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By Lloyd Axelrod

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The new budget enables the university to pursue its goal of becoming a top-20 public institution by allowing to continue fostering diversity, excellence and economic development.

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June 6, 2000 – (Lexington, Ky.) – The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees today approved a $1.2 billion budget for 2000-2001 that maintains the university’s emphasis on groundbreaking research and enhances services to undergraduate students.  It also provides for an increased undergraduate enrollment.

The new operating budget increases expenditures by 2.4 percent over the revised 1999-2000 budget.  The major sources of revenue for the budget are: the state appropriation, $308 million (25.7 percent of the total); student fees, $126 million (10.5 percent); UK Hospital revenues, $295 million (24.7 percent); and affiliated corporations, $173 million (14.5 percent).

The 2000-2001 capital budget is $255 million.  About $88 million will be used for new facilities, $39 million for renovations, $12 million for scheduled maintenance, $27 million for utilities, $5 million for land improvement and $2 million for life safety. The capital budget allocates $81 million for equipment, with $15 million to be used for computer equipment; $10 million for research equipment; $2 million for communications equipment; $1 million for instructional equipment; $1 million for auxiliary, office and physical plant equipment; and $52 million for other equipment, primarily for the UK Hospital.  An additional $9 million is allocated for library books.

The new budget enables the university to pursue its goal of becoming a top 20 public university by 2020 by allowing UK to continue building an internationally distinguished and diverse faculty, to recruit and graduate a diverse population of professional and graduate students, to strengthen excellence in teaching and student advising, to be a catalyst for economic development, to strengthen the quality of undergraduate education, and to enhance outreach and public service programs that support the university’s statewide land grant mission.

The top 20 goal was set for the university by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1997 and adopted as part of the UK Strategic Plan in May 1998.   To help the university reach that goal, Gov. Paul Patton proposed and the legislature allotted $66.7 million for endowments to support research and graduate program enhancement through a Research Challenge Trust Fund. The money will be used to improve graduate education and research through endowed chairs, professorships, fellowships, scholarships and the library research materials endowment.   UK President Charles T. Wethington Jr. noted the university had succeeded in raising its required match and has qualified for the state funds initially made available in 1998.

Wethington pointed out the 2000 Kentucky General Assembly renewed the Research Challenge Trust Fund, designating another pool of $66.7 million for UK.  When these new funds are matched by the university, the result in total additions to institutional endowment funds will be $133.4 million.   “This program exemplifies that necessary blend of financial support from the state complemented by that extra ‘edge’ of excellence that private support brings,” Wethington said.

Wethington noted the state budget included a 2.7 percent increase for each public university plus special appropriations for designated purposes, including an additional $7.8 million for UK including Lexington Community College.  That figure exceeds the 2.4 percent increase that had been recommended by the state Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE).  The legislature also allocated $1.2 million to the CPE for enrollment growth and student retention at UK.  “The university is very grateful for the support of the governor and General Assembly and their recognition of the needs of postsecondary education,” Wethington added.

However, total state budget support declined to 25.6 percent of the total university budget this year, down from the state’s contribution of 26.1 percent last year.  This continues a downward trend dating from 1990 when the state share was 41.1 percent.

The 2000-2001 budget includes a number of initiatives for undergraduate education, including classroom renovation, maintaining and enhancing the undergraduate student scholarship base, additional support for the Admissions Office and additional fellowships.  In addition, the budget provides funding to add faculty, library and staff positions at Lexington Community College, where enrollment grew by 11.1 percent last year.

The budget provides for an average salary increase of 3 percent for UK employees based on merit.  The budget also provides funding for an 11.3 percent increase in the university contribution to health insurance for regular full-time employees.

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