Campus News

UK Board Extends Capilouto’s Employment Agreement by 3 Years

photo of Main Building from a distance through budding trees
UK's Main Building in spring 2020. Pete Comparoni | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2020) The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees Friday approved a three-year extension of UK President Eli Capilouto’s employment agreement.

The extension, detailed in a brief amended agreement to his existing employment agreement, continues Capilouto’s term to 2023-24. Capilouto’s current employment agreement and previous amendments can be found at:

“The past nine years have been a period of remarkable and unprecedented growth and accomplishment for the University of Kentucky. The leadership of Eli Capilouto has been integral to that progress and, we believe, to our future,” said UK Board Chairman Robert Vance. “Now, we are in the midst of incredible challenge. We believe the continued vision and leadership of President Capilouto is vital to our capacity to meet the moment and position UK to thrive.”

Capilouto is finishing his ninth year as UK’s 12th president and was entering the last year of his employment agreement. As part of the employment agreement, board members approved, as previously reported, a reduction in his annual salary of 10%, dollars that are being contributed to an emergency employee assistance fund as part of UK’s efforts to grapple with budget challenges in the wake of COVID-19.

The amendment does not change any other terms of Capilouto’s existing agreement.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to represent the students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors who make this place the University of, for and with Kentucky,” Capilouto said. “What has been accomplished is the result of the hard work and commitment of our UK family, even as we also recognize that we get to stand on the shoulders of all those who came before us and were so committed to this place.

I am energized and excited as we move forward now to meet the challenges and opportunities that the next several years present for us and the Commonwealth we were created to serve.”

Included in milestones of the last nine years are:

  • Record enrollment of more than 30,000 students.
  • Record retention and graduation rates.
  • Creation of a nationally recognized program — UK LEADS — that seeks to address unmet financial need among students.
  • More than $2.6 billion in investment in classrooms, research space, athletics facilities, dining and residence halls.
  • More than $400 million in annual research expenditures, including the largest grant in the university’s history — a nearly $90 million effort to reduce deaths from opioid use by 40% across much of the state in three years.
  • UK’s 10th Rhodes Scholar.
  • Sixteen straight semesters with a 3.0 grade point average or higher for UK athletics and a record 9th-place finish in the Director’s Cup, which ranks the quality of Division I athletics programs.

UK this week announced its playbook for a reinvented campus, in which in-class instruction for students will begin in August. More than 500 members of the UK community have been involved in the comprehensive restart planning process as the university plans to start fall classes on Aug. 17.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.