LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 27, 2016) — Last year, more than 4,700 undergraduates received their degrees from the University of Kentucky. If history holds, more than 75 percent of them will stay in the Commonwealth some five years later, taking jobs as engineers and editors, teachers, scientists, artists and computer programmers as part of UK’s largest ever graduating class.
But UK President Eli Capilouto and the Board of Trustees believe the institution is capable of even more.
Under the institution’s five-year strategic plan, hundreds of additional students will graduate as part of a move to improve six-year graduation rates to 70 percent. And classes of the future will be more diverse, more responsive to the state’s workforce needs, and better prepared to create the kinds of jobs necessary to elevate Kentucky’s economy.
To reach those milestones, Capilouto believes the institution must focus intentionally and strategically every available resource on the missions of teaching and learning, service, research and care.
The strategic plan and its ambitious goals for student success and academic excellence are the drivers behind a major realignment of several areas of the university announced Thursday, which will be part of the 2016-2017 UK budget considered by the Board of Trustees in late June. Specifically, UK’s realignment efforts are designed to generate:
· About $6 million in savings and efficiencies — strategic reallocations — in the coming year to address university budget needs.
· Work is currently underway to complete a review of units most involved with student success, which are projected to include reductions in force of up to 75 positions. The first phase affecting the new unit of Student and Academic Life will conclude by Aug. 1. Later phases will assess other units within the Office of the Provost. Staff impacted by a position elimination would receive up to 90 days of pay and benefits, per university procedure.
· Specifically, savings from efficiencies will go toward more than $40 million in budget needs and for investments in areas, such as advising and counseling; student success initiatives; competitive compensation for faculty and staff; increased levels of scholarships and financial aid; and growing costs for utilities and other fixed costs; as well as to offset a decrease in state appropriations.
In addition to the reallocations in the university’s budget, new revenues and savings are being generated to invest several million dollars more in retention and graduation efforts in the colleges as well as research initiatives across the institution.
For more details on the budget and realignment, see a fact sheet here on the proposed changes.
“We have ambitious, but achievable goals for the University of Kentucky — to be one of the premier public research campuses in America and to continue our indispensable role as the university for Kentucky,” Capilouto said. “We must focus all of our resources on our core missions of academic excellence, research and care that change lives, and service to our state and world. These moves, which have been planned for months, are responsive to those imperatives and to our commitment to continue the undeniable progress we have made the last five years.”
UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue
MEDIA CONTACT: Jay Blanton, 859-257-6605