Campus News

UK Board of Trustees approves revisions to Governing Regulations to ensure more responsiveness to state’s needs, priorities

students are walking across campus
Pete Comparoni l UK Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 14, 2024) — The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees overwhelmingly on Friday adopted revisions to UK’s Governing Regulations, designed to ensure more responsiveness to the needs and priorities of the state. 

The revisions are part of Project Accelerate, an initiative the board undertook with UK President Eli Capilouto to examine ways the university can and should accelerate its progress in advancing Kentucky, the key focus of the institution’s strategic plan. 

“The resulting regulations are responsive to what we have asked President Capilouto to do,” said Kim McCann, the board’s vice chair, who served as chair for Friday’s meeting. “They position us for success in the future and they are the product of thoughtful deliberation, active consultation and honest feedback from across this campus — exactly what should have happened.” 

Specifically, the revisions adopted, among other things, include: 

  • Clearly defining the role of the Board of Trustees in educational policymaking as well the responsibilities of the president and the faculty in administering those policies. 
  • More strongly articulating academic freedom and the primacy of faculty in the development of curriculum within academic colleges. 
  • Strengthening the role that students and staff play, through their elected bodies, in providing counsel on issues important to them and the institution overall. 
  • Abolishing the University Senate and establishing a Faculty Senate, composed solely of faculty members, to consult with the provost or chief academic officer on curricular issues. Until that body can be created and empaneled, a provisional executive faculty committee will be created, chaired by Provost Bob DiPaola and composed of faculty from each of UK’s 19 colleges. 

The board also directed Capilouto to begin the process of reviewing and revising the institution’s Administrative Regulations, the rules for management and operations that must align with UK’s Governing Regulations. That process, which will engage community members across the campus, will take several months. 

As part of Project Accelerate, five work groups — composed of campus leaders — were formed to examine issues such as strategic enrollment growth, a review of the university’s core educational program, ways to increase partnerships across the state and efforts to recruit and retain a world-class workforce. 

The fifth work group examined both internal and external regulations and policies to understand whether changes should be made to ensure the university is positioned to be responsive to state priorities. 

Capilouto led a multimonth process of gathering feedback and ideas, through conversations with hundreds of students, faculty and staff. Both the Staff Senate and the Student Government Association endorsed the process and reforms. 

“Change, at times, is necessary,” McCann said. “You have to be open to it to survive and thrive in a very dynamic economy. This process was conducted the right way. People were heard. Ideas were considered and policy recommendations were formed, revised and improved. I am excited about how this process — and these reforms to our governing principles – position us for success moving forward.” 

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.