Eli Capilouto

Our Budget, Our Principles and Our Progress

Published: May 12, 2014

Last week, the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved several measures related to our 2014-15 operating and capital budget. We have three principles guiding every decision we make:

  • Propose moderate tuition and fee increases to ensure affordability.
  • Continue consistent faculty and staff pay raises.
  • Ensure no across-the-board cuts and minimize any impact on our academic core.

The Council on Postsecondary Education, which has the statutory authority to set tuition rates at the public institutions, recently established a ceiling on tuition increases over the next two years totaling no more than eight percent.

 

In alignment with that, at their meeting last week, the Board of Trustees approved a five percent increase in tuition for Fall 2014. This means another year of modest tuition increases. Over the last four years, the average increase has been five percent. In the years before that, the average was in double-digits.

 

As part of the budget proposal, we also included a measure to increase University-funded financial aid and scholarships by more than $11 million. This academic year 85.5 percent of undergraduates at UK from Kentucky received financial aid that did not have to be repaid. And for  those students, the average out-of-pocket expense for tuition and mandatory fees was $1,079 per semester ― nearly $150 less than the year before.

 

While no numbers can diminish the fact that families are bearing more of the cost burden for higher education in the wake of declining state support, we can be proud that this university is keeping the needs of Kentuckians first.

 

In June, as part of the 2014-15 budget, the Board of Trustees will consider a two percent merit increase pool for faculty and staff to build on the five percent pool we implemented this fiscal year. We will continue investing in our most valuable resource ― our people.

 

Finally, the state budget, which will be enacted in July, cuts our annual appropriation by nearly $4.3 million. Our state appropriations have now been reduced by about $55 million since 2008. With state funding cuts, our plan to raise compensation, and having to manage increases in fixed costs such as utilities and financial aid, we face nearly $40 million in additional funding needs for the coming year.

 

We will respond to this challenge by trimming dollars from pools of funds set aside for such things as debt service on new construction and other facility initiatives (and do so without compromising ongoing projects). And we also will internally reallocate $7 million made possible through efficiencies, the creation of new revenues, and realignment of the budget.

 

Our continued progress is a testament to you ― your talent, your commitment and your willingness to make tough decisions.

 

That said, we cannot cut our way to a brighter future. It may be seductive to think so, but it is illusory to believe it.

 

In the last three years alone, with our board's leadership, we have started ― or been authorized to begin ― nearly $1 billion in construction of new facilities and renovation of existing buildings that are transforming our campus. Of that, the state has been responsible for $35 million.

 

UK has generated the rest through public-partnerships, a unique collaboration with our athletics department to fund academic space, fund-raising, and greater efficiencies in our operations and administration.

 

The University is, without question, doing its part. We will continue to urge the state to re-invest in this institution, which is so vital to Kentucky's future.

 

In the meantime, please know how deeply I appreciate the work you do, and the commitment you have, to this special place.

December
 
1
Resumes and Cover Letters
Circle of Love Gift Return
Mon
2
UK Guitar Studio
Circle of Love Gift Return
Tue
3
Networking and Job Search
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Wayne's World
Study Sounds: Classical Concert
Wed
4
LNFS Presents: Frozen
Ballet Music of Tchaikovsky
Circle of Love Gift Pick-Up
Live Screening of Orion Spacecraft Re-entry
Massage on the Go
Thu
5
LNFS Presents: Winter's Bone
LNFS Presents: Gremlins
Open Studio
Circle of Love Gift Pick-Up
Fri
6
Snow Skiing @ Perfect North Slopes
Sat
7
Free Holiday Shopping Shuttle to Fayette Mall
Sun
8
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find a Faculty Mentor"
Mon
9
Job Club - Identifying Your Skills
Paws for Stress Relief
Tue
10
 
Wed
11
 
Thu
12
Last Day of Classes
Fri
13
 
Sat
14
Free Holiday Shopping Shuttle to Fayette Mall
Finals Treats
Sun
15
Final Exams
Crunch Brunch
Mon
16
Final Exams
Jazzy Holiday Concert
Tue
17
Final Exams
Caregiver Support Group
Wed
18
Final Exams
Thu
19
Final Exams
End of 2014 Fall Semester
Fri
20
 
Sat
21
 
Sun
22
 
Mon
23
 
Tue
24
 
Wed
25
 
Thu
26
 
Fri
27
 
Sat
28
 
Sun
29
 
Mon
30
 
Tue
31
 
Wed
 
 
 
Jan 14
Bicycle Trivia 01/14/2015

Wed, 01/14/2015

Fri, 01/16/2015

Wed, 01/21/2015

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