UK Pres. Capilouto sounds off on funding cuts

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto says that tens of millions of dollars in proposed cuts to state funding would have a “chilling effect” on the institution’s momentum.

Capilouto spoke to the House Budget Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education on Thursday, saying, “…we should be retaining and recruiting the professors, scientists and clinicians who would make this place their life’s work.  Instead, we are facing a budget reduction that would potentially stop our momentum in improved retention and graduation rates, path-breaking research and discovery, and quality patient care.”

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In a three-prong argument, Capilouto said that based on annual returns generated by the University, UK deserves more investment from the state.  He followed, saying that reductions would diminish those returns and bring on hardships for the school.  Finally, Capilouto asserted the accountability instilled in UK’s performance-based funding.

Making up rules in the middle of the game is akin to building a plane while trying to fly it,” Capilouto told lawmakers. “What is being proposed would send a chilling signal to all we do and those who support us. It’s a signal that this is not a place for investment. Your investment is the first dollar in, and it determines everything we do the education we provide our students, the care and service we render and the research we conduct.”

I know you have big decisions to make. And I will always do what I can to support you in making them. But I would ask you not to put at risk the very future you have invested so much of your labors and our state’s dollars in. Doing so risks Kentucky’s future.”

His entire presentation can be accessed here.