New Unit, Athletics Upgrades Approved

Contact: Ralph Derickson

Photo of D. Michael (Mike) Richey
D. Michael (Mike) Richey

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In other action, the Board of Trustees:

  • Named D. Michael (Mike) Richey an associate vice president for development. Richey was previously development director.
  • Accepted the 2003-04 Research Challenge Trust Fund (RCTF) endowment match program annual report.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 26, 2004) -- The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees today approved a new College of Medicine Department of Orthopedics and authorized an estimated $3 million in upgraded athletics facilities.

The new orthopedics department previously was a division of the Department of Surgery.

Board member Alice Sparks, who is chair of the board’s Academic Affairs Committee, said creating the new department is along the lines of reorganizations of similar departments at such schools as the University of Michigan.

Sparks said the new department is a productive strategy to expand the clinical operation at UK and provide needed service to an aging population and help recruit more faculty in orthopedics.

The restructuring also will help orthopedics at UK best reach its clinical and scholarly potential and become the cornerstone of development of a musculoskeletal center of excellence, Sparks added.

The board authorized the expenditure of $2.25 million to renovate the football practice fields at the Nutter Training Facility and $650,000 to renovate the locker room at Commonwealth Stadium.

Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said the locker room is one of the few in the country that separates the offensive and defensive teams. The new, combined locker room will give more of a “team atmosphere,” he said.

Barnhart said the practice field improvements will relieve problematic grade changes which create drainage challenges around the practice field. Just the slightest moisture now cause the coaches to have to take the teams inside for practices, he said.

The reconstruction will include reorienting the fields, re-engineering the subsurface, improving drainage and installing a state-of-the-art synthetic infill surface.

In other action, the Board of Trustees:

  • Named D. Michael (Mike) Richey, who holds two degrees from UK and is a 31-year employee in the College of Agriculture and the Office of Development, an associate vice president for development. Richey was previously development director.
  • Accepted the 2003-04 Research Challenge Trust Fund (RCTF) endowment match program annual report. The RCTF report, also known as the “Bucks for Brains” program, showed that during fiscal year 2003-04, the university submitted two requests to the Council on Postsecondary Education for matching funds totaling $1,864,197. As of June 30, 2004, the council had disbursed state matching funds that helped create or expand 437 endowments valued at some $264 million.

According to the report, UK used its share of the matching funds investment to create 65 endowed chairs and 159 endowed professorships; create 213 fellowships and scholarships, and hire 57 new faculty in university-designated programs of distinction.

In addition, the matching funds allowed UK to fund an average of 100 graduate research fellows and research assistants each year; provide about $6 million for faculty start-up expenses, lab renovations and equipment, and invest $17.5 million on a major research equipment initiative.


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