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Campus Community,
Earlier today, I had the honor to discuss with our Trustees the University’s budget for 2024-2025. 
It’s nearly $8.4 billion, or about $1.6 billion more than last year. 
Behind each number, though, is a story — the story of a member of our community who lends support or assistance, who assists or leads a research initiative or who makes the provision of care or service possible. 
That’s what you do. I am deeply appreciative. 
A budget, more than anything, represents what we value. You invest your money in what you care about. We are investing in you, our people. You can read more about the budget here, but below are a few highlights:

  • The University will invest nearly $30 million in FY 2024-25 on increases in compensation and benefits, including more than $18 million for a salary increase pool and more than $9 million to help offset increases in health insurance costs which are also increasing nationally. 
  • It’s the largest salary increase pool of funds in more than a decade. 
  • It is the 11th time in 12 years that UK has been able to offer increases in compensation for employees — an unprecedented series of investments in UK’s people. 
  • It represents record amounts of financial aid — some $175 million — to students. That investment has been essential to our efforts to increase retention and graduation rates to record levels, even as we have continued to grow enrollment to meet the needs of our Commonwealth. 

We are a community that cares. We are a community committed to advancing Kentucky. We can best continue — and expand — those efforts and deepen that commitment even further by investing in a sustained way to support the people who do the work. 
This budget reflects an ongoing effort, over many years, to support the people in classrooms, research labs, hospitals and clinics, in our facilities, on our grounds across farm fields and in cities and towns throughout Kentucky who make so much progress possible for our state. 
Our Board also overwhelmingly gave final approval to revisions to the institution’s Governing Regulations. This process has been underway for several months, and many of you played an invaluable role providing critical feedback and counsel. 
The result is a set of revised and reformed governing principles that are streamlined and more representative of the important voice you have, and role you play, in the life of our University. 
I heard that loudly and clearly from many of you in recent months. You do much, and you want that reflected in how we consult with you on topics important to the entire University as well as issues specific to the concerns of students, faculty and staff. 
I want to thank the entire campus community for the important role you played throughout this process. Some of you endorsed this process and are pleased with the results. Some of you did not. You have concerns and, as proud members of this community, you gave voice to those as well.

I deeply respect both those who agree and those who do not. While not all of us were of one accord, I hope that we modeled what I think is best about this institution. Regardless of our perspective, or differing ideas, we all share the same goal: to find ways as Kentucky’s university to advance this state in all that we do.

That’s how feedback and counsel, grounded in a sense of mutual respect, should work. 
Over this past year, efforts like that on your part — whether discussing our rules or ensuring new milestones were possible — resulted in remarkable things for UK and for the state we serve. 
Thank you.

We served a record number of students while also making progress on reducing student debt. Our cancer center was named a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute — one of only 57 in the country.
We completed a $2.1 billion capital campaign — Kentucky Can — that focused on creating more access for students and investing in the people and infrastructure that make success possible. And we have begun work on the new Michael D. Rankin MD Health Education Building that will enable us to educate and train more health providers and professionals. We also broke ground on the new UK Cancer and Advanced Ambulatory Building, to help centralize more of the lifesaving, critical care that only we provide. 
At every moment, our people — our students, faculty and staff — played a crucial role. Our promise and our progress are not possible without you. 

During the Board meeting, I was pleased to share a video of the success from our past academic year. You can watch it here. I hope it makes you feel as proud of this place as I am. 
Thank you for making our promise to advance Kentucky a reality every day. I hope this summer provides time for each of you to find moments of rest and renewal. 

As much as we have done, as many things as we have accomplished, we have more to do. I look forward to doing that together.

Eli Capilouto