LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 14, 2012) – The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees Sunday forcefully adopted a set of guiding principles for UK in the coming year that include continuing an emphasis on excellence in education and research, a transformation of the university’s financial model to better align revenue with expenses, revitalizing infrastructure throughout the campus while being more responsive to community and neighborhood concerns, and developing a plan to address further integration of technology into a dramatically changing learning environment.
The guiding principles were the culmination to two days of a retreat and meetings for UK’s governing board that focused on issues and dramatic changes impacting higher education and the university in the context of a still challenging economy.
“Our critical work continues as we strive together to meet the Kentucky Promise that undergirded our founding and that guides us still,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “These principles set forth by the board today after two days of engaging and deep discussion provide a framework and significant guideposts for our work together as a campus over the next year.”
The resolution, adopted overwhelmingly by the board, contains six principles for work, including:
• Continuing emphasis on undergraduate education and infrastructure
• Strengthening mechanisms for faculty and staff recruitment rewards and retention
• Conducting an assessment of what constitutes a strong environment for research, creative scholarship, and graduate and professional education
• Continuing the development and introduction of the values-based financial model that aligns revenues and expenses to meet the university’s mission and ensure that individual units develop strategic plans in alignment with the university’s overall strategic planning process;
• Developing a plan for implementing innovative, technology-rich content delivery to address needs in a constantly changing learning environment
• Continuing to develop a master plan that creates a 21st century living and learning environment and is sensitive to community concerns.
Last year, the Board – following its annual retreat – urged Capilouto to focus on enhancing undergraduate education, infrastructure improvements, faculty/staff work-life environment, and affordability and accessibility. From that retreat, the university developed plans to undertake an ambitious public-private partnership to rebuild and expand campus residence halls.
The goal is to build up to 9,000 undergraduate beds over the next 5 to 7 years in partnership with EdR, a private real estate company that focuses on campus housing. EdR may commit some $500 million in private-equity financing to the initiative.
To that end, the Board on Sunday approved Phase II-A of the public-private partnership to build residence halls. It includes the construction, starting in November, of five new residence halls on four sites, including more than 2,300 beds. With that, UK is now in the process of constructing more than 2,900 modern beds over the next two years – perhaps the largest, quickest expansion of residence halls in the institution’s history.
In other action, the Board of Trustees accepted the following nominations for honorary degree recipients:
• James Dee (“J.D.”) Crowe, a native of Lexington and resident of Nicholasville, Kentucky began playing the banjo when he was 12 years old and was informally apprenticed to the late bluegrass music great, Earl Scruggs. In the mid 1950s, he was offered a job with Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys while still in his teens. In the late 1960’s, Crowe formed the Kentucky Mountain Boys, principally performing in Central Kentucky and other areas of the commonwealth. By the early 1970’s, J.D. changed the band’s name to The New South and included material from rock and country music sources. Many important musicians have been a part of the band over the years, including Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas, and Doyle Lawson. After recording more than a dozen albums and having played literally all over the United States and in numerous foreign countries, Crowe is universally recognized as a great ambassador for Kentucky, and for bluegrass music.
• David L. Lollis is the past president of Appalbanc and is the past president of the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (FAHE). Appalbanc is an award- winning Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose primary mission is to promote individual and community development in rural central Appalachia through the financial products developed by the Human/Economic Appalachian Development Corporation (HEAD), the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises, Inc. (FAHE), and the Appalachian Federal Credit Union (AFCU). As president of FAHE, Lollis was responsible for the Federation’s programs. He has an extensive background in administration and management, much of which has been in housing programs. David has worked for over 40 years in both the public and private sectors.
• Charles L. Shearer, a native of Louisville, earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting, followed by a master’s in diplomacy and international commerce, both from the University of Kentucky. Intrigued by his first teaching assignment in higher education as an instructor at UK’s Henderson Community College in the late 1960’s, Shearer went on to pursue further graduate study, attaining his Ph.D. in economics from Michigan State University. Following additional teaching and administrative assignments, first at Michigan State, then at Albion College, Charles was named Vice President for Finance at Transylvania University in Lexington in 1979. He was selected as president of Transylvania in 1983, beginning what would become a long and distinguished tenure at the helm of the 16th oldest college in the United States. During Shearer’s 27 years at Transy’s helm, the institution’s student enrollment grew by more than 75 percent, with corresponding growth in the number of faculty members and majors offered.