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UK Board of Trustees approves three-year contract extension for President Eli Capilouto

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees has approved a three-year extension of President Eli Capilouto’s contract, which continues his term to 2023-24.

“The past nine years have been a period of remarkable and unprecedented growth and accomplishment for the University of Kentucky. The leadership of Eli Capilouto has been integral to that progress and, we believe, to our future,” said UK Board Chairman Robert Vance.

“Now, we are in the midst of incredible challenge. We believe the continued vision and leadership of President Capilouto is vital to our capacity to meet the moment and position UK to thrive.”

UK President Eli Capiluto (Photo by Michael Cornelison/Kentucky Today)

Capilouto is finishing his ninth year as UK president and was entering the last year of his contract. As part of the employment agreement, board members approved a reduction in his annual salary of 10 percent to be contributed to an emergency employee assistance fund as part of UK’s efforts to grapple with budget challenges in the wake of COVID-19.

It does not change any other terms of Capilouto’s existing agreement.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to represent the students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors who make this place the University of, for and with Kentucky,” Capilouto said. “What has been accomplished is the result of the hard work and commitment of our UK family, even as we also recognize that we get to stand on the shoulders of all those who came before us and were so committed to this place.”

Some actions during the past nine years include:

• Record enrollment of more than 30,000 students, to go along with record retention and graduation rates.

• Creation of a nationally recognized program, UK LEADS, that seeks to address unmet financial need among students.

• More than $2.6 billion in investment in classrooms, research space, athletics facilities, dining and residence halls.

• More than $400 million in annual research expenditures, including the largest grant in the university’s history: a nearly $90 million effort to reduce deaths from opioid use by 40% across much of the state in three years.

• UK’s 10th Rhodes Scholar.

• Sixteen straight semesters with a 3.0 grade point average or higher for UK athletics and a record ninth place finish in the Director’s Cup, which ranks the quality of Division I athletics programs.

Capilouto added, “I am energized and excited as we move forward now to meet the challenges and opportunities that the next several years present for us and the commonwealth we were created to serve.”

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