Campus News

UK Launches National Search for Vice President for Philanthropy, Alumni Engagement

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 27, 2021) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has named a broad-based, diverse search committee to conduct a national search and provide recommendations for UK’s next vice president for philanthropy and alumni engagement.

The search committee — co-chaired by Vice President for Student Success Kirsten Turner and College of Engineering Dean Rudy Buchheit — has a goal of providing recommended names to Capilouto so that he can be in a position to make a selection early next year.

The new vice president will replace Mike Richey, who is retiring from UK after nearly 50 years of service.

“This position is critical to the success of our institution,” Capilouto said in announcing members of the search committee. “So often philanthropy is the margin of excellence in funding the aspirations we have for UK and toward our mission of advancing Kentucky in everything that we do. While our new vice president will have huge shoes to fill in replacing Mike Richey, that person will also have an incredibly strong foundation of success upon which to build.”

UK is in the midst of a $2.1 billion Kentucky Can: The 21st Century Campaign that focuses on student scholarships and infrastructure that supports research and other facilities. The university now has an endowment that, for the first time, exceeds $2 billion. The vice president’s position also oversees the UK Alumni Association.

Other members of the search committee include:

  • Candice Chaffin, senior associate athletic director of development;
  • Penny Cox, treasurer;
  • Gina Dugas, associate vice president for finance and administration;
  • Scott Lephart, dean, College of Health Sciences;
  • Gail Hoyt, faculty senate council representative, Gatton College of Business and Economics;
  • Fadyia Lowe, Staff Senate representative, health education and wellness manager, UK HealthCare;
  • Jay Miller, dean, College of Social Work;
  • Amanda Schagane, senior career advisor, UK Alumni Association;
  • Mary Shelman, president, UK Alumni Association;
  • Tukea Talbert, chief diversity officer, UK HealthCare;
  • Michaela Taylor, Student Government representative, Rosenberg College of Law;
  • Mitzi Vernon, dean, College of Design; and
  • George Wright, senior advisor to President Capilouto.

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.