UK forced to lay off staff as result of state budget cuts


While WKU’s latest budget proposed salary increases for faculty and staff, the staff of the University of Kentucky faces layoffs to offset current budget issues.

In a campus-wide email, UK President Eli Capilouto said he’s making “some of the tough decisions necessary in this challenging budget environment,” giving staff involved in the budget reduction 90 days notice of their layoffs.

About 140 employees are expected to be let go. UK has more than 14,000 employees, comprised of faculty, staff and employees who work for UK HealthCare.

“It is a painful exercise to implement significant reductions in our workforce,” Capilouto said in his email statement. “Our colleagues losing their jobs are both new employees and senior professionals and their contributions to the university have been valued. But there simply is no way to patch over the holes in our budget with temporary measures or one-time sources of funds any longer.”

In an interview with the Courier-Journal, staff representative for the UK Board of Trustees Sheila Brothers said this layoff will be the biggest one UK has had to suffer.

The UK Board of Trustees approved of a 6 percent tuition increase for students in May. In addition, UK is making 5 percent cuts in administrative and 3.3 percent cuts in academic funding, according to Capilouto’s email.

WKU Vice President for Finance and Administration Ann Mead said UK faces the same state-wide 6.4 percent decrease in state funding that WKU does, but the universities handled the situation in different manners.

Mead said WKU is eliminating only three of 2,200 budgeted positions, approximately a tenth of a percent of staff.

“We’ve made choices that have protected most of our employees,” Mead said.

WKU also approved a 5 percent tuition increase to help combat the loss of about $5 million from the state.