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.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.