Campus News

The Graduate School Dean Search

photo of Gillis Building with flowering tree in foreground
Pete Comparoni | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 11, 2021) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto sent the following email message to the UK community Tuesday afternoon, May 11.

Dear Campus Community,

Provost David Blackwell and I have made the decision to end the current search for a Dean of the Graduate School.

Earlier this week, we met with the preferred finalist for the position, Dr. Ann Vail, to inform her of this decision. She was an exemplary candidate and would have been an outstanding dean and academic leader for this campus.

Indeed, she already is an outstanding leader and will continue to be for UK.

However, a number of individuals on our campus in recent weeks have expressed concerns about the process — not about Dr. Vail — for selecting a dean. Those concerns would significantly hinder any dean’s ability to move forward and do the important work of representing graduate students and leading graduate education on our campus.

Students — and their best interests — must always be our priority.

We respect the concerns that have been raised and, so, we will move forward with a new process.

One of the first tasks for an acting provost, after that person’s selection, will be to impanel a search committee and — in consultation with faculty, staff and students as contemplated by our Governing Regulations — begin a new search process. That will be a priority for this fall.

Not surprisingly, Dr. Vail was gracious, kind and steadfastly supportive of UK. She offered her assistance as we move forward. That’s who she is.

I want to thank her for her leadership, her giving spirit and her commitment to this place.

Thank you.

Eli Capilouto