The UK Board of Trustees met on Tuesday for the last time this fiscal year. They took three actions that underscore the exciting transformation and continued progress taking place at UK because of you.
First, the Board approved a $3 billion operating budget for UK for the upcoming year. You can read more details about the budget on UKNOW. This record budget — about $300 million more than last year — includes a two percent merit raise for faculty and staff. It also includes $11 million in additional investment in student financial aid -- another signal that this institution places students first in everything that we do.
Second, the Board authorized the $150 million fit-out of two additional floors of Chandler Hospital. UK HealthCare now represents about 40 percent of our overall budget. In the last decade, patient volumes in our health-care system have nearly doubled and revenues have grown from about $300 million to about $1 billion. Those numbers, quite powerfully, mean that we increasingly are the first choice for patients in the region with the most complex care needs.
Finally, we are moving forward, backed by the strong support of the Board, with a 15-year, nearly $245 million partnership with Aramark to manage dining services at UK. You can read details about the partnership on UKNOW.
This partnership will mean additional food options as well as healthier and more convenient choices. As importantly, every single one of the meal plans we offer students will be reduced in price this fall as a result of this innovative partnership — another sign of our continued commitment to an affordable, high-quality educational experience for our students. At the same time, the partnership will include some $70 million in investment in new and existing facilities on our campus.
Of course, this partnership isn’t only about food, although that is important. It is about creating a sense of community among students, faculty and staff. We are creating the kind of thriving, residential research campus that only exists in a few places in this country. We are creating a campus as good as our people.
You make that possible. I am humbled to be part of this special community.