UK passes largest budget in school’s history



By Marjorie Kirk

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The UK Board of Trustees approved a $3.4 billion budget on Friday — its largest budget ever — and said goodbye to several board members. Here are the highlights from Friday’s meeting:

  • The board approved a revision to its alcohol policy to allow alcohol at certain events on campus including football tailgates at Commonwealth Stadium and some Greek social events. “I would like to see it go a lot further in extending more opportunities for students and student organizations to exercise the use of alcohol — the legal, responsible use of alcohol — on campus,” said Jake Ingram, student body president. He encouraged the Board to look into revisions of the policy. “While it’s an incremental step, it’s an important step. It is a progressive step forward.”
  • The starting salary for all staff increased to a $10  per hour minimum. Faculty and staff will get a 3.5 percent merit pool increase.
  • The Board heard from a consulting firm that evaluated UK President Eli Capilouto’s performance over the last four years. The report praised his work ethic and his ability to connect with people in small groups. Though largely positive, the report said that many people were not sure of the university’s long-term vision. Carol A. Cartwright with AGB Consulting, who interviewed faculty, students, donors and other campus figures for the report, told Capilouto to give an annual State of the University address to keep campus in-the-loop with the administration’s plans.
  • Capilouto thanked trustees Jim Stuckert, Barbara Young, Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton and Student Government Association President Jake Ingram, who had all completed their terms on the Board. “They’ve inspired me to do this work and they’ve made it easier for all of us to do the work, while holding us accountable,” Capilouto said. “They are self-sacrificing and self-forgetting. It was never about them or somebody they knew. It was always about the University of Kentucky.”
  • Student meal plans will now include five meals for guests without charge to the university or the student’s account.
  • The Board announced the appointment of two new deans: Mitzi Vernon, who will assume the position of dean of the College of Design, and Dr. Stephanos Kyrkanides as dean of the College of Dentistry.
  • The university will spend more than ever, $103 million, on financial aid and scholarships. The $103 million, nearly double what UK gave in 2011, will mostly go toward merit-based, rather than need-based, scholarships.
  • The board approved funding for the design of a new baseball stadium and a massive renovation of the Hilary J. Boone  Tennis Center. Designing the new baseball stadium, which will be near Commonwealth Stadium on Alumni Drive, will cost $4 million; designing renovations for the tennis center will cost $800,000.