Skip to main
University-wide Navigation

Campus Community,

It’s time for our campus to come together for an important community conversation.

Last week, our Board of Trustees directed us to plan together, with a sense of thoughtful urgency, about what a shared governance structure should look like at UK. This process is part of a larger initiative — what we call Project Accelerate — where our Board has asked us to plan how we can move more quickly in advancing our state.

Shared governance is a fundamental value of who we are and is critical to how we meet our mission. It’s the idea that our faculty, staff, students and administration must all play a role in how our institution is governed and how it makes progress. 

The challenge for us is that currently we operate with many rules and very little clarity about how we move forward with decision-making. Indeed, we are one of one among our peers when considering how many pages of rules we have and the lack of clarity around them. 

We know, for example, that our world-class faculty must have the most important voice when it comes to our curriculum — what gets taught and how it is taught in the classroom. Let me be clear: That can’t change. It won’t change. It’s fundamental to who we are.

At the same time, everyone should have a voice in other decisions that are made around educational policy and other processes at our university. 

Our structure and practice of shared governance can be more responsive. It can also be fairer and more equitable in terms of everyone having a voice. We shouldn’t fear that prospect. We should welcome the opportunity.

Over the next few weeks, I will convene groups of people from each one of our colleges to have a conversation about the future of shared governance at UK. I will also meet with the elected leaders of our shared governance bodies, as I do each month, and make special visits to our University, Staff and Student Senates.

I will use that feedback to develop recommendations for changes to the institution’s most important rules — what we call our Governing Regulations — that the Board of Trustees can consider at their next meeting. Here are some of the questions I want our community think about and respond to:

  • If you were starting from scratch to build out shared governance, what would it look like and what would you need?
  • What has been your experience with — and what are your impressions of — shared governance at UK?
  • Do you believe that all our areas of shared governance have a fair voice and are weighted equally? How can we ensure that?

We also have a website for this initiative — — where you can engage, respond to these types of questions and read other information about this process and our efforts to accelerate our progress.

It’s an important time for our community — a time where we strive to do and be more for the state we serve, while also providing more opportunities for more of our talented and committed people to be involved in shaping  this place. I urge you to get involved and engage with us as we dream and plan together about how we can accelerate all that we do to advance Kentucky.

Thank you.

Eli Capilouto