Campus News

WATCH: UK Board calls for action to accelerate progress

A message from E. Britt Brockman, M.D., who serves as chair of the UK Board of Trustees.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2024) — At its meeting on Friday, Feb. 23, the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees directed President Eli Capilouto and the campus community to move quickly to formulate recommendations to streamline institutional rules and regulations that are impeding responsiveness to the state’s needs and priorities.

The recommendations – in the form of a resolution adopted by the Board – were part of a daylong focus on a series of initiatives that comprise Project Accelerate. Project Accelerate – – is the Board’s direction to Capilouto and the campus to move quickly to address issues critical to better aligning with the state’s needs and priorities.

The projects include a plan for smart enrollment growth that aligns with trends in the workforce, examining the university’s general education requirements to ensure better alignment with state needs, fostering more partnerships in health care and with the public and private sectors and ensuring stronger recruitment and retention of the university’s workforce.

The board’s recommendations focused on the fifth initiative within Project Accelerate around ensuring greater responsiveness to state priorities, specifically the regulatory environment internally and externally that dictate how quickly the university can move on issues.

“There is an urgent need to streamline and clarify the rules we have to ensure that we truly honor shared governance, which is designed to give everyone a voice,” said UK Board Chair Britt Brockman. “We don’t have that today, in my judgment.”

The Board directed Capilouto and the campus community to move collaboratively and thoughtfully to develop recommendations that:

  • Define a clear and appropriate distinction between the education policy-making function of the Board and the respective responsibilities of the President and faculty to administer and implement the Board’s educational policy.
  • Reaffirm that faculty members assume responsibility for determining good educational practice and, therefore, should have a substantive role in the development and review of academic policies.
  • Ensure that the proposed changes are consistent with (A) the University’s status as an independent body politic of the Executive Branch of the government of the Commonwealth; (B) the requirements and prohibitions imposed on the University by state and federal law; and (C) The Principles of Accreditation adopted by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (“SACSCOC”).
  • Recommend changes to the University’s Governing Regulations that define and clearly articulate a shared governance structure that is in greater alignment with institutional benchmarks and that clearly recognizes the Board’s primacy as the institution’s policymaking body.
  • Outline additional changes as may be necessary and appropriate to Governing Regulations that are consistent with, and supportive of, the substantive changes outlined above.

“There are changes that must occur if we are to accelerate our efforts to advance this state and, specifically, to align with the needs and priorities of the Commonwealth,” Brockman said. “The findings and our dialogue this morning are undergirded by a belief that this is a place that learns and grows and that is willing to meet any challenge. And, in my view, that is not a choice we have, it is a calling we must meet. And I believe we will.”

This is a photo of students on the University of Kentucky campus.
University of Kentucky Campus, Arden Barnes | UK Photo

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.