s General Assembly about the state’s ongoing budget process. 

Capilouto said he addressed the House Budget Review Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education, and was able to share a “story of remarkable progress over the last decade for the state’s flagship, land-grant university – progress that is dependent, in part, on renewed and sustained investment in education,” according to a press release from UK.

This comes after Governor Andy Beshear unveiled his proposed state budget earlier this year, which touted a one percent increase to public higher education funding. Kentucky’s higher education budget has seen cuts in 12 of last 13 years.

In 2018, former Gov. Matt Bevin had proposed a 6.25 percent base reduction to all Kentucky postsecondary schools. This cut translated to a $16.1 million reduction to UK’s budget and a $54.3 million combined reduction to all Kentucky public postsecondary institutions. 

At the start of February, UK spokesperson Jay Blanton said that he and the rest of the administration were looking forward to working with policy-makers and legislators in creating a final budget for post-secondary education in Kentucky. 

Today, Capilouto said the Subcommittee is the next step in the General Assembly’s review of and amendments to the Governor’s Budget Proposal.

In his presentation to lawmakers, Capilouto cited the success of the UK LEADS program, significant infrastructure investments, UK’s commitment healthcare research, and the university’s “increased investments in mental health and wellness among students” as markers for the university’s success.