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Key Takeaways

  • A pay increase for the 10th time in 11 years will be a central part of the university’s proposed budget that will be considered by the UK Board of Trustees in June.
  • The $12.5 million pool for compensation adjustments is part of a $30 million investment in salary raises over a two-year period – the largest such investment in our people in more than 15 years.
  • Our people make our mission to advance Kentucky possible. These investments – along with increases in contributions in health care to hold down costs – are part of an intentional, long-term effort to recruit and retain the people and talent who help us advance Kentucky.

Campus Community,

For the 10th time in 11 years, we will be proposing a pay increase for UK employees as part of the budget for 2023-2024 that our Board of Trustees will consider in June.

Specifically, the $12.5 million salary pool for pay adjustments, if adopted, would represent $30 million in pay raises (funded from central sources) for our employees over a two-year period. 

It’s the largest set of investments over a two-year period for pay raises in more than 15 years. 

Importantly, it is an extension of our efforts to compensate people for the outstanding work we are doing as Kentucky’s university – consistent annual salary adjustments, continued investments to hold down health costs and enhanced benefits and raises to starting wages.

As we did last year, we will be allocating these pay adjustments in a pool of dollars to colleges and units to provide maximum flexibility to leaders and managers. I believe decisions on pay raises are best made at the unit and department level where the work is done every day.

This pool does not include UK HealthCare, which has a separate salary plan and timeline for these decisions.

Each member of the President’s Cabinet will receive a pool of dollars for pay raises proportionate to each area’s percentage of salary and wages at the university. So, as with last year, if your area’s total compensation is 10 percent of salaries at the university, your unit will receive 10 percent of the salary pool.

Early next week, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric N. Monday and Provost Robert DiPaola will circulate guidelines for the salary pool to area and unit budget officers. Managers and unit leaders will have about three weeks to make decisions on salary adjustments that would take effect in July, pending Board approval in June.

Our principles for the progress of our people remain the same. Recognize outstanding performance. Improve opportunities for our people to advance in their careers. And address issues that we know exist around retention and compression.

To that end, unit leaders will again have flexibility to provide recurring compensation increases based on several factors, including:

  • Performance goals set forth during the formal evaluation process. 
  • Retention needs within a unit.
  • The continued issue of compression in some units, where there is little difference in pay among employees within a department regardless of experience or tenure.

Last year’s pool – the first time we allocated salary adjustments in this manner – was a success. 

We received positive feedback about the ways managers and unit leaders allocated dollars. We will continue to monitor this process to ensure pay decisions are made appropriately and in accordance with our goals to advance and compensate our people.

This year, the university also plans to invest in the health of our community more than ever before. Pending board approval in June, the university will invest nearly $200 million in health coverage – about $12 million more than last year. That increased investment is how we plan to hold down cost increases that our employees pay for health coverage. You can read more about those plans here .

In the coming weeks, we will finalize plans for the proposed budget that our board will consider for 2023-2024. It will total nearly $7 billion as we fully incorporate Ashland-based King’s Daughters into the UK family.

The growth signifies the continuing expansion of our mission to serve and advance Kentucky in everything that we do – our state’s education, its health and its economy. The university’s budget – how we invest in, and take care of, people – demonstrates clearly and unequivocally who and what we value.

This is a special community, dedicated to our people, committed to advancing our Commonwealth.

Eli Capilouto