«The Board of Trustees of the University of Kentucky began its Retreat at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 22, 2015, in Rooms 211/215/217 of The 90 on ...»
Minutes of the Board of Trustees Retreat
University of Kentucky
Thursday and Friday, October 22 & 23, 2015
The Board of Trustees of the University of Kentucky began its Retreat at 1:30 p.m. on
Thursday, October 22, 2015, in Rooms 211/215/217 of The 90 on the campus of the University
of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky and concluded its retreat on Saturday, October 24, 2015, in
the Board Room on the 18th floor of Patterson Office Tower, Lexington, Kentucky.
A. Members Present
The following members of the Board of Trustees were present: C. B. Akins, Sr., Claude A. “Skip” Berry, III, James H. Booth, William C. Britton, E. Britt Brockman, Sheila Brothers, Mark P. Bryant, Angela L. Edwards, Oliver Keith Gannon, Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton, Cammie DeShields Grant, Robert Grossman, David V. Hawpe, Kelly Sullivan Holland, Austin Mullen, John Wilson, Robert Vance, and Barbara Young. Trustees William S. Farish, Jr. and C. Frank Shoop were not in attendance.
The University administration was represented by President Eli Capilouto, Provost Tim Tracy, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Michael Karpf, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Monday and General Counsel William Thro.
The University faculty was represented by the Chair of the University Senate Council Andrew Hippisley and the University staff was represented by Chair of the Staff Senate Jann Burks.
Guests, other administrators and members of the news media were also present throughout the Retreat.
B. Welcome and Opening Remarks Chair Brockman welcomed the members of the Board of Trustees and in particular, newly appointed Trustee Skip Berry and returning Trustee Barbara Young. He shared the
“This morning, we celebrated the largest, single monetary gift in the history of the University of Kentucky, a gift focused on maximizing student success, academic excellence, and learning in an incomparable setting.
Tomorrow, we will ceremonially kick off construction for a new, multidisciplinary research building, unlike any other in the country.
What do these two events have in common? Both of them -- in important respects -- were the result of our labors together as a board.
Four years ago, we met on a horse farm a few miles from here and reviewed a report, the product of faculty, staff and students, which said that we needed to do more. To be the kind of university we all wanted, we needed to move quickly to enhance the undergraduate educational experience. A major component of that effort was a focused goal to rapidly but strategically increase the size and quality of our Honors Program.
That focus, I would submit, became an attractive vision and agenda for President Capilouto to articulate across our state and our country. It attracted the interest and investment of a remarkable alum and leader, Tom Lewis. Today, we marked his investment in our future.
Generous donors, like Mr. Lewis and our colleague, Mr. Bill Gatton, have been moved to dramatic and remarkably selfless action by the vision articulated by our President and endorsed by this Board. They are essential to the creation of the kind of academic environment we envision for this special place.
One year ago, almost to the day, we met in retreat and examined not only our biggest challenges as a university but those most vexing issues confronting our Commonwealth. We decided -- in the words of President Capilouto -- that it was time to make ‘death a beggar in Kentucky.’” Chair Brockman continued that “in what some might call an audacious move, we challenged our state and ourselves in a non-budget year to come together to fund a unique research building. We asked for funding to create a place where scientists would work across disciplines to root out discovery and defeat diseases, which for too long have plagued our state at almost epidemic levels. Tomorrow, we celebrate the investment the Kentucky General Assembly is making in the University of Kentucky in the profound hope that we deliver on our promise.
What will we do in the days, months and years ahead? That is the challenge and the question that confronts us now.
As we meet together for our fifth retreat under the leadership of Eli Capilouto, I have never been more optimistic about our future as a board and as an institution. Over the next three days, we will seek to understand more deeply the landscape that is higher education in America today.
And we will explore together a proposed strategic plan that seeks to articulate a vision and an agenda for UK between now and 2020.
The goal -- perhaps again audacious, but achievable -- is to be one of the leading public research universities in the country. We know that in tackling and solving Kentucky's challenges, we address problems confronting our world. We are guided and informed by 150 years of history. But we are willing to try new
-2approaches and innovative solutions, not hamstrung by the idea that we have to always do things the way they have always been done.
I think we all agree we have the leader in Eli Capilouto to guide us in the months and years ahead. Even in the face of continued constraint and challenge, we have a sense of momentum here. These next few days represent our opportunity to fulfill our duty, as a board, to understand, to challenge, and help shape the vision, agenda, and policy direction being articulated by the President, the Provost, and their team at this moment in our history.
Hundreds of faculty, staff and students, have been involved in creating the draft strategic plan that we will be reviewing between now and Saturday. Still, hundreds more will be involved in making that plan a reality at our direction and with the leadership of the President and his team.
We have a deeply talented faculty, who are the intellectual lifeblood and marrow of this place. We will only go as far as their intellect can take us. We are surrounded by a dedicated staff at all levels, one that is devoted to supporting our students and our faculty in their studies and work. And we have a student body as accomplished as any in our history and as committed to values and service as any I have witnessed.
And there is the Board. Our role, as important as any time in our history, is to set the broad direction, to create the expectations and then to hold our president accountable for progress. We are here to assist and to provide counsel and support to the President as he manages and leads this institution on the path we help him set. We set the direction. He executes the plan. We are there to stand resolute when times are tough and when the inevitable questions are raised.
The direction and course we will set are not easy, because progress and bringing our shared vision to fruition will require hard choices about the utilization of scarce resources. We owe to those who pay tuition and tax dollars to chart an ambitious course in what remains a time of tremendous challenge.
And the role of support and leadership we play -- now and in the days ahead -- will help determine the success we have as the University for Kentucky.
I am excited to have the opportunity to serve with you and to help lead our Board. I know we all feel emboldened by what has been accomplished by President Capilouto, his team, and the talented faculty, staff and students who make this place so special.
We have used these retreats in previous years to chart a compelling course. I look forward to what we do together in the days ahead.”
Chair Brockman also took the opportunity to thank former Chair Keith Gannon for his work over the last year and on behalf of the Board, presented him with a plaque in appreciation of his service as Chairman. Trustee Gannon received a round of applause.
President Capilouto began by stating the question asked regarding many of the success stories on the University’s campus, “how did we get here?” President Capilouto shared that the University leaders who came before, set priorities to build, hire, recruit and invest. With the Board’s leadership, the University has continued to build on this success and is transforming the campus.
President Capilouto stated that one of the lessons he has learned is when tackling a project, one needs to find great leadership, define a process, trust the process, engage the community, then listen. Over the past year, under the leadership of Provost Tracy, the Strategic Planning team had listened and learned, identified expertise, recruited leadership and developed new processes for carrying out the University’s priorities.
President Capilouto thanked the many people who helped make the retreat possible. He thanked Provost Tim Tracy for his work leading the strategic planning process. He also thanked the individual committee chairs (Ben Withers, Terry Allen, Lisa Higgins-Hord, Susan Carvalho and Lisa Cassis) and the hundreds of faculty, staff and students who served on the subcommittees, participated in town halls and online, and provided feedback on early drafts.
President Capilouto introduced Provost Tracy to continue the introductions of the day.
Provost Tracy was excited for the opportunity to share the Strategic Plan with the Trustees, but also share the aspirations for the University.
Provost Tracy was pleased to introduce Dr. David Attis from the Education Advisory Board (EAB) to give the Board an overview of the national higher education landscape, its challenges and opportunities. EAB is a national policy development group, which provides best practice research and practical advice regarding higher education to leaders in higher education.
Dr. Attis stated that his presentation would provide a sense of the “big picture”; how the five major areas in higher education are currently viewed; and how these areas tie and provide background to the University of Kentucky’s Strategic Plan.
The first area was Undergraduate Student Success.
-4Dr. Attis explained that the recent national conversation about the value of higher education had been pretty negative. The recession marked a change in mood and fueled concerns about university affordability and the production of students inadequately prepared for the job market. In reality, tuition prices have stayed relatively the same. Scholarships have increased, which is reflected in that a majority of new graduates owe less than $20,000. Falling family income and lack of savings from the recession are greater contributors to the increase in student debt. Access for low-income students is improved and a college degree increases the likelihood of acquiring a job. Community college and no frills for-profit universities are not a threat to the experience of a residential research institution.
As business decision makers agree that a college degree is a sign of preparedness to enter the workforce, institutions are leveraging aid for academic engagement. By packaging financial aid with counseling and emergency funds, plus incentivizing positive academic behavior and showing institutional commitment, student retention is increased. Improved retention also affords the greatest revenue opportunity for most universities.
The second area was Diversity and Inclusivity.
Dr. Attis shared that demographic pressures vary by region, but the overall number of students that higher education serves is decreasing. As projected net growth of high school graduates decreases, the shifting of student mix will occur. With a rapidly growing Hispanic population, these students will make up an increasing percentage of applicants. Also, national data suggests that low-income applicants are rising as well.
Another aspect of diversity is international students. There has been huge growth in international enrollments both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These students are well qualified academically and financially capable, but also too many students from one country can be a financial risk if there are currency, political or even preference changes. Most of these students are from a growing middle class and have different cultural expectations and goals.
To serve students of different races and from different backgrounds, universities need to have faculty and staff that mirror these demographics. Female and minority hiring in the faculty ranks has been slow and challenges still face universities in how to hire, how to retain and how to engage with the community.
The third area was Research and Scholarship.
Dr. Attis explained that there has been a steady increase in the level of federal research funding over the last 25 years, especially in science and engineering. Facilities have been built with this funding and are a continuing part of being competitive in this area. In the last few years, federal dollars have recently become more competitive. Universities are increasingly using their own funding to build facilities, recruit faculty, and as seed funding for leveraging federal dollars. Foundations, state and local industry funding remains relatively flat, but targeted industry partnerships are important going forward.
-5As single investigator/researcher funding has declined, the collaborative “grand challenges” funding has increased. This funding is focused on solving social and technical issues that can create industries and jobs of the future, expand frontiers of human knowledge, tackle important problems related to energy, health, education, the environment, national security and global development. Team science is critical for competitive success for these dollars.
The fourth area was Graduate Education.
Dr. Attis stated that an institution cannot be a thriving research university without a strong graduate education program. Not only do graduate students support faculty research, strong graduate programs attract and retain excellent faculty. Most graduate students teach/assist with courses, supervise laboratories and mentor undergraduates. These students also support outreach activities, perform clinical activities, and then transfer this knowledge to the work force.