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Dear Staff, 

I apologize for writing to you late on a Friday. But we’ve been working intently this week to finalize proposed revisions to our most important rules and regulations that we will take to the Board of Trustees next week. I wanted you to have the latest in proposed revisions as soon as they were available.

In fact, over the last couple of months, I’ve written often to you — and spoken with many of you about — the rules and regulations that guide so much of our work at the University of Kentucky. And I’ve been asked why is this effort worth so much of our time? Why is it so important?

The most straightforward answer is that our Board of Trustees has directed us to undertake this effort. They believe in what we do and the progress we have made. But they also believe Kentucky needs us to do more and that we need to accelerate our efforts to advance this state.

Rules and regulations, importantly, can help or hinder that effort. And my conversations with hundreds of you over the last two months have reinforced for me that our governance structure and our rules of the road don’t adequately reflect the important roles you play for our University.

You want and you deserve a bigger voice and larger say in what we do and how we do it.

To that end, we are proposing to the Board of Trustees significant revisions to our Governing Regulations (GRs), which are the most important principles and regulations that guide our collective efforts at UK. Our Administrative Regulations (ARs), where we will propose revisions as well, are the day-to-day management rules that ladder up to, and align with, our GRs.

You can read all the proposed revisions to the Governing Regulations and Administrative Regulations as well as a summary of them here.

In significant and specific ways, we are proposing revisions that will codify a larger voice for our staff, who do so much of the work at our University:

  • As is the case now, the Governing Regulations will state that the Staff Senate is the official representative body of the UK staff.
  • However, the proposed GRs will also specifically state — for the first time ever — that the Staff Senate is to be consulted with, and engaged on, a number of the issues most important to you: career progression, compensation, benefits, infrastructure, budget and Human Resources policies. And you will advise the President as to the ethical standards applicable to members of the University's staff.
  • Colleges will also be asked in the ARs to build out formal processes for how staff can be even more involved in decisions.
  • Finally, I am proposing to the Board the creation of a President’s Council. It will have 12 members — four students, four faculty and four staff. The Council will provide me with feedback and advice on the most important issues at UK — our budget, our priorities, new ideas and initiatives that will help move us forward.

The Board of Trustees will consider these proposals on Friday, April 26. There will be another month of feedback from the community before a final review from Trustees at their next meeting in June. 

So many of you have inspired me throughout this process. You’ve been willing to step up and speak out about your community and your voice in it. 

And you have reinforced to me that, collectively, we have the power to make changes that matter. You have given us the imperative to do so. We have the moral responsibility, too, to act with what we’ve learned and what we know.

That’s what learning institutions do. They gather knowledge and use that knowledge to make things better. I believe that’s what we are doing together.

Eli Capilouto,