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Trustees Approve Operating Budget

Contact: Mary Margaret Colliver or George Lewis



“The development of the budget was a challenging task. In addition to managing a recurring state budget reduction while enrolling more students, we continue to strive to become one of America’s top 20 public research universities.”

-- Lee T. Todd Jr., president, University of Kentucky


For a more comprehensive look at the overall budget click here.

For a more comprehensive look at the Strategic Plan click here.

June 24, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees today approved a $1.4 billion fiscal year 2003-04 operating budget, charted the university’s course with a strategic plan called “The Dream and the Challenge,” and approved a resolution placing the School of Human Environmental Sciences in the College of Agriculture.

Trustees also expressed their approval of the job performance of UK President Lee T. Todd Jr., who is nearing the anniversary of his second year in office. Acting on the recommendation of the board’s Executive Committee, trustees voted to grant Todd a $100,000 bonus, which is allowed for – but not guaranteed – in his contract.

Board Chairman Steven S. Reed, who is also chairman of the Executive Committee, said that he had received a lot of input from faculty, students, staff and other trustees regarding Todd’s job performance during the current fiscal year. Based on that input, Reed said, the president’s professional strengths are: providing unprecedented access to himself and his staff; being a person with extraordinarily high character; having a strong work ethic, perhaps to the point of working himself too hard; having a passion for the students and the Commonwealth of Kentucky; generating innovative ideas; skillfully handing the budget crisis; envisioning UK as one university; refocusing the Athletics Department; and the continued success of The Campaign. Reed also said he had received praise for First Lady Patsy Todd and her work with students.

Reed said the only suggestion for improvement he had received regarding the president would be in the area of responsiveness. But Reed added that those comments came with the qualification that the president has added a chief of staff and other administrative staff members, which will allow him to be more responsive.

“When you care for something as much as he does, you want to do it all yourself to make sure it’s perfect,” Reed said of the president. “I've asked him to not spread himself so thin.”

Trustee C. Frank Shoop said the board’s Compensation Committee is formulating a new compensation package for the president.

Prior to the comments by Reed and Shoop, Todd and Provost Mike Nietzel presented trustees with an overview of the budget proposal.

Todd said the financial plan reflects UK as a catalyst for intellectual, social, cultural and economic development in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

“This budget reflects our strategic plan,” Todd said. “We have focused on faculty, staff and students, and high-priority academic programs. We will make notable gains in 2003-04.”

For the third straight year, UK will experience significant decreases in state appropriations. The university’s 2003-04 state appropriations will total $308.5 million, $13.7 million less then the original fiscal year 2001-02 appropriated amounts.

President Todd said the university’s objectives for the 2003-04 fiscal year include granting a 3 percent merit salary increase for faculty and staff, absorbing health insurance cost increases to UK employees, providing more scholarships on the basis of need and merit, and funding improvements that invest in the university’s future.

“The development of the budget was a challenging task,” Todd said. “In addition to managing a recurring state budget reduction while enrolling more students, we continue to strive to become one of America’s top 20 public research universities.”

The top-20 quest relies on guidance provided by the 2003-06 Strategic Plan – the Dream and the Challenge, which the board adopted today, and which is based largely on reports from the President’s Top 20 Task Force.

Guided by a recommendation from the Academic Affairs Committee, the board approved a resolution creating the School of Human Environmental Sciences in the College of Agriculture. The College of Human Environmental Sciences will disband July 1, 2003. The School of Human Environmental Sciences will include three existing units and all of their associated programs: Department of Family Studies, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences and Department of Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles. A fourth unit of the College of Human Environmental Sciences, the School of Interior Design, was incorporated into the College of Design, which also includes the School of Architecture and the Department of Historic Preservation.

Trustees approved the following academic and administrative appointments:

  • Jeannine Blackwell as Dean of the Graduate School, effective July 1, 2003.
  • Alfred Cohen as acting Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, effective June 1, 2003.
  • Dr. James W. Holsinger as Chancellor Emeritus.
  • Richard P. Siemer as Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, effective Aug. 1, 2003.
  • David Watt as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, effective May 15, 2003.

The board noted outgoing trustees Paul W. Chellgren, Joe Ruschell and Grady Stumbo, presenting each with a proclamation praising their contributions to the university.

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