President Eli Capilouto

Dr. Eli Capilouto became the 12th President of the University of Kentucky on July 1, 2011.

As President, Dr. Capilouto has intently engaged with university and community stakeholders to renew our founding mission and vision as a public, Flagship, Land-Grant and Research University. This covenant with the Commonwealth calls upon the University of Kentucky to be a guidepost for the state through a multi-faceted mission of teaching, research, service and health care.

To embolden the institution’s enduring legacy, Dr. Capilouto has led a process to enrich UK’s academic experience by increasing institutional investments in merit-based financial aid and expanding the University Honors Program. Because of his priorities, the University has enrolled 289 National Merit, National Achievement and National Hispanic Scholars in the last three years – tripling the number of incoming Scholars.

Since Dr. Capilouto’s arrival, UK has initiated more than $1.3 billion in ongoing and approved capital construction to rapidly enhance and expand a quality living/learning experience on the University campus.

Under his leadership, the University engaged in an innovative public/private partnership to revitalize the core of campus and create modern living/learning communities. By 2016, twelve residential facilities across campus will add more than 5,700 beds and 200 active learning spaces. Thus far, the estimated $348 million investment – more than two-thirds of the projected $500 million partnership – will transform the way we house, educate and mentor our students.

In addition to the investment in the residential core, the University is self-financing nine major capital projects essential to its academic and financial future: A $65 million renovated and expanded Gatton College of Business and Economics supported by donors and private philanthropy; a new $110 Academic Science Building financed, in-part, through a $65 million partnership with UK Athletics; and a $120 million revitalized Commonwealth Stadium funded with Athletics revenue; a renovated and expanded Nutter Training Center financed by philanthropy; a $175 million renovation and expansion of the Student Center; $150 million to continue the fit-out of Chandler Hospital; a new home for the School of Art and Visual Studies; a new $265 million multi-disciplinary health sciences research facility in partnership with the state; and the renewal of the College of Law in partnership with donors and the state. 

Research at the University of Kentucky is a dynamic enterprise encompassing a full spectrum of academic inquiry, including the humanities, social sciences, traditional scholarship and emerging technologies. UK’s research faculty, staff and students are establishing UK as one of the nation’s most prolific public research universities in the nation. In 2013, UK’s Markey Cancer Center was designated as a National Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute; placing UK among an elite group of 22 research universities with the triple crown of federal research awards: NCI-designation, the Clinical and Translational Sciences Award and a federally supported Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Through the support of Governor Steve Beshear and the leadership of the Kentucky legislature, the University received approval to construct a $265 million muli-disciplinary health research building to support discovery that improves the health and well-being of Kentucky citizens.  

Dr. Capilouto is committed to enhancing UK’s research enterprise and graduate education programs through high-quality partnerships, both domestic and international, and by recruiting and rewarding top scholars across the world.

Essential to the service mission of the University of Kentucky is the advanced patient care and outreach provided by UK HealthCare. As the flagship academic-medical center in the region, UK serves patients through a network of health care professionals around the Commonwealth while providing acute, sub-specialty medical care at UK Chandler Hospital. In 2013, UK HealthCare was distinguished as a Top Performer by the Joint Commission, the largest medical accreditation body in the nation, and won a Rising Star Award from the University Health System Consortium.

Under his leadership, the $3.0 billion flagship university for the Commonwealth has gained significant momentum in fulfilling its broad and visionary mission. In doing so, President Capilouto has invested considerable time in building partnerships with external stakeholders, as well as new and enduring commitments from donors and friends of the institution.

A native of Montgomery, Alabama, Dr. Capilouto previously served as Provost of the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) and Dean of the UAB School of Public Health -- a period of remarkable growth and transformation at one of the leading academic and health sciences institutions in the South.

Dr. Capilouto holds several undergraduate and graduate degrees from schools within the University of Alabama system, and a Doctorate in Health Policy and Management from Harvard University. He and his wife, Dr. Mary Lynne Capilouto (D.M.D.) a former Dean of the UAB School of Dentistry, have one daughter.