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January 23, 2024

News
UK climbs among national peers in higher ed research rankings

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 23, 2024) — The University of Kentucky climbed several spots in national higher education rankings for research and development (R&D) expenditures. 

Based on UK’s $476.5 million in research expenditures – the funds the university spent to conduct research in fiscal year 2022, as reported to the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics:

  • UK ranks 61st among 637 public and private universities in the United States, up from 64th in FY21. 
  • UK ranks 40th among 410 public universities, up from 43rd in FY21. 
  • UK ranks 5th out of 14 Southeastern Conference (SEC) institutions. 

Vice President for Research Lisa Cassis said, “It is incredibly challenging to move up in these national rankings on research and development expenditures. The University of Kentucky’s research enterprise has experienced record growth, but that growth, and related elevation in national ranking, starts with our principal investigators who work across academic boundaries to bring the best ideas to light. This is a testament to the creativity and innovation of the faculty, staff and students who make up our research investigator community at UK. Their tireless work continues to propel the university forward.”

The FY22 rankings were released in December 2023. The National Science Foundation (NSF), through the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), publishes the Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey each year ranking the top U.S. universities according to what they spend on research. The HERD survey is considered to be the primary source of information on R&D expenditures within academia. For more information, see NSF Publications & Data.

For more on UK research, see Stats & Rankings

_As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   _

_In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky. _

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October 27, 2023

News
UK reaches historic, transformative 'Kentucky Can' campaign goal

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 27, 2023) — The University of Kentucky, along with donors and community partners, celebrated the achievement Friday of the $2.1 billion goal for Kentucky Can: The 21st Century Campaign — the largest fundraising campaign in the Commonwealth’s history.  

Donors, alumni, faculty, staff and administrators gathered in UK’s Gatton Student Center to recognize the success of the campaign and its meaning for the Commonwealth. Current UK undergraduates Chloe Kellom, Jason Marcus and Laurel Riggs served as emcees for the event, telling the story of how the Kentucky Can efforts already have transformed the lives of students.  

The comprehensive campaign focused on raising support to fuel all parts of the institution’s mission: education, research, service and care.  

Since the launch of Kentucky Can in 2018, the university has created opportunities for students through scholarships, conducted world-class research to address the state’s most challenging issues and helped build healthier communities across the Commonwealth.

“When we embarked on this campaign, we recognized with both humility and fortitude that these efforts would help write the next chapter for this university and the communities it uplifts,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “That is our north star — to advance Kentucky. This campaign fuels those efforts; it always has been about empowering the incredible talent and impassioned hearts on our campus, so determined and equipped to build a better future for the Commonwealth.”  

Throughout the evening, attendees were reminded of a simple but crucial message: although the campaign reached its conclusion, the work is only beginning.  

“This campaign demonstrated the grace, grit and vision that define this community,” said Jake Lemon, UK’s vice president for philanthropy and alumni engagement. “That same unwavering commitment to advancing Kentucky will fuel our next chapter, as we have more lives to touch and more communities to serve. This is only the beginning.” 

It is a beginning that has garnered widespread participation and engagement.  

More than 162,500 unique donors have contributed to Kentucky Can. Broken out, this number includes nearly 71,000 UK alumni (including nearly 22,000 new alumni) and represents supporters from all 120 Kentucky counties, all 50 states and 50 countries from around the globe. And more than half of these supporters made their first gift to UK during the last five years of the public campaign. 

Support from these donors can be seen across campus, impacting every student, faculty and staff member, as well as the Kentucky communities the university serves.  

The impact is especially evident in the following three areas: 

Student access and success 

One of the campaign’s most significant impacts has been increasing student access to higher education and cultivating Kentucky’s best and brightest minds. More than 53,500 donors contributed to student support as part of Kentucky Can, giving more than $495 million to support students with financial needs.  

By providing scholarships to students who need them most, the university has been able to recruit, retain and graduate more students. This includes first-generation college students — the first in their families to attend and graduate college — who account for 25% of all UK students. More than $26.9 million in donor funds were awarded to first-generation students during the entirety of the campaign. 

The university also launched UK LEADS — a nationally-recognized program — to reduce unmet financial need by using data-informed analytics to better understand the impact of financial need on student success. In all, more than $24.5 million has been raised by donors to support the LEADS program, with more than 1,500 LEADS scholarships awarded to students. 

With the support of these scholarships and programs made possible through Kentucky Can, UK, for the first time in its history, marked a six-year graduation rate of 70% this fall, placing the institution among the top 20% of universities in the country.  

“We often describe our success in numbers,” Capilouto said. “But it is important to remember that those numbers represent lives — lives that have been transformed by the attainment of a college degree. They are lives that build up the workforce Kentucky so desperately needs. They are our brothers and sisters who will use their education to serve communities across our Commonwealth.”  

Stability and prestige 

UK continues to attract and retain the finest faculty and establish state-of-the-art facilities and programs, enhancing the university’s academic standing and overall campus experiences.  

Kentucky Can has raised more than $559 million to support faculty endowments and academic programs, which are critical to students’ experiences while earning their degrees.  

Additionally, the campaign was designed to inspire collaboration among academic colleges and disciplines. This transdisciplinary approach to education, research and service is central to both the campaign and the university’s mission of advancing Kentucky. This is evident through UK’s health care enterprise, where UK’s world-class faculty and researchers are helping treat more patients, ensuring clinical excellence and providing advanced, sub-specialty care to the Commonwealth.  

More than $4 billion has also been invested in infrastructure across the campus — including more than 8 million square feet of new and renovated construction. Philanthropic support has significantly helped UK in taking creative approaches to make these infrastructure improvements over the last several years, holding down costs and increasing access.  

These investments — made both in the physical transformation of campus and in endowments for named colleges, departments and professorships (including the historic gifts to the Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering) — further drive UK in attracting, retaining and graduating more students.  

And it’s just the beginning. With state and community support, UK is planning for the construction of even more facilities, including a $380 million Health Education Building, announced today, which is scheduled to be completed in 2027.  

These investments continue to set the foundation for UK’s students, faculty and staff to achieve greatly.  

Innovation and impact 

Research at UK has incredible momentum. In fiscal year 2023, grant and contract awards totaled $479.3 million — a record high. By fostering innovation and advancing interdisciplinary research, UK faculty, staff, providers and even students are rendering world-class care and developing solutions to improve the lives of all Kentuckians. Kentucky Can has played a critical role in supporting UK’s research mission, from health care to industry and workforce development. By endowing chairs and professorships, philanthropic donors are helping UK attract and retain top researchers who are contributing to fields that matter most to Kentucky, represented in UK’s eight Research Priority Areas — cancer; cardiovascular diseases; diabetes and obesity; equity; energy; materials science; neuroscience; and substance use disorders. 

For example, philanthropy is vital to UK’s Markey Cancer Center, as donors were key players in the center’s 10-year effort to achieve Comprehensive Cancer Center status, the National Cancer Institute’s top designation.  

At the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, philanthropic gifts enabled the center to expand their capabilities with a multi-photon microscope, allowing researchers to see nuances of how the brain functions, offering new insights into devastating diseases like Alzheimer’s. Sanders-Brown was then able to leverage this gift to attract more than $35 million in grant money from the National Institutes for Health — a huge return on an investment. 

Support for UK’s Center for Applied Energy Research has given undergraduate researchers a distinctive opportunity to explore their own research ideas and receive entrepreneurial mentorship through the Lee T. Todd, Jr. Student Innovation Scholarship.  

The first student to receive this scholarship, Lucas Bertucci, not only had the chance to conduct groundbreaking research, but helped launch a new Kentucky company, Verdant Beneficiated Resources, which is working to recycle solar panels. Verdant is hoping to build a new industry here in Kentucky and employ a new generation of Kentuckians.  

And the new James B. Beam Institute is educating the next generation of distillers, providing hands-on training and research in a variety of fields, including marketing, horticulture, hospitality, law, science, engineering, creative writing and business. The institute's cooperation across disciplines, with faculty and philanthropic support, allows it to be a one-stop shop for a Kentucky industry seeking both UK talent and sustainable solutions. 

Just The Beginning 

As the celebration Friday marked the conclusion of the _Kentucky Can _campaign, it marked the beginning of a new chapter. Lemon invited the community to envision, together, what the next chapter may entail.  

“There is a great deal of power in the question, ‘what’s next?’” Lemon said. “Imagine the impact of continuing our trajectory of scholarship support. After all, Kentucky is welcoming incredible economic opportunity and billions in investments. But to continue that pipeline of opportunity, our state must significantly increase its skilled and educated workforce. Imagine how many lives can be changed by equipping the next generation with financial literacy and a head start on investing in their own futures, through programs like ‘UK Invests.’ Imagine the difference we can make in the health outcomes of our citizens if we continue leading the way in training more new medical professionals and in providing advanced sub-specialty care that offers healing and hope. Imagine the solutions we can develop by further investing in our researchers who are on the cutting-edge of discovery. Our friends and partners are committed to helping us build this future for Kentucky.” 

Lemon, who became vice president for philanthropy and alumni engagement in May 2023, will lead the institution’s efforts in developing this next chapter, in alignment with the university’s strategic plan.  

“I invite everyone — with bold aspirations and steadfast belief in the power of this place — to join me in asking ourselves one question, what’s next?”  

For more information about Kentucky Can and UK Philanthropy visit https://kentuckycan.uky.edu/your-gifts-at-work/kentucky-can.  

_As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   _

_In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky. _

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September 15, 2023

News
Record enrollment, graduation rates fueling UK’s mission to advance Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2023) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto on Friday announced that UK has reached a historic milestone of a 70 percent six-year graduation rate – a figure placing the institution among the best in the country. 

The graduation rate details were part of a report on enrollment that Capilouto gave members of the UK Board of Trustees during their September meeting. The enrollment report included several other historic firsts, including a record first-year class of almost 6,500 students and overall, more than 34,000 students enrolled on the campus for the first time ever, according to preliminary figures. 

“Over the last decade, because of the work of thousands of faculty and staff and the commitment and capacity of our students, we have rapidly accelerated the success rate of students – even as we continued to grow enrollment. Kentucky is rightly demanding of us a larger and even more skilled workforce to meet the needs of a complex and competitive economy,” Capilouto told board members. “To do that, we must educate and graduate even more students, in fields responsive to local and global workforce needs – students who have the skills to solve problems, work in teams, communicate effectively and think deeply and broadly about challenges.” 

Other highlights of Capilouto’s preliminary enrollment report included: 

  • Six-year graduation rates have increased by more than 12 percentage points since the class of 2010; four-year graduation rates have increased by 27 percentage points in that same time and five-year rates have increased by 17 percentage points. 

  • The 70% graduation rate, according to the most recent data, places UK among the top 100 public institutions in the country that grant primarily bachelor’s degrees or higher. 

  • Second fall retention – the success rate for students returning for their second year of college – also reached a record level of 87 percent, according to preliminary numbers. 

  • Nearly 6,500 first-year students are enrolled at UK this fall, about 400 more than last year. UK’s first-year enrollment exceeds 6,000 for the second year in a row. In fall 2010, the first-year enrollment was a little more than 4,300. 

  • Overall, UK has grown from a little more than 28,000 students in fall 2010 to more than 34,000 in fall 2023; UK also has more than 24,000 undergraduates for the first time. 

  • Nearly 17 percent of students enrolled are from underrepresented populations, an increase in both number and percentage over last year.  This continues an upward trend in underrepresented student enrollment that has produced more than 1,400 credentials earned by students of color in 2022-23, a 251 percent increase since 2010-11. In addition, nearly 19 percent of UK’s first-year students are from underrepresented populations. 

  • Additionally, about 25 percent of first-year students are “first gen” students – meaning they will be the first in their families to graduate from college, a number that continues to increase as well. 

“At UK, we work every day to model a community where everyone belongs and everyone feels accepted for who they are and what they, uniquely, contribute to this place,” Capilouto said.  
“Kentucky needs more – more from us and with us to build a stronger state with a brighter future … We must, and I believe we will, find ways to do and be even more for Kentucky.” 

 Details of Capilouto’s preliminary enrollment report can be found here

_As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   _

_In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky. _

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August 1, 2023

News
Record-breaking awards fuel UK research in 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 1, 2023) — For the first time in University of Kentucky history, investigators received $479.3 million in extramural grants and contracts to support their research in fiscal year (FY) 2023. This is a 5.8% increase from the $452.9 million in fiscal year (FY) 2022 research awards.

UK researchers also made history in FY23 with a record 1,877 research awards to a record 837 principal investigators from a record 621 sponsors.

“Our continued growth as a research university is directly connected to the intentional focus we have on the biggest issues – cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neuroscience, substance use, energy and equity – and now opportunities with new national investment to expand the economy through advanced manufacturing and materials science. Without a question, research is vital in our mission to serve Kentucky,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. 

“Our people make our research possible. The principal investigators who lead our research teams work across academic boundaries to bring the best ideas to light. This growth is a testament to the creativity and innovation of the faculty, staff and students who make up our research investigator community at UK. Their tireless work continues to propel the university forward to advance our state and our nation,” said Vice President for Research Lisa Cassis.

Industry-sponsored research grew by 9.6% from $25.6 million in FY22 to $28.1 million in FY23.

UK clinical research was supported by $3.8 million from Eli Lilly and Company for the PRiMAL study, which examines the impact of review by a molecular tumor board — a team of medical experts who collaborate on treatment plans, looking at things like specific genetic tumor markers, to treat complex cancer cases. The five-year clinical trial, led by Jill Kolesar, Pharm.D., professor in the College of Pharmacy, will follow treatment and outcomes for 500 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, the most common type of lung cancer. “Kentucky has the highest incidence of lung cancer in the nation,” said Mark Evers, M.D., Markey Cancer Center director, “but our work including Dr. Kolesar’s molecular tumor board — part of our individualized, precision medicine approach to patient care — is a model other cancer centers, across the country and internationally, are adopting to better care for cancer patients.” 

The Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are partners on a $10 million project ($1.9 million in FY23) to transform coal into high-value carbon fibers and composites. With construction, aerospace, automotive and defense applications, the market for carbon fibers is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12% through 2024. This is one of the leading-edge research fields related to UK’s newly created Materials Science Research Priority Area.

Non-profit awards increased by 16.7% ($22.3 million in FY22 to $26 million in FY23). A $3.3 million award from the Prichard Committee supports Shannon Sampson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Education, who in partnership with the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), will serve in an external, independent evaluation capacity to support Full Service Community Schools. The goal is to improve the coordination, integration, accessibility and effectiveness of services for children and families in high-poverty schools across Kentucky.

Federal grants and contracts totaled $252.6 million, accounting for 52.7% of UK’s total awards in FY23, and supported critical drug overdose prevention and dementia treatment projects.

Terry Bunn, Ph.D., professor in the College of Public Health and director of the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC), received $7.2 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Kentucky Overdose Data to Action, a program that works with local health departments, community stakeholders, and local and statewide agencies. The program leverages datasets (emergency department visits, inpatient hospitalizations, death certificates, prescription drug monitoring, and workers’ compensation claims) to identify specific targets for evidence-based prevention programs, to recruit and retain community stakeholders in the fight against drug overdose, and to help translate research into actionable interventions. 

Christopher Norris, Ph.D., professor in the College of Medicine, leads a team of more than 30 scientists at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging studying astrocytes. With $4.2 million in FY23 (part of a $20.5 million grant from the National Institute on Aging), his project “Strategies for Targeting Astrocyte Reactivity in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (STAR-ADRD)” explores the role of these star-shaped cells in neurodegenerative disease progression and their potential to be therapeutic targets.

To learn more about the innovative research happening across campus that impacts our state and our nation, visit research.uky.edu/news.

_As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   _

_In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky. _

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August 1, 2023

News
UK HealthCare No. 1 in Ky. 8 years running, 3 specialties ranked in U.S. News & World Report

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 1, 2023)  For the eighth year in a row, the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital at UK HealthCare earned the ranking of the No. 1 hospital in Kentucky and recognized in the Bluegrass Region by the 2023-24 Best Hospitals rankings and ratings from U.S. News & World Report.

Additionally, UK HealthCare ranked in the top 50 for three specialties: cancer care (#44), ear, nose & throat (#49, tied) and OB/GYN (#40). Gastroenterology and GI surgery also received a “high-performing” designation.

"Excellence in health care is not merely a title to be held but a relentless pursuit to improve the lives of our patients,” said Robert S. DiPaola, M.D., UK acting co-executive vice president for health affairs. “To be consistently ranked among the best in the nation requires a commitment to exceptional care, groundbreaking research, innovative education and compassionate service from our faculty, providers and staff across UK, HealthCare as we serve Kentucky and beyond."

“The recognition as Kentucky’s best hospital by U.S. News and World Report affirms the tireless efforts of thousands of people at UK HealthCare who come together each day with one goal in mind – to advance the health of our state by extending the care that only we provide for Kentucky,” said Eric N. Monday, acting co-executive vice president for health affairs at UK. “We are proud of this ranking – a reflection of continued and sustained excellence over many years – but we are not satisfied. We have more to do to meet the health needs of our state and we are committed to that work.”

This year’s ranking marks the seventh consecutive year of Top 50 rankings for the UK Markey Cancer Center, Kentucky’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.

“Our mission is to reduce the burden of cancer in Kentucky through our dedicated efforts in research, prevention, education, and treatment,” said Mark Evers, M.D., director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. “I’m incredibly proud of the progress Markey has made in these areas over the past decade, and we will continue to build on this momentum to conquer cancer in the Commonwealth.”

This year also marks the first Top 50 ranking for UK Women’s Health OB-GYN. The team provides the full scope of care for women throughout the various stages of their lives. The team works together to provide a full range of office and surgical gynecology, infertility care, pediatric and adolescent gynecology care, preconception and prenatal care, and obstetrical care. They also work closely with the Kentucky Children’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to ensure that mothers and their children are cared for at the highest level. UK’s NICU is the only Level IV NICU in the state. 

“At UK, we take great pride in offering exceptional care to women across the region, including the type of complex, high-acuity care that’s only available at academic medical centers,” said Bryan Rone, M.D., acting chair and associate professor in the UK Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “From offering minimally invasive treatments for complex gynecological disorders and diseases, including cancers, to caring for low and high-risk maternity patients, we are committed to helping Kentucky women lead active and healthy lives. I am so proud of our department.”

UK HealthCare’s Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, more commonly known as the Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic, returns to the Top 50 ranking this year. This clinic addresses all facets of the medical and surgical care of the ear, nose and throat region with expertise from allergists, audiologists, plastic surgeons, speech-language pathologists and other specialists.

“We’ve always worked very hard to provide the best care for our patients, and we try to be accessible and make room for our patients who need to be seen right away,” said Raleigh Jones, M.D., chair of the UK Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery. “This ranking is a great acknowledgment of the care we offer and how we are being responsive to the needs of Kentuckians.”

In addition to the specialty rankings, UK HealthCare also received a record-setting “high-performing” designation in 13 common adult procedures and conditions:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Colon Cancer Surgery
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Attack
  • Heart Failure
  • Hip Replacement
  • Kidney Failure
  • Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma
  • Lung Cancer Surgery
  • Ovarian Cancer Surgery
  • Pneumonia
  • Stroke
  • Uterine Cancer Surgery

“These accolades not only honor our achievements, but also fuel our passion to continue transforming lives and making a positive impact on the well-being of the Commonwealth,” said Gwen Moreland, chief nurse executive for UK HealthCare. “UK is known for providing the type of advanced, complex care only available at the top medical centers in the country, but at the heart of this care is our people. I’m incredibly proud of the work done by the thousands of providers, faculty and staff across our health care system.”

U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 hospitals across 15 specialties and 21 procedures and conditions; only 12% of evaluated hospitals earned a Best Hospitals ranking. Hospitals awarded a “Best” designation excelled at factors such as clinical outcomes, level of nursing care and patient experience.

“For 34 years, U.S. News has provided data-informed rankings to help patients and their doctors find the best hospital to treat their illness or condition,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis and managing editor at U.S. News.

For more information on the U.S. News Best Hospitals, explore FacebookTwitter and Instagram using #BestHospitals.

_UK HealthCare is the hospitals and clinics of the University of Kentucky. But it is so much more. It is more than 10,000 dedicated health care professionals committed to providing advanced subspecialty care for the most critically injured and ill patients from the Commonwealth and beyond. It also is the home of the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center, a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that cares for the tiniest and sickest newborns, the region’s only Level 1 trauma center and Kentucky’s top hospital ranked by U.S. News & World Report.  _

_As an academic research institution, we are continuously pursuing the next generation of cures, treatments, protocols and policies. Our discoveries have the potential to change what’s medically possible within our lifetimes. Our educators and thought leaders are transforming the health care landscape as our six health professions colleges teach the next generation of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals, spreading the highest standards of care. UK HealthCare is the power of advanced medicine committed to creating a healthier Kentucky, now and for generations to come. _

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June 21, 2023

News
US News & World Report ranks Kentucky Children’s Hospital high in cardiology, orthopedics and urology

**LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 21, 2023) — ** Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) has been recognized as a 2023-24 Best Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report. These rankings assist parents of children with rare or life-threatening illnesses and their doctors in choosing the right hospital for them. KCH was ranked nationally in three areas of specialized care.

The Joint Pediatric and Congenital Heart Program, a collaboration between Cincinnati Children’s and Kentucky Children’s Hospital, ranked seventh in the country in pediatric cardiology & heart surgery. This ranking also includes patients treated through the adult congenital heart program, a collaboration with UK HealthCare’s Gill Heart and Vascular Institute for adult patients who were born with congenital heart defects.  

In association with Shriners Children's Lexington, KCH is ranked 42nd in the country for pediatric orthopedic care. While they are separate entities, Shriners and KCH work closely together to provide seamless pediatric orthopedic care. A staff of board-certified pediatric orthopedic surgeons and anesthesiologists have cared for children at both institutions for over 35 years.

The pediatric urology team at KCH is ranked 42nd in the nation for kidney, ureter, bladder and genital care. Since 2013, pediatric urology physicians, advanced practice providers and nurses and staff have seen more than 18,000 patients and performed more than 5,000 surgeries at KCH and satellite locations across Kentucky.

“These rankings are a reflection of the dedication and compassion our providers have for Kentucky’s kids,” said Scottie B. Day, M.D., physician-in-chief at KCH. “We’re honored to be recognized for the care we provide. Because of the expertise of our providers and our ability to create meaningful partnerships with other institutions, our patients don’t have to go far from home to get the best care in the country.”

“At UK HealthCare, we are committed to creating a stronger, healthier Kentucky,” said Robert DiPaola, M.D., acting co-executive vice president for health affairs for UK HealthCare. “By advancing pediatric subspecialty care, we are ensuring Kentucky’s kids have the best possible start here at home.”

U.S. News, together with RTI International, a North Carolina-based research and consulting firm, collected and analyzed data from 119 children’s hospitals and surveyed thousands of pediatric specialists. Children’s hospitals awarded a “Best” designation excelled at factors such as clinical outcomes, level and quality of hospital resources directly related to patient care and expert opinion among pediatric specialists.

About Kentucky Children’s Hospital

Kentucky Children's Hospital, part of UK HealthCare, is committed to providing the best care possible, for children as well as families. With the region's only Level I pediatric trauma center and Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, more than 30 advanced subspecialty programs such as pediatric oncology and pediatric surgery and nationally ranked by the U.S. News and World Report in pediatric heart care, urology and orthopedics, KCH is equipped to provide the highest level of care to young patients, close to home.

About U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower consumers, business leaders and policy officials to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives and communities. A multifaceted digital media company with Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars, News, Real Estate, Careers and 360 Reviews platforms, U.S. News provides rankings, independent reporting, data journalism, consumer advice and U.S. News Live events. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

_UK HealthCare is the hospitals and clinics of the University of Kentucky. But it is so much more. It is more than 10,000 dedicated health care professionals committed to providing advanced subspecialty care for the most critically injured and ill patients from the Commonwealth and beyond. It also is the home of the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center, a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that cares for the tiniest and sickest newborns, the region’s only Level 1 trauma center and Kentucky’s top hospital ranked by U.S. News & World Report.  _

_As an academic research institution, we are continuously pursuing the next generation of cures, treatments, protocols and policies. Our discoveries have the potential to change what’s medically possible within our lifetimes. Our educators and thought leaders are transforming the health care landscape as our six health professions colleges teach the next generation of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals, spreading the highest standards of care. UK HealthCare is the power of advanced medicine committed to creating a healthier Kentucky, now and for generations to come. _

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June 16, 2023

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Historic UK budget will expand access to health care, education to more Kentuckians

**LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2023) — **The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees on Friday approved a $6.8 billion fiscal year 2023-24 budget for the institution that represents record-setting investments in the pillars of its mission — students, health care, research and service.

The budget — the largest in the institution’s history — is evidence that “UK is delivering on its promise to advance Kentucky,” said President Eli Capilouto. “We were created nearly 160 years ago with an essential mission and singular focus — to advance Kentucky — its health, its economy and its quality of life. With this budget, we demonstrate how we are honoring that mission today and how we are preparing to continue to honor our promise to the commonwealth for the future.”

The $6.8 billion budget is 21% larger than last year’s $5.6 billion original budget, a reflection of the acquisition and integration of King’s Daughters Medical Health System in Ashland into the university. The budget’s growth continues to be driven by the ongoing expansion of the university’s academic health system, its commitment to strategic growth of the student body and a thriving research enterprise. In fact, in 2011 when Capilouto arrived at UK the institution’s budget was $2.7 billion.

Additional details of the proposed budget include:

A promise to enroll and graduate more students

  • UK expects to welcome a record first-year class of approximately 6,400 students this fall and an overall enrollment of about 33,000. It’s the second year in a row first-year enrollment will exceed 6,000 students.
  • Even with the growth, UK expects to hit a record, six-year graduation rate of 70% and a five-year graduation rate that almost matches that milestone, underscoring successful efforts to accelerate retention levels.
  • UK will hold tuition increases, under the proposed budget, to 2.75% for Kentucky undergraduates — part of a continued commitment to ensuring access and affordability. Tuition for fall 2023 would be $6,606.00, up from $6,429.50 in Fall 2022.
  • If adopted, the tuition rate for Kentucky undergraduates will mean that the four-year average annual increase would be 1.7%, the third year in a row that the rolling average for increases is under 2%.
  • Financial aid in the form of grants and scholarships that students do not have to repay will hit $285 million, including $165 million from institutional funds. More than 90% of full-time, resident undergraduates receive such aid. Last fall, those students paid, on average, less than $500 out-of-pocket for tuition and mandatory fees.
  • About 25% of Kentucky undergraduates come from families where the median family annual income is less than $25,000. Those students last fall paid no tuition and mandatory fees and received an additional, average amount of $3,171 in aid.

A promise to expand health care to more Kentuckians

  • The academic health system now represents approximately $4 billion of the institution’s budget — a 300% increase from a decade ago.
  • UK is in the design phases for approximately $2.4 billion in construction over the next several years, including expansion of the Albert B. Chandler Hospital footprint, an advanced cancer and ambulatory center and four ambulatory clinics throughout the region to provide greater access to care.

A promise to pursue discovery and answers

  • The proposed budget projects $494 million in revenue from research grants and contracts — the third straight year the research enterprise would top $400 million.
  • Much of that revenue is directed toward Research Priority Areas — a focused attempt to address Kentucky’s biggest challenges around cancer and diabetes, substance misuse and neuroscience, heart disease and energy as well as systemic issues around race and equity.

A promise to take care of the people who advance UK and the state

  • For the 10th time in 11 years, the proposed budget includes compensation increases for UK employees.
  • Nearly $30 million has been invested from central sources over the last two years (not including UK HealthCare) and represent the largest such investments in pay raises over a two-year period in more than 15 years.
  • UK will invest $12 million more in health care in the coming year, some $200 million for health coverage in 2023-24.
  • The university will increase the starting hourly rate for Federal Work Study student employees to $12 an hour. The Office of Student Success will implement the same starting hourly rates for its student employees.
  • UK is also implementing baseline graduate stipends, using national benchmarking data by academic discipline.

“This budget is an example of promises made and promises kept — for all those we serve throughout the Commonwealth,” Capilouto said. “I am confident with the continued compassion and commitment of our people and our community that we can meet this moment as long as we remain focused on the mission that has guided our path for nearly 160 years: to advance Kentucky in all that we do.”

_As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   _

_In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky. _

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May 23, 2023

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UK, USDA break ground on new forage research building

**LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 23, 2023) **— U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell joined officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack and the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment (UK-CAFE) today in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new $65.9 million Forage Animal Production Lab on UK’s campus.

“Today’s groundbreaking for the Forage Animal Production Lab speaks to the heart of what a land-grant institution, like ours, is so distinctively positioned to do – to take basic scientific discovery and apply that knowledge to applications that can be transferred directly to producers,” said UK President Eli Capilouto.”

The new facility housing the Forage-Animal Production Research Unit (FAPRU) is targeted for completion in 2026 and will encompass approximately 52,600 total square feet of office, support and research laboratory space, as well as a collaborative area, headhouse and eight-bay greenhouses.

“For a long time, I’ve said Kentucky’s farmers are some of the best in the world. As a senior member of both the Senate Agriculture Committee and Appropriations Committee, I’ve firmly focused my career on supporting agricultural communities across the Commonwealth, and this research facility builds on that commitment in a big way,” said Senator McConnell. “I was proud to do my part and help secure $65.9 million in federal funding to establish this new lab at the University of Kentucky. Thank you, President Capilouto, Dean Cox and Secretary Vilsack for your partnership on this project.”

The mission of the Forage-Animal Production Research Unit (FAPRU) in Lexington is to improve the productivity, sustainability and competitiveness of forage-based enterprises that raise beef cattle, horses, sheep and goats — particularly operators of small- to medium-sized farms.

“Agricultural research bolsters economic growth and enhances food quality and safety all while combatting the climate crisis,” said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “Today’s groundbreaking builds on more than two decades of partnership with the University of Kentucky, while demonstrating USDA’s latest commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible for agriculture, and to creating profitable and sustainable systems, rooted in science, that will advance farmers’ production for years to come.”

The completion of a the new FAPRU building will usher in important design upgrades and functionality, more opportunities for collaboration, and an expanded research capacity to support forage-based farm enterprises in Kentucky and other Transition Zone states.

The new FAPRU building will be staffed by six ARS scientists and seven UK researchers, along with laboratory technicians and administrative personnel. Research conducted there, among other projects, will include developing sustainable forage systems to ensure the performance and health of beef cattle and small ruminants such as sheep and goats; minimizing the incidence of tall fescue toxicosis and evaluating the potential of natural antibiotic alternatives to improve nitrogen efficiency and reduce enteric methane emissions by cattle.

“This new facility will ensure continued innovative research for grazing-related industries,” said Nancy Cox, vice president for Land-grant Engagement and dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “We are grateful to Leader McConnell for taking our partnership with ARS to a new level.”

The Agricultural Research Service is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency. Daily, ARS focuses on solutions to agricultural problems affecting America.

“This work and these efforts, of course, also would not be possible without partners like those in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, represented by Secretary Vilsack and the members of his team who are with us today,” Capilouto said. “Senator McConnell has been our steady and steadfast partner in our mission to transform and advance this state – from cancer care to translational science, from the scourge of opioid misuse to the agricultural innovations we are celebrating today, he has pushed and supported us to do and be more for the state we all serve. The bottom line is this: the $65.9 million that is making this lab a reality would not have happened without Sen. McConnell’s strong support and unyielding leadership.”

_As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $501 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   _

_In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky. _

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May 4, 2023

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Markey earns National Pancreas Foundation Center designation for treatment of pancreatic cancer

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 4, 2023)  The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center has been recognized by the National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) as an approved NPF Center of Excellence.

The designation is awarded after a rigorous audit review to determine that an institution's focus is on multidisciplinary treatment of pancreatic cancer, treating the “whole patient” with a focus on the best possible outcomes and an improved quality of life.

“We are honored to receive the NPF designation, which highlight’s Markey’s commitment to multidisciplinary treatment and providing the best and most innovative patient care possible,” said Joseph Kim, M.D., UK Markey Cancer Center chief of surgical oncology. “The recognition is also a testament to the dedication of our entire pancreatic cancer team in delivering excellent patient care.”

An approved NPF Center has to meet the criteria that were developed by a task force made up of invited subject matter experts and patient advocates. The criteria includes having the required expert physician specialties such as gastroenterologists, pancreas surgeons, and interventional radiologists, along with more patient-focused programs such as a pain management service, psychosocial support and more.

UK HealthCare’s Digestive Health Program was also recently recognized as an NPF Center for the treatment of pancreatitis. The two UK designations are listed among 171 NPF Centers across the nation.

“We are thrilled to expand our NPF Centers of Excellence Program to better serve the needs of patients suffering from pancreas disease,” said David Bakelman, CEO of the National Pancreas Foundation. “The NPF Centers of Excellence Program is one of the pillars of NPF, and we are looking forward to working with our current and new centers.”

For more information about the National Pancreas Foundation, please visit www.pancreasfoundation.org.

_UK HealthCare is the hospitals and clinics of the University of Kentucky. But it is so much more. It is more than 10,000 dedicated health care professionals committed to providing advanced subspecialty care for the most critically injured and ill patients from the Commonwealth and beyond. It also is the home of the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center, a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that cares for the tiniest and sickest newborns, the region’s only Level 1 trauma center and Kentucky’s top hospital ranked by U.S. News & World Report.  _

_As an academic research institution, we are continuously pursuing the next generation of cures, treatments, protocols and policies. Our discoveries have the potential to change what’s medically possible within our lifetimes. Our educators and thought leaders are transforming the health care landscape as our six health professions colleges teach the next generation of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals, spreading the highest standards of care. UK HealthCare is the power of advanced medicine committed to creating a healthier Kentucky, now and for generations to come. _

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April 28, 2023

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Plans announced for Chandler medical campus expansion to allow for more inpatient beds, access and services

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 27, 2023) — A plan to begin design work for a new patient care tower at the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital was endorsed Thursday by the UK Board of Trustees Health Care Committee.

The support for an additional patient care tower was one of several projects endorsed by the committee, which would expand or renovate key health care units and continue to expand the footprint of specialty and ambulatory care services on the UK Chandler campus.

The Health Care committee also endorsed renovation of the existing Mother Baby and Labor and Delivery units, an expansion of  operating rooms, relocation and renovation of advanced endoscopy services and establishment of a new observational unit. Final approval for all the projects is pending the UK Board of Trustees vote on Friday.

As part of the projects supported, UK will move forward with $180 million to initiate the design phase to expand patient care facilities to accommodate additional inpatient beds and clinical support services at UK Chandler Hospital, ranked Kentucky’s no. 1 hospital seven years consecutively by U.S. News & World Report.

“Growth and increasing demand for advanced subspecialty care along with the need for facilities that provide maximum flexibility to create capacity and ensure patients are seen without delays has led to the planning for an expansion of the Chandler campus to ensure the needs of our current and future patients are met,” said Eric N. Monday, UK’s acting co-executive vice president for health affairs and executive vice president for finance administration.

In May 2011, the first three patient care floors of the 12-story UK Chandler Pavilion A with two bed towers were dedicated and opened to patients.

Since then, UK HealthCare has experienced strong, consistent inpatient admissions growth including 38,400 patient discharges in fiscal year 2022 and 15,700 patient transfers accepted.

The fit out of the last shelled patient floor in Pavilion A will be completed later this year and UK HealthCare expects these beds to be fully utilized as soon as the space is open, Monday said. “More and more patients need access to the advanced subspecialty care that only UK HealthCare provides. We don’t want to turn patients away or make them wait to access our care. Additional beds on the Chandler campus are an important part of ensuring we have the capacity to meet the needs of our patients.”

Along with steady increases in inpatient volumes, UK HealthCare also is facing challenges posed by aging facilities in the original sections of both UK Chandler Hospital built in 1962 and UK Good Samaritan Hospital which opened at its current South Limestone location in 1907.

“Unfortunately, the age of these facilities and their infrastructures creates multiple challenges in supporting current day health care technologies and patient care operations,” said acting co-EVPHA Robert DiPaola. DiPaola also serves as UK’s Provost.

The design phase for the project will include detailed programming services, schematic design through construction documentation phases and budget estimates for all phases with projected timelines. The new patient care tower will include adult and pediatric inpatient rooms, observation spaces, operating rooms, minor procedures rooms, diagnostic services, imaging services, pharmacy services, laboratory services and administration and support areas as well as meeting spaces.

Additional Board of Trustees approval will be required to initiate the construction phase. The project, authorized by the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly, is within the total legislative authorization of $200 million and will be funded with agency funds.

In addition to the new bed tower, the health care committee approved a $82 million renovation plan for several existing areas and services.

Renovation plans include:

  • Mother Baby and Labor Delivery units — Renovation of approximately 34,000-square-feet space on the third floor of Pavilion HA in the Mother Baby and Labor and Delivery Units. The project includes renovation of triage and post anesthesia care units; standardization of operating rooms; creation of family space within the labor and delivery unit; update of staff workspaces; and renovation of all inpatient rooms, labor and delivery rooms and public areas. The project also includes the relocation of the OB post-partum rooms to another patient floor within the Chandler facility.

  • Endoscopy — New space for advanced endoscopy services on the first floor of Pavilion A in the Interventional Services Suite. The project includes two fixed and two mobile C-arm rooms in existing procedure rooms, create two general endoscopy rooms, clinical support spaces and a potential scope reprocessing area adjacent to procedure rooms. Existing prep and recovery rooms equipped to support the added advanced endoscopy rooms.

  • Observational Unit — Creation of an observation unit in 5,500-square-feet of ground floor space adjacent to the existing Pavilion A Emergency Department (ED) that most recently used to temporarily support overflow ED patients.

  • **ORs **— Completion of an operating room expansion using 15,000-square-feet of shelled space adjacent to the existing operating rooms and pre-op/post-op rooms on the second floor of Pavilion A. This project will create up to eight additional operating rooms and associated support spaces.

_UK HealthCare is the hospitals and clinics of the University of Kentucky. But it is so much more. It is more than 10,000 dedicated health care professionals committed to providing advanced subspecialty care for the most critically injured and ill patients from the Commonwealth and beyond. It also is the home of the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center, a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that cares for the tiniest and sickest newborns, the region’s only Level 1 trauma center and Kentucky’s top hospital ranked by U.S. News & World Report.  _

_As an academic research institution, we are continuously pursuing the next generation of cures, treatments, protocols and policies. Our discoveries have the potential to change what’s medically possible within our lifetimes. Our educators and thought leaders are transforming the health care landscape as our six health professions colleges teach the next generation of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals, spreading the highest standards of care. UK HealthCare is the power of advanced medicine committed to creating a healthier Kentucky, now and for generations to come. _

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February 14, 2023

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UK HealthCare earns National Pancreas Foundation Center designation

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 14, 2023) — UK HealthCare’s Digestive Health Program has been recognized as a Center of Excellence by the National Pancreas Foundation (NPF), becoming one of 164 NPF Centers across the nation.

NPF Centers are awarded after a rigorous audit review to determine that an institution’s focus is on multidisciplinary treatment of pancreatitis, treating the “whole patient” in hopes of achieving the best possible outcomes and an improved quality of life.

“We are thrilled to be recognized as a National Pancreas Foundation Center of Excellence,” said Darwin Conwell, M.D., the Jack M. Gill Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and a longtime medical pancreatologist. “Designated NPF Centers have the educational environment, research infrastructure, and clinical resources to provide state-of-the-art care for patients with various pancreatic disorders including acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, and adult cystic fibrosis.  This will serve as a valuable resource for patients and referring providers in Kentucky and beyond.”

An approved NPF Center must meet the criteria that were developed by a task force made up of invited subject matter experts and patient advocates. The criteria includes having the required expert physician specialties such as gastroenterologists, pancreas surgeons, and interventional radiologists, along with more patient-focused programs such as a pain management service, psychosocial support, and more.

“We are thrilled to expand our NPF Centers of Excellence Program to better serve the needs of patients suffering from pancreas disease,” said David Bakelman, CEO of the National Pancreas Foundation.  “The NPF Centers of Excellence Program is one of the pillars of NPF, and we are looking forward to working with our current and new Centers.”

For more information about the National Pancreas Foundation, please visit www.pancreasfoundation.org.

About The National Pancreas Foundation

Founded in 1997, the National Pancreas Foundation provides hope for those suffering from pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer through funding cutting-edge research, advocating for new and better therapies and providing support and education for patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. The NPF is the only foundation dedicated to patients suffering from all forms of pancreas disease. For more information visit: www.pancreasfoundation.org.

_UK HealthCare is the hospitals and clinics of the University of Kentucky. But it is so much more. It is more than 10,000 dedicated health care professionals committed to providing advanced subspecialty care for the most critically injured and ill patients from the Commonwealth and beyond. It also is the home of the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center, a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that cares for the tiniest and sickest newborns, the region’s only Level 1 trauma center and Kentucky’s top hospital ranked by U.S. News & World Report.  _

_As an academic research institution, we are continuously pursuing the next generation of cures, treatments, protocols and policies. Our discoveries have the potential to change what’s medically possible within our lifetimes. Our educators and thought leaders are transforming the health care landscape as our six health professions colleges teach the next generation of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals, spreading the highest standards of care. UK HealthCare is the power of advanced medicine committed to creating a healthier Kentucky, now and for generations to come. _

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December 13, 2022

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Construction, expansion approved for new UK HealthCare cancer ambulatory complex

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 13, 2022)  The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved the initiation of the construction of the new UK HealthCare cancer and advanced ambulatory complex on South Limestone.

The Board also approved an expansion of the original design for the facility to make room for other health care services and for patient growth. The revised financial scope of this project is $500 million, still well within the total legislative authorization of $550 million for this facility from the Kentucky General Assembly.

“We are making it so no Kentuckian should have to leave the state to access quality, patient-centered care,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “This expansion further solidifies and expands upon our efforts to advance Kentucky by improving access to our world-class experts and providers.”

The UK Board of Trustees first approved the planning and design of the new complex in May 2021. In December 2021, the UK Board of Trustees approved a purchase agreement for $6.9 million to acquire residential parcels across from UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital on South Limestone for the construction of the facility.

The new complex — with an estimated 260,000 square feet solely for cancer services — may include multiple buildings but will primarily allow for the needed expansion of patient care services and increased ease of access for the UK Markey Cancer Center. Other services housed in the new facility may include but are not limited to outpatient operating rooms, minor procedures, endoscopy, diagnostics and imaging services, pharmacy, retail, outpatient clinics, meeting spaces, and necessary support spaces.

As the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated center in Kentucky, Markey is able to offer cutting-edge and early phase therapies not available to patients being treated anywhere else in Kentucky. Since becoming an NCI-designated center in 2013, the UK Markey Cancer Center outpatient clinic visits have increased by 57%, including more than 120,000 patient visits in fiscal year 2021. Additionally, cancer-related research funding has increased by 109% since 2012.

The expansion of the current building design is necessary to allow Markey room to further grow and expand as more patients from in and out of state need its services, says Mark Evers, M.D., director of the UK Markey Cancer Center.

“In the past decade, we have seen an incredible increase in the number of patients – mostly Kentuckians – who need the level of expertise that our physicians and health care staff provide,” Evers said. “We want this building to last for the next 50 years. In a state that still holds the highest overall incidence and death rates for cancer, it’s important for us to be able to have the capacity to grow and treat more patients, with the ultimate goal of significantly reducing the burden of cancer in the Commonwealth.”

Additionally, philanthropic support will be a major component in developing the new facility. In February, UK HealthCare announced a historic $10 million gift from Central Bank – the largest in UK HealthCare history – to support expanded patient care at the UK Markey Cancer Center . This gift launches an initiative to raise $90 million to improve cancer care in Kentucky. Partners like the Markey Cancer Foundation, Lexington Cancer Foundation, and grateful patients and families will work together to see this philanthropic mission accomplished.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

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December 1, 2022

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King’s Daughters officially becomes part of UK

**LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2022) — **Ashland-based King’s Daughters (KD), the largest employer in northeastern Kentucky, officially became part of the University of Kentucky today — a move that will create greater access to high-quality care for more Kentuckians.

“Advancing Kentucky is the goal for everything we do at the University of Kentucky and the health and well-being of the people in the Commonwealth is critical to that mission,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “King’s Daughters and its team will help move this vision forward by continuing to provide high-quality health care to Ashland and the surrounding region as it has for decades.”

UK and King’s Daughters have been working together for nearly two years as members of Royal Blue Health LLC (RBH). During this time, King’s Daughters has experienced significant growth in employees and revenues and has begun to build and expand important infrastructure to improve access and care for people in the region. In October 2022, the UK Board of Trustees approved plans for the KD to become part of UK.

Today, UK and King’s Daughters have satisfied all requisite requirements and as of Dec. 1, 2022, have finalized the necessary documents to complete the transition of KD becoming a part of UK. 

“King’s Daughters has been invested in the people and this region for more than 120 years,” said Kristie Whitlatch, president/CEO of King’s Daughters. “Being part of UK provides opportunities for King’s Daughters to continue to enhance services, update equipment and facilities, continue hiring of needed team members and ensure long-term financial stability.”

King’s Daughters serves a 16-county region across Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia and has more than 5,000 employees. Its health system is comprised of two acute-care hospitals totaling 465 licensed beds; an integrated network of more than 600 physicians and advanced practitioners; more than 50 ambulatory centers and practice locations; a long-term care facility; medical transport company; and six urgent care centers.

When the partnership was established, UK and King’s Daughters intentionally positioned King’s Daughters to keep its identity and continue to make decisions locally.

The transition will not impact employee’s positions, duties or daily work and they will retain their KD date-of-hire and benefits.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

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October 27, 2022

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UK Board of Trustees approves moving forward with King’s Daughters becoming part of UK

**LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 27, 2022) — **The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved proceeding with plans later this year for Ashland-based King’s Daughters (KD) to become part of UK – a move that will create greater access to high-quality care for more Kentuckians.

“Our vision is for the University of Kentucky to advance the Commonwealth in everything that we do. The health and well-being of our people is critical to that vision,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “King’s Daughters and its team will help UK move this vision forward in Eastern Kentucky and the success of this relationship is a testament to the power of UK’s work to advance the Commonwealth.”

“King’s Daughters has been serving the health care needs of Eastern Kentucky, southern Ohio, and western West Virginia for more than 120 years. Expanding the relationship with the University of Kentucky gives me great confidence we are positioning the health system and all its subsidiaries to be stronger for generations to come,” said Kristie Whitlatch, president/CEO of King’s Daughters.

After working together for the past 18 months as members of Royal Blue Health LLC (RBH), leaders with both King’s Daughters and UK believe this next step will significantly expand health services offered to communities while positively driving the economic engine in the region through investments in people and infrastructure. Expanding this relationship so that King’s Daughters becomes part of the University of Kentucky will not impact local operations. 

RBH is the company that was established by UK and King’s Daughters to facilitate growing the relationship between King’s Daughters and UK. Today, the RBH Board, including representatives from King’s Daughters, received notice that UK wants to finalize making King’s Daughters part of UK HealthCare.

The RBH Board voted unanimously in favor of developing and implementing a plan to finalize this transition.  Now, UK and King’s Daughters will seek regulatory approvals and finalize transition documents.

Throughout the relationship, King’s Daughters has experienced significant growth in employees and revenues and has begun to build and expand important infrastructure to improve access and care for people in the region.

King’s Daughters grows and expands services

At the end of fiscal year 2022, ending Sept. 30, King’s Daughters employed nearly 5,000 team members. This has been an increase of more than 1,000 employees since the end of fiscal year 2020.The increased employment is a result of King’s Daughters focus on expanding access to care.

This includes:

  • Continued expansion of Primary and Urgent care facilities. There are now more than 50 King’s Daughters facilities throughout the region. 
  • A new floor on KD’s Parkview Patient Tower has opened and is to be used to enhance clinical access and adds 36 new inpatient beds.
  • A new Sleep Lab was constructed and expanded to 16 rooms serving people age 5 and older.
  • The Lung Center expanded to 31 exam rooms with additional testing and treatment areas.
  • A facility upgrade was completed on the Mother-Baby Unit to provide a more modern and comfortable environment.
  • A new Specialty Pharmacy was added, bringing better access to complex specialty medications and pharmaceuticals.
  • Construction is beginning this month on new Imaging and Emergency departments (ED). The 44,400 square foot ED expansion will allow KD to better serve the more than 70,000 patients who seek emergency care annually.

Details of the transaction as Dec. 1 approaches

  • The UK Board approved making King’s Daughters part of UK Dec. 1.
  • The transaction will involve what is known as a “member substitution,” which is a common method for bringing nonprofit systems together.
  • Member substitution, in this case, involves UK (through a subsidiary called “Beyond Blue”) obtaining all of the membership rights for RBH.
  • King’s Daughters corporate structure will remain intact. RBH owns King’s Daughters now, and RBH will own King’s Daughters after the transition. The only difference will be that UK will own RBH.  
**About UK HealthCare: **UK HealthCare is committed to the pillars of academic health care — clinical care, research and education. Albert B. Chandler Hospital is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the state’s top hospital and is supported by a growing faculty and staff who provide advanced subspecialty care for the most critically injured and ill patients throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. UK HealthCare is more than an enterprise of hospitals and clinics; it is 9,000 people – physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals ­– all dedicated to providing the most advanced and effective care available, not just in Kentucky but anywhere.
**About King’s Daughters: **Serving nearly 400,000 residents in eastern Kentucky, southern Ohio and western West Virginia, King’s Daughters is comprised of two acute-care hospitals totaling 465 licensed beds; an integrated network of more than 400 physicians and advanced practitioners; more than 50 ambulatory centers and practice locations; a long-term care facility; medical transport company; six urgent care centers; and a child development center. King’s Daughters is the region’s largest employer, with nearly 5,000 team members providing a broad range of primary and specialty care services, including cardiovascular, orthopedics, oncology, digestive health, stroke/neurology, maternity, and Level 3 neonatal intensive care.
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September 16, 2022

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Record enrollment, graduation numbers underscore commitment to advance Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 16, 2022)  University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto on Friday said that record enrollment and historic graduation rates are essential components to UK’s mission to advance the Commonwealth.

The preliminary fall enrollment and graduation rates were announced during a meeting Friday of UK’s Board of Trustees.

“The future of our state — and the role we must play in advancing Kentucky — is understood most clearly in the students we prepare, not simply for jobs and careers, but for lives of meaning and purpose,” Capilouto said. “We expect the students we are educating today to be those who will create and lead a Kentucky that is healthier, wealthier and wiser tomorrow.”

Details of the preliminary enrollment report include:

  • First-year preliminary fall enrollment numbers show 6,120 first-year students —** a record number**, nearly 800 more than the previous high in 2019. Similarly, overall preliminary enrollment is also a record high of nearly 33,000 students, up nearly 5% over last year.
  • UK’s six-year graduation rate is now at nearly 69% —__ a record —__** and more than 10%** points higher than it was a decade ago. Four-year-and-five-year graduation rates are also at record levels. In fact, the four-year graduation rate — 55% — is 23 percentage points higher than it was in 2010.
  • In 2020, less than 18% of public institutions that primarily grant bachelor’s degrees or higher had six-year graduation rates of 70% or more. “We are growing, and growing at a rate and pace, to meet the needs of the state, providing an outstanding education to Kentuckians right here in the Commonwealth,” Capilouto said.
  • UK also continues to make significant strides in having a diverse and inclusive student body. Overall, preliminary enrollment for underrepresented minority students (URM —** the state’s term for students of color) is up 7%** from the previous year; students of color now represent more than 16% of the student body. First-year preliminary URM numbers are up nearly 24% over the previous year and represent 18% of the freshman class this fall.
  • Almost 25% of UK’s first-year class are first-generation students, consistent with the overall student population and with numbers over the last several years.
  • Finally, the number of degrees conferred by the university reached nearly 7,600 in 2021-2022 — an increase of more than 1,700 over the last 10 years and the first time UK has crossed 7,500 degrees granted. “We want, and expect, that number to continue to grow,” Capilouto said.

“What you are seeing is a testament to a community that cares; a community that is committed to students in everything that we do,” Capilouto said. “That is how we can advance Kentucky. When we help students succeed, we are laying the foundation for a more successful Commonwealth — now and far into the future.”

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

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July 26, 2022

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UK HealthCare No. 1 Again in Ky., Cancer Care Moves Up in U.S. News & World Report Rankings

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 26, 2022) **— **The University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital at UK HealthCare earned the ranking of the No. 1 hospital in Kentucky and recognized in the Bluegrass Region by the 2022-23 Best Hospitals rankings and ratings from U.S. News & World Report, tied with St. Elizabeth Healthcare. This marks the seventh consecutive year UK HealthCare has received the Best Hospital ranking.

“This ranking recognizes the incredible work and dedication of our physicians, nurses and health care providers who spend every day caring for patients from across the state,” said Mark F. Newman, M.D., UK executive vice president for health affairs. “In 1962, UK’s Albert B. Chandler Medical Center first opened its doors with the goal of improving access to high-quality health care for Kentucky. Sixty years later, we continue to uphold that promise to the Commonwealth, offering world-class advanced subspecialty care for the most complex health problems for all Kentuckians.”

Additionally, the UK Markey Cancer Center moved up to No. 33 in its U.S. News Top 50 national ranking for cancer care, tied with the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute. This makes the sixth consecutive year Markey has been ranked in the U.S. News Top 50. Markey has been a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center since 2013, the only one in Kentucky and one of just 71 in the country.

“In Kentucky, we have the highest rates of cancer in the country, and this issue is especially pronounced in Eastern Kentucky and Appalachia,” said Mark Evers, M.D., director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. “Nowhere in the country is it more important for people to have access to complex and compassionate cancer care. This ranking is a testament to the hard work of Markey’s health care providers and staff, who are committed to ensuring that no patient has to travel outside the state for the care they need.”

UK HealthCare was also ranked as high-performing in two U.S. News adult specialties: Gastroenterology & GI Surgery and Geriatrics. Ten common adult procedures and conditions also received a high-performing designation: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Colon Cancer Surgery, Heart Attack, Heart Bypass Surgery, Heart Failure, Kidney Failure, Lung Cancer Surgery, Ovarian Cancer Surgery, Pneumonia and Stroke.

The annual Best Hospitals rankings and ratings, now in their 33rd year, are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions or for common elective procedures.

For the 2022-23 rankings and ratings, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 hospitals across 15 specialties and 20 procedures and conditions. For the first time, U.S. News rated eligible hospitals in Ovarian Cancer Surgery, Prostate Cancer Surgery and Uterine Cancer Surgery. In the 15 specialties, 164 hospitals were ranked in at least one specialty. State and metro area rankings reflect the highest performing hospitals in the area across multiple areas of care.

U.S. News evaluated each hospital’s performance using a variety of measures such as survival rates, complication rates, patient experience and level of nursing care. The Best Hospitals methodology factors in data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, American Hospital Association, professional organizations and medical specialists.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

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June 17, 2022

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UK HealthCare Enters Agreement to Purchase Property in Hamburg

**LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 17, 2022) – **Reflecting the growing health care needs and population trends of the community, this morning UK HealthCare announced plans to enter a purchase agreement to initially acquire about 27 acres of property for approximately $20.3 million in the Hamburg development along I-75. The purchase agreement includes a right of first refusal on additional acres of land and is subject to University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approval this afternoon.

The property is anticipated to be a future home for a medical campus that could include a regional hospital facility, a medical office building and/or other clinical facilities.

The Hamburg area of Lexington-Fayette County is a fast-growing area of the Bluegrass region. As part of its 2025 strategic plan, UK HealthCare is focusing on not only providing more health care access to Kentuckians, but ensuring that this access is more conveniently located for patients.

“In 1962, UK’s Albert B. Chandler Medical Center first opened its doors, beginning a new era of health care in Kentucky,” said Mark F. Newman, UK executive vice president for health affairs. “As we celebrate our 60th anniversary by honoring those who came before us, we are also looking to the future. We recognize the need to make health care more geographically accessible for our patients in Lexington as well as across central and eastern Kentucky. Not only will this location be more convenient for many of our patients, it will support our continued growth in outpatient services and create more capacity for essential clinical programs.”

The proposed community medical campus will provide acute care services to complement UK HealthCare’s main medical center facilities, UK Chandler Hospital and UK Kentucky Clinic.

UK HealthCare currently offers outpatient services at several other medical facilities across Lexington, including Kentucky Children’s Hospital’s pediatric clinics, the Good Samaritan Professional Arts Center, UK HealthCare-Turfland, the Lexington Surgery Center, Kentucky Clinic South, Polk-Dalton Clinic, the UK HealthCare offices at Fountain Court, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital.

Last December, UK HealthCare also announced plans for a new cancer center/ambulatory facility across South Limestone from UK Chandler Hospital – the future home for the UK Markey Cancer Center.

“Our mission is to advance Kentucky in everything that we do. A healthier state, one where more people have greater access to the quality of care we provide, is a critical part of that mission,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “This purchase and potential development is another critical step to ensure we have the capacity to treat more patients in our community and region as we continue to focus on transforming Kentucky into a state that is healthier, wealthier and wiser.”

UK will complete property due diligence and planning activities in accordance with the development agreement. Following a successful due diligence period and with additional approval from the UK Board of Trustees and Kentucky’s Secretary of Finance and Administration, UK will complete purchase of the property.

Newman said at the time of the final purchase, trustees will be briefed on more details of plans for the medical campus when UK HealthCare presents a master facility plan, which will focus on creating new access sites across the Bluegrass and in underserved areas of Fayette County. 

“We want to treat patients where they are – as close to home as possible with the best of care as possible,” Newman said. “That’s what people in the community and region expect from UK HealthCare, whether at our centrally located hospitals and clinics or in the clinics and hospitals we partner with throughout Fayette County and the Commonwealth. That’s the goal of this initiative as well – to create greater access, closer to home, for more people in the area to the best possible primary and specialty care.”

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June 17, 2022

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Board Approves Historic $5.6 Billion UK Budget

**LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 17, 2022) — **Continuing a five-year trend of holding down costs for students, while significantly increasing investments in financial aid and initiatives that will advance the state, the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved a $5.6 billion budget for 2022-2023. 

The UK budget has more than doubled in the last decade and is some $500 million more than last year. It includes increases in tuition and mandatory fees of 2% resulting in the average increase in those numbers over the last four years to be 1.6% – far below inflation and several percentage points below average annual increases a decade ago.

“We believe we are positioned, like never before, to do more for our state,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “We have big goals and far-reaching aspirations for Kentucky – not only because it is what we want, but because it is what our state requires.”

That trajectory of growth, Capilouto said, reflects three primary factors:

  • Continued growth in the UK HealthCare enterprise where hospital revenues have grown by 200% in the last decade.
  • Significant enrollment growth in the coming year. Capilouto said UK is expected to welcome the largest first-year class in history in August, approximately 6,000 students.
  • A state budget in which policymakers made the largest-ever commitment to UK with investments of more than $483 million in operating dollars and capital and trust funds for infrastructure over the next two years. The state is putting forward $80 million more for performance funding, allocated through 11 performance metrics. Because UK is the only institution in the state to exceed the average growth rate in all 11 metrics, the university will receive an additional $24.8 million in performance funding this year.

Capilouto said the budget advances Kentucky in three primary ways: investments in students, investments in people and continued investments where UK’s students and people live, learn and do their work.

  • Kentucky undergraduate students will pay $6,429.50 in tuition and mandatory fees for the fall 2022 semester, up from $6,305 in fall 2021. Those costs will be offset, in large measure, by a record $160 million in financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid.
  • The ninth pay increase for UK employees in the last 10 years. At more than $17 million, UK is doubling the average of the last 10 years in investments in pay increases.
  • Holding down health care costs and creating expanded benefits as well as providing additional increased stipends for graduate students to be matched by colleges.
  • Over the next three years, UK is likely to invest another $1 billion in infrastructure. During this period, the UK campus – from classrooms to research spaces, from health care facilities to athletics venues – has been transformed and more strategically positioned to expand its missions of education, research, service and care.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

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June 7, 2022

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Historic UK Budget Expands Student Access, Makes Investments to Advance State

**LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 7, 2022) — **A proposed $5.6 billion budget for the University of Kentucky for 2022-2023 continues a five-year trend of holding down costs for students, while significantly increasing investments in financial aid and initiatives that will advance the state.

In fact, if approved, proposed increases in tuition and mandatory fees of 2% will mean that the average increase in those numbers over the last four years will be 1.6% – far below inflation and several percentage points below average annual increases a decade ago.

“The numbers underscore the fact that we are a growing enterprise, in scope and scale, depth and breadth,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “But I believe they also signify something else – a palpable and real sense of momentum we have in meeting our mission to advance the Commonwealth.”

The UK Board of Trustees will vote on the proposed budget at its June 17 meeting. Board members this week are reviewing details of the budget. At $5.6 billion, the UK budget has more than doubled in the last decade and is some $500 million more than it was last year.

That trajectory of growth, Capilouto said, reflects three primary factors:

  • Continued growth in the UK HealthCare enterprise where hospital revenues have grown by 200 percent in the last decade.
  • Significant enrollment growth in the coming year. Capilouto said UK is expected to welcome the largest first-year class in history in August, approximately 6,000 students.
  • A historic state budget in which policymakers have made the largest ever commitment to UK with investments of more than $483 million in operating dollars and capital and trust funds for infrastructure over the next two years. The state is putting forward $80 million more for performance funding over the next two years, allocated through 11 performance metrics around goals such as growth in enrollment and graduates as well as students in fields such as engineering and health. Because UK is the only institution in the state to exceed the average growth rate in all 11 metrics, the university will receive an additional $24.8 million in performance funding this year.

Capilouto said the proposed budget advances Kentucky in three primary ways: investments in students, investments in people and continued investments where UK’s students and people live, learn and do their work.

Investing in Students

In terms of continued efforts to hold down costs, Kentucky undergraduate students would pay $6,429.50 in tuition and mandatory fees for the fall 2022 semester, up from $6,305 in fall 2021.

Those costs will be offset, in large measure, by a record $160 million in financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid.

By way of context, in 2021, more than 90% of full-time, resident, undergraduate students received financial aid; 25% of full-time undergraduate students from the state came from families where the median family income was a little more than $24,000.

Those students received $4,326 in aid over and above tuition and mandatory fees. The boost in aid was fueled this past year by increased federal funding resulting from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).

Investing in People

If approved, the budget provides the ninth pay increase for UK employees in the last 10 years. At more than $17 million, UK is doubling the average of the last 10 years in investments in pay increases.

UK also is holding down health care costs and creating expanded benefits after consultation with staff leaders. The institution also is proposing additional increased stipends for graduate students that would be matched by colleges.

Investing in the places where learning and work happens

Over the last decade, UK has invested nearly $3 billion in infrastructure across the campus. Over the next three years alone, UK is likely to invest another $1 billion. During this period, the UK campus – from classrooms to research spaces, from health care facilities to athletics venues – has been transformed and more strategically positioned to expand its missions of education, research, service and care.

Yet, even with the dramatic expansion of investments, UK’s debt service will represent only 2% of the institution’s adjusted budget.

“We believe we are positioned, like never before, to do more for our state,” Capilouto said. “We have big goals and far-reaching aspirations for Kentucky – not only because it is what we want, but because it is what our state requires.

A budget is an expression of our deepest values. It reflects and details where we spend our time and how we invest those resources entrusted to us. And what we value is the people we are counting on to advance this state – to create a Kentucky tomorrow that is healthier, wealthier and wiser than it is today.”

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March 11, 2022

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Gov. Beshear Signs Legislation Allowing Kentucky’s Student-Athletes to Profit from their Name, Image and Likeness

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 11, 2022) – Joined by state lawmakers, university leaders, coaches and student-athletes, Gov. Andy Beshear signed legislation today that allows student-athletes in Kentucky to receive fair compensation for the use of their name, image and likeness.

In June of last year, after consulting with lawmakers and universities, Gov. Beshear was the first governor to sign an executive order immediately allowing students to receive such compensation after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the NCAA and its rules limiting educational benefits for college players as part of their scholarships. Senate Bill 6 codifies the Governor’s Executive Order 2021-418 in state law.

“Today we are once again showing some of that Team Kentucky spirit by working together – universities as well as leadership of both parties – to help our world-class student-athletes in Kentucky,” Gov. Beshear said Wednesday after signing legislation in the statehouse Rotunda. “The Commonwealth of Kentucky will continue to recruit top athletes, and when student-athletes choose to come here to win titles and enjoy our outstanding collegiate environment, they know they have the same rights and opportunities as those in other states. We all agree, for any athlete, their name, image and likeness is their own and no one else’s.”

Kentucky General Assembly members who sponsored the legislation voiced support for the Governor’s actions.

Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, expressed his support for compensating college athletes.

“If you want to sign an autograph and get paid for it, you can do it under this bill,” Sen. McGarvey said. “Or if an NCAA video game is going to feature you or your image on it, they would be permitted to give you some kind of royalty or payment for that.”

Sen. McGarvey filed numerous measures in previous legislative sessions relating to name, image and likeness and said he is thrilled to see it cross the finish line.

“We’re not looking to damage or hurt college athletics or compromise the amateur aspect of the game,” Sen. McGarvey added. “With Senate Bill 6, we can make sure that these players are being treated fairly and equitably for what they do.”

“As Coach Calipari said in his committee testimony, SB 6 is model legislation that other states or even the U.S. Congress should take an interest in,” said Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, who sponsored the bill. “SB 6 provides flexibility to allow our universities and our collegiate student-athletes to take full advantage of their NIL.”

Many university leaders, athletic coaches and student-athletes applauded Gov. Beshear’s action.

“Our state legislature passed the NIL bill as a bipartisan bill in our state, and it was nearly unanimous, which shows just how important this is for our student-athletes and our universities,” University of Kentucky men’s basketball head coach John Calipari said. “I think people are going to read this bill from around the country and use it as model legislation the same way they did our executive order. This is exactly what we needed, and I am so proud of our state and appreciative of our legislature, the governor and all of our leaders.”

“This is a huge win, not only for our student-athletes at the University of Louisville but for the student-athletes at every university in the state of Kentucky. Our student-athletes work extremely hard day in and day out, and this legislation now allows them to capitalize on opportunities from their name, image and likeness, which we fully support,” University of Louisville women’s basketball head coach Jeff Walz said. “Many student-athletes also want to give back to the community, and this bill allows them to do even more of that. I’m thankful to Gov. Beshear, Sens. Max Wise and Morgan McGarvey, and all of our leadership for understanding how important this legislation is and rightfully getting it passed.” 

“Thank you Gov. Beshear for your foresight early in this process of pushing this model legislation forward,” Morehead State University President Dr. Jay Morgan said. “SB 6 really sets forth student-athlete opportunities, and we’re proud of that. All of us are in the student success business. Thank you to everyone who included higher education in the development of this bill.”

“The Commonwealth of Kentucky has shown again today that it will be a torchbearer in the name, image and likeness era, continuing the student-athlete-first mindset that our program has been built on for years,” said Kyra Elzy, University of Kentucky women’s basketball head coach. “I want to thank our state legislature, the governor and the administration at UK for working together to make student-athletes a priority in the state of Kentucky. Today’s signing will have a historic impact on young women in this state today and for years to come.”

“I am so thankful to have decided to play collegiately in a state that has been on the forefront of making sure myself and other student-athletes across the state can benefit in this name, image and likeness era,” said Rhyne Howard, current University of Kentucky women’s basketball guard and 2022 SEC Tournament champion and most valuable player. “Today’s legislation will have an impact on young girls for years to come. I appreciate our state legislature, the governor and administration at UK for working together to make an impact on so many.”

“This is an exciting day for college athletics in the state of Kentucky. The University of Louisville owes a huge thank you to our legislators for passing, and our governor for signing into law, a bill that makes the state of Kentucky better,” said Josh Heird, University of Louisville Interim Director of Athletics. “This law will enable every university in this state to compete at the highest level when it comes to attracting and retaining student-athletes. The ability for our student-athletes to generate revenue from their name, image and likeness has been long overdue and UofL looks forward to helping our student-athletes maximize those opportunities.”

 “Dealing with name-image-likeness issues is an ongoing process for our student-athletes and our schools,” University of Kentucky head football coach Mark Stoops said. “This legislation will help our student-athletes continue to maximize opportunities while giving our schools more flexibility in supporting and protecting our young people. We are appreciative of Gov. Beshear and the legislature for their work on this.”

“I’m grateful to Gov. Beshear for his hard work in getting this legislation passed. Name, image and likeness has changed the landscape of collegiate athletics in the last year and our student-athletes have benefited tremendously from all the opportunities,” University of Louisville head football coach Scott Satterfield said. “I’m thankful to the leadership in the commonwealth for understanding the importance of NIL and how greatly it impacts the well-being of our student-athletes and also allows us to compete on the same level with the rest of the schools across the country.”

“It’s a great day for college athletes and universities in the commonwealth,” University of Louisville women’s head volleyball coach Dani Busboom Kelly said. “With this new NIL law, our team has a clear road to maximize their opportunities around name image likeness. After a historic run last season I’m excited to see the opportunities our players will have and will have in the future.”

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the NCAA in a significant case that challenged the association’s ability to have national limits on benefits for athletes that are related to education, but more broadly the case has raised questions about the NCAA’s ability to limit benefits at all.

The NCAA Board of Governors has preliminarily approved changes to their eligibility rules that would allow such compensation, and the U.S. Congress has held hearings on creating a national standard for compensation. However, until that happens, Kentucky colleges and universities would have faced a competitive disadvantage without the Governor’s executive order and Senate Bill 6.

Kentucky colleges and universities have been directed to provide education and other resources to assist students with financial literacy, time management and social media and brand management. Additionally, colleges and universities will retain the flexibility to reasonably limit the time, dates and associations from which the student-athlete may earn compensation.

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November 10, 2021

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Capilouto: Strong Ratings, Confidence in Our Future

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2021) **— **University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto updated the campus community on the university's credit rating in a message sent this morning (Wednesday, Nov. 10).

Campus Community,

I write to you often to tout the remarkable accomplishments of this place and our people.

Others across the country also are taking notice of your work and our community’s efforts.

Earlier this week, one of the country’s leading credit rating agencies — Standard & Poor’s (S&P) — announced an upgrade of UK’s bond rating outlook: AA+ on general receipt bonds, up from AA. Other ratings within our bond portfolio were upgraded as well. It’s the second such upgrade of our credit rating since 2015 — remarkable in a time when many universities have struggled to maintain stable financial outlooks.

Credit rating reports might otherwise be dry reading. But whether buying a house or securing debt for long-term construction of facilities, strong credit ratings positively impact your ability to make continued progress in securing financial support for necessary investments.

They are also noted by our partner policymakers at the state level — as well as donors here and throughout the country— who understand that an investment in the University of Kentucky is a good one for the future of the state.

In an important sense, the ratings reflect a vote of confidence in our operations and future outlook for our institution.

As S&P said in its report about our ratings outlook:

“The rating reflects our view of UK's very strong enterprise and extremely strong financial profile characterized by a healthy market position and trend of positive year of year full-time equivalent enrollment increases with relatively favorable retention and graduation rates, very strong financial operating surpluses, good revenue diversity largely due to UKHC, excellent financial resources, and modest debt and contingent liabilities with a low debt burden. In addition, in our view UK's management and governance is an example of best in class and as Kentucky's flagship higher educational institution, the university enjoys the commonwealth's support for its operations and for limited capital needs while these needs are also met, in part, by very strong philanthropic support.”

It’s strong language that reflects the tireless and exemplary work of people throughout this institution — from staff who support and faculty who teach our students to a nationally regarded health care system that is not only growing financially, but increasing in size to meet the needs of our Commonwealth.

And, of course, there is the hard work of unsung heroes in every corner of the campus, in our finance and administration areas, who so effectively manage UK’s budget and operations. That work — and sound stewardship — has enabled us over the past decade to continue to make progress on the critical infrastructure needs we have across our campus and support our commitment to the Commonwealth's future as the University **_for _**Kentucky.

On days like this and so many others, I am reminded — constantly and compellingly — that there is nothing we can’t do as a community. I am gratified to be at a place, and part of a community, that embraces the power of we in so many ways.

Thank you.

Eli Capilouto

President

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October 21, 2021

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UK LEADS Receives National Award for Contributions to Undergraduate Education

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 21, 2021) **— **At the University of Kentucky we put the success of our students at the center of all we do by pioneering innovative ways to help them cross the commencement stage and go on to become leaders in their fields.

Now, a program supporting that mission is receiving national recognition for its notable contributions to undergraduate education.

UK LEADS is one of three recipients of the EDGE Commendation for Innovation in Undergraduate Education. The highly competitive award, given annually, honors a small cohort of individuals and institutions who are on the leading “EDGE” of undergraduate education.

“As Kentucky’s university, we must open wider the doors of access and possibility to students — the future of our state and world,” UK President Eli Capilouto said. “The UK LEADS program reflects our commitment to put students first in everything we do, demonstrated through our efforts reduce to unmet financial need among UK students.”

For many students, financial need is the most challenging obstacle to staying in school and achieving their goals.

UK is determined to do something about it. 

Through an extensive review of internal data, UK discovered that one-third of students who left the university had GPAs of 3.0 of higher. Additionally, the persistence rates of students with $5,000 or more in unmet financial need was significantly lower than students with less unmet need — regardless of academic skill.

The LEADS program (Leveraging Economic Affordability for Developing Success) has expanded the boundaries of what is possible by using data-driven analytics to better understand the impact of unmet financial need on student success.

Launched in 2016 as a pilot program, the LEADS initiative uses a predictive model to guide UK’s approach to scholarships by placing a greater emphasis on the recruitment of high need in-state students.

Using this data informed approach, the program has targeted students whose only barrier to success is financial, distributing more than 6,000 annual awards and in excess of $30 million in institutional and donor provided funds.

And it’s working — resulting in more students returning year after year and making progress on their degrees.

In fact, UK has achieved record second fall retention rates four of the past five years (including preliminary data for the current year) and has been at 86% for the past two years. Similarly, gains have been made in six-year graduation rates. UK has seen records four of the past five years and has a preliminary rate of 68% for the current year.

That’s more students — more Kentuckians — equipping themselves with credentials that will positively impact their futures.

“For six years, the UK LEADS program has proven to be a game-changer for many students whose only barrier to success at our institution is financial aid,” Kirsten Turner, vice president for student success, said. “Supporting these students brightens hundreds of individual futures each year, while also contributing to greater success for the Commonwealth and beyond.”

The EDGE awards will be conferred on Oct. 22 at the Edgerton Salute: A National Convening for Recognition of Undergraduate Innovators.

About Russ Edgerton

The EDGE awards are given annually by the John N. Gardner Institute to recognize the professional life of Russ Edgerton, former president of the American Association for Higher Education and senior program officer for the PEW Charitable Trusts. As a higher education leader, his contribution to undergraduate education reform still benefits countless institutions and the students they serve.

“As the co-founder of one of the many organizations and initiatives that Russ Edgerton conceived of 22 years ago, it has been truly inspirational to have the opportunity to serve on this award selection committee with other friends and mentees of Russ Edgerton to seek out and honor and now disseminate the kind of undergraduate education innovative improvement initiatives that are exactly the kinds of efforts that Russ worked so hard to conceive and inspire,” said John Gardner, founder and executive chair of the institute.

More information about Edgerton, and the national convening, can be found at www.jngi.org.

About the John N. Gardner Institute 

The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education is a nonprofit organization dedicated to partnering with colleges, universities, philanthropic organizations and educators, among other entities, to increase institutional responsibility for improving outcomes associated with teaching, learning, retention and completion.

The institute strives to advance higher education’s larger goal of achieving equity and social justice. Specific focus is given to helping institutions develop and implement strategic action plans for first-year, second-year and/or transfer student success; improving teaching, learning and success in gateway courses; and conducting professional development focused on advancing educational excellence.

For more information about the Gardner Institute, visit www.jngi.org.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

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October 15, 2021

News
UK Board Endorses Strategic Plan With Commitment to Advance Kentucky

**LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 15, 2021) —**The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees on Friday endorsed an institutional strategic plan that focuses squarely on one overarching goal — how UK can advance the Commonwealth.

“We were created — and we exist — to advance Kentucky: its economy and its health, its education and its quality of life. That is our why,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “For our students to compete and thrive in the 21st century — to advance Kentucky — we need a state that is healthier, wealthier and wiser.”

To that end, the Board of Trustees adopted a strategic plan — (The UK PURPOSE: Plan for Unprecedented Research, Purposeful and Optimal Service and Education) — after reviewing it with campus leaders for several hours Thursday. The plan endorsed by the board focuses on five key principles:

  • Putting Students First
  • Taking Care of Our People
  • Inspiring Ingenuity
  • Ensuring Greater Trust, Transparency and Accountability
  • Bringing Together Many People, One Community

For several weeks this summer and fall, five teams — composed of students, faculty, staff, deans and administrators — worked to develop draft objectives and initial tactics in support of each principle.

Drafts of the plan were distributed to the campus for feedback twice this fall, and the University Senate Council also held two meetings to review specific aspects of it.

On Thursday, board members received an overview of national trends in higher education and broke into small groups around each principle of the draft to take a deeper dive into key objectives and goals.

Capilouto told board members that UK’s mission of education, research, service and health care remains relevant and vital to Kentucky’s future.

What is changing, and what must change in a volatile and challenging economy, he said, is how UK undertakes some of its traditional roles and how quickly the institution moves in key areas such as student success, research and health care — all in ways that address particular challenges that confront the state.

Key objectives include goals such as:

  • Enrollment efforts that align with state goals for more young people with degrees and economic needs;
  • More research targeted at local, state and national challenges;
  • Enhancing wellness efforts across the campus;
  • Increased training across the campus to promote compliance with university regulations;
  • And expanded recruitment and retention efforts around diverse students, faculty and staff.

With the board’s endorsement Friday, campus leaders will work now on specific metrics that will help measure progress on key goals and objectives. Board members will review those metrics at their December meeting as UK moves to implement the new strategic plan.

“Our role won’t change. We are here to advance this state. And we are the most important force for that advancement and our state’s brightest hope,” Capilouto said. “Over the last several years, we have demonstrated — time and again — a capacity and willingness to meet the needs of our state. What must change is the pace of what we do and in some cases how we do it.”

You can read the strategic plan here.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

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September 10, 2021

News
Record Graduation, Retention Rates Fueling All-Time Enrollment High

By Jay Blanton Sept. 10, 2021

**LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2021) — **Building upon record retention and graduation rates, the University of Kentucky will report an all-time enrollment of nearly 31,800 students for Fall 2021, according to preliminary figures released Friday.

The preliminary numbers also demonstrate continued increases in the diversity of the UK campus, with the percentage of underrepresented minorities (URM) reaching 16% of the student body, at a little over 5,000 students, up 6% over the last year alone (URM is the state classification for students of color). Additionally, the preliminary data show an almost 10% increase in the number of graduate and professional students in the UK community, a significant factor in the institution’s overall enrollment growth.

The 31,776 students enrolled as undergraduate, graduate and professional students in Fall 2021 is up 2.1% from last year’s record high of 31,110, UK officials said. This growth continues a more than five-year trajectory of dramatic increases in student success as evidenced by retention and graduation rates.

First-time, first-year enrollment remained basically flat, preliminary numbers show, with 4,764 students enrolled this fall, compared to 4,891 in Fall 2020. That’s two years of enrollment impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, UK officials said. About 68% of students in the first-year class are resident students from Kentucky, not radically dissimilar from the last several years.

“We are increasingly a first-choice university for students and families who want an institution that puts their success and their goals first,” UK President Eli Capilouto said in discussing the preliminary figures with the institution’s Board of Trustees Friday. “From access and affordability, to supporting students with the resources they need, to outstanding faculty providing a world-class educational experience, we put students first in everything that we do. These numbers unequivocally demonstrate that commitment to students at every level of what we do.

As we come out of the pandemic, we are well-positioned to strategically grow again as part of our commitment to advancing Kentucky by educating and graduating more students, who are poised to join the workforce and help lead and transform communities.”

 A snapshot of retention and graduation rate growth that underpins the record growth includes:

  • UK’s first-to-second-year retention rate in the Fall 2020 cohort is 86%, according to preliminary figures, up more than 4% points since the Fall 2015 cohort alone. (Last year’s first-to-second-year retention was 85.9%).
  • Similarly, six-year graduation rates reached a record 67.8% for the Fall 2015 cohort, up more than a full percentage point over the previous year’s cohort and up more than 4 percentage points since the Fall 2010 cohort alone, preliminary figures show.
  • UK’s preliminary four-year graduation rate is 53.9% for the Fall 2017 cohort, up more than 20% points since the Fall 2008 cohort.

“We have intentionally and strategically designed the holistic and comprehensive support we provide to students at every level,” said Kirsten Turner, UK’s vice president for student success. “The result is lowering barriers of cost for students to help them come to UK and then providing them with the support and scaffolding they need once they are here to help them find their path."

Evidence of this support, UK officials said, is the continued growth and success of first-generation students and students of color as well as increasing numbers of students choosing to transfer to UK. For example, in Fall 2021:

  • UK enrolled 6,918 first-generation students this fall, representing nearly 22% of the student body, which is up 1.5% from Fall 2020’s figure of 6,813.
  • 5,084 students are underrepresented minorities (URMs), representing 16% of the student body, which is up 6% from the previous year.
  • 2,196 of the Fall 2021 students are Black or African American students. This population makes up about 7% of student body, demonstrating growth of nearly 5% from the previous year. The number of Hispanic or Latino students is up about 6% as well, from 1,595 to 1,693. That’s a little more than 5% of the student body.
  • Similarly, the number of students who identify as two or more races continued to increase, as 1,113 students, or 3.5% of the student body, falls into this category, an increase of 7.3% from the previous year.
  • 908 first-year students are underrepresented minorities — about 19% of first-year students — which is an increase of 2.5% from last year’s figure of 886.
  • 363 Black or African American first-year students are enrolled for the Fall 2021, representing 7.6% of first-year students, an increase of 4.3% over the last year.
  • 226 students who identified as two or more races are enrolled for the Fall 2021 semester, an increase of 13.6%. These students constitute 4.7% of the first-year class.
  • UK enrolled 997 transfer students Fall 2021, according to preliminary figures, which is an increase of 13.3% from Fall 2020’s number of 880.

In its previous strategic plan, UK set as a goal graduation and retention rates of 70% and 90%, respectively — numbers the institution is rapidly making progress toward reaching as the university prepares a new strategic plan that the board will consider in October. Those numbers would place UK firmly among the top public institutions in the country. Fewer than 100 (92) four-year public universities (out of several hundred) have a six-year graduation rate of 70% or greater.

“We are making tremendous progress toward our goals,” Capilouto said. “We use these numbers to measure progress but we never lose sight that behind the numbers are our students, their families and the communities from which they come — all advancing Kentucky through pursuing a college education. To that end, we have made — and are making — tremendous progress. There is more work to do. But it is undeniable that we are a place that fundamentally understands our role in making an outstanding education accessible and then supporting and preparing students for success — something our world needs now more than ever.”

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

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August 20, 2021

News
Our Updated Fall Guidebook and Vaccinations

By Eli Capilouto Aug. 20, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 20, 2021) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto shared updates to the Fall 2021 planning guide with the campus community Thursday, Aug. 19. 

The guidebook provides an overview of policies, recommendations, guidelines and expectations for members of the UK community. The president will continue providing regular updates about UK’s response to COVID-19 with the campus community on a weekly basis.

You can read the president's message from Thursday, Aug. 19, below.

Dear Campus Community, Last Friday, we shared with you an initial draft of our Fall 2021 Guidebook — an overview of policies designed to keep our campus safe and healthy as we provide a residential experience this fall. We detailed more specific guidance on our indoor masking policy, and we asked for you to provide your invaluable feedback. As of the end of the day on Tuesday, we received anonymous responses from nearly 450 UK community members. We are grateful to all those who took time to review the Fall Guidebook and send us input. Many of you asked for additional clarification on specific policies, and others asked thoughtful questions. We shared the recurring themes from your comments and questions with the workgroup of elected faculty, staff and student representatives along with administrators and then we returned to the guidebook to incorporate your feedback. This afternoon, we are sharing an updated version of our Fall Guidebook with you. Of course, we know that we live amid evolving circumstances. We have been committed, since the beginning of this pandemic, to adjusting our policies when science and data signal a need to do so. A good example is our current indoor making policy, which we adjusted due to elevated concerns about the Delta variant. Another example, based directly upon feedback from our community, was to allow people to unmask while active on workout equipment or in spaces such as basketball courts in one of our campus recreational facilities. At all other times, while in those facilities, masks are required regardless of vaccination status. We also clarified, for example, in response to questions about the classroom context, that face shields can be used in addition to masks. The Fall Guidebook, of course, reflects the current recommendations of our team of medical and public health experts, as well as thoughtful feedback we received from you. View the Updated Fall 2021 Guidebook We continue striving to reach — and to exceed — an 80 percent vaccination rate among our students, faculty and staff. And, we are continuing to make meaningful progress toward that important goal. Just this week, we’ve received thousands of self-reported vaccine documentation from our students. This is incredibly important, as vaccines remain our best defense against COVID-19. We encourage all members of the UK family to be vaccinated, if you haven’t already.   Get Vaccinated

Upload Your Documents

As a reminder, all unvaccinated students are required to complete a COVID-19 entry test by August 27 and to participate in ongoing testing throughout the semester. This is necessary to remain in compliance with the Code of Student Conduct. Schedule Your Test

Thank you for everything you are doing to keep our community healthy and safe. Eli Capilouto

President

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June 24, 2021

News
UK Athletics Leaders Issue Statements on Gov. Beshear's Executive Order Regarding NIL

By UK Athletics June 24, 2021

**LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 24, 2021) — **The following are statements from University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart, Kentucky men's basketball head coach John Calipari, Kentucky football head coach Mark Stoops and Kentucky women's basketball head coach Kyra Elzy regarding today's executive order by Gov. Andy Beshear on name, image, likeness.

Mitch Barnhart will also be available to the media via virtual press conference on Friday at 2 p.m. 

Mitch Barnhart, UK athletics director "Today's executive order from the Governor provides us the flexibility we need at this time to further develop policies around Name, Image and Likeness (NIL). We are appreciative of that support as it is a bridge until such time as state and/or federal laws are enacted. The landscape of college sports is now in the midst of dramatic and historic change — perhaps the biggest set of shifts and changes since scholarships were first awarded decades ago. What won't change is our core and most important principle — the well-being and development of our student athletes, while they are at UK and, as importantly, in preparing them for success in life, on whatever path they choose. We are extremely well-positioned to help our student-athletes navigate this new and complex terrain. Much of what we need to do to support students in terms of NIL — through The Kentucky Road initiative — has been in place for some time. We have a strong foundation, which we will now work to build on."

You can read more about The Kentucky Road initiative here: https://ukathletics.com/news/2019/10/15/general-uk-unveils-the-kentucky-road https://ukathletics.com/news/2021/6/16/general-uk-athletics-affirms-commitment-to-student-athletes-through-the-kentucky-road.aspx

John Calipari, UK men's basketball head coach "We are entering into an exciting age in college athletics. At the University of Kentucky, we have always put student-athletes first and today's executive order by Gov. Andy Beshear — who I want to thank for making this a priority — will empower universities across the state to support their young men and women better than ever. Whether we are talking about name, image and likeness, lifetime scholarships, financial literacy, health and wellness, or player welfare, student-athletes have been at the center of every decision at Kentucky. With today's announcement, we continue to take positive steps forward in supporting our student-athletes to an even greater degree statewide. They deserve our time, effort and resources in making sure they have the opportunities to benefit from the hard work they put into their athletic and educational careers. As we wait on federal legislation, our program will continue to support, elevate and educate our kids."

Mark Stoops, UK football head coach "Supporting our student-athletes is at the center of Kentucky Athletics and today's announcement is another step in that direction. Name, image and likeness issues are at the forefront of college athletics and we appreciate Gov. Beshear helping us address current needs while long-term solutions are being developed on the national level. Our established principles of educational excellence, athletic success and personal development have us well-positioned as the NIL process begins."

Kyra Elzy, UK women's basketball head coach "I appreciate Gov. Beshear stepping up and making student-athletes in the state of Kentucky a priority. The University of Kentucky has been a leader in name, image and likeness. I know our administration will work with the Governor's office to ensure that student-athletes in Kentucky will continue to take the necessary steps to stay atop of NIL issues."

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June 16, 2021

News
UK Budget Invests Heavily in People

By Jay Blanton June 16, 2021

**LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2021) — **University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto says UK’s mission is to advance Kentucky — its health and education, its economy and quality of life.

UK’s proposed $5.1 billion budget for fiscal year 2021-2022, which the Board of Trustees considers Thursday, honors that mission, Capilouto said, by investing heavily in the people who do the work that makes advancing Kentucky possible — the university’s faculty, staff and students.

“We have a special community, whose mission for more than 156 years has been to serve our state. It’s why we were created, and it’s the mission we seek to honor every day,” Capilouto said. “That vital work is only possible when we make college more affordable for students and families. It’s only possible when we invest in the people who do the teaching and research and provide the lifesaving care, which does so much to make our state stronger and healthier.”

To that end, Capilouto said that the proposed budget further invests in students and families by continuing historic steps to hold down the cost of a college education and in UK’s faculty and staff, with substantial measures to increase compensation and benefits.

Investing in Students and Families

The proposed budget would if approved by the Board:

  • Increase by only 1% tuition and mandatory fees for undergraduate and graduate students. For undergraduate students from Kentucky, that would result in tuition and fees equaling $6,305 in Fall 2021, up from $6,242 last year. It’s the second year in a row that tuition increases have been held to 1% — perhaps unprecedented in UK’s history. This also means that the four-year average for annual increases sits at 1.7%, notably lower than four-year U.S. inflation rate of nearly 2%.
  • **Invest $148 million in scholarships and financial aid that students don’t have to repay, more than double what was invested 10 years ago. **In fact, nearly 90% of UK’s in-state undergraduates receive scholarships or aid. On average, their out-of-pocket costs for tuition and fees last fall was $1,759. About half of UK’s in-state students graduate without debt and, of those who do, the average debt was less than $35,000.
  • Target scholarships and aid to students who need it most, those with unmet financial need. In Fall 2020, about 25% of undergraduates from Kentucky came from families where the median income was $23,346. Those students had no out-of-pocket costs for tuition and fees. They also were provided, through aid, more than $700 to cover other expenses. In fact, through the UK LEADS program, unmet financial need among UK students declined to a level last experienced four years ago.

Investing in UK’s People

The budget, if approved, would also:

  • Increase the minimum hourly rate to $15 by January — the fourth time in six years that rate has been increased.
  • Provide a $1,000 one-time payment to all full-time, regular, non-UK HealthCare employees (faculty and staff) in July and 2% merit pay increases in January — the ninth time in 11 years employees have received pay raises. As the UK HealthCare enterprise operates on a separate salary review cycle, decisions will be made this fall about UK HealthCare employee merit increases.
  • Return the 2-to-1 retirement match for UK employees that was temporarily reduced last year as the university managed a more than $72 million budget shortfall as part of managing financial challenges during the pandemic.
  • Create a new paid leave for staff of two weeks to care for new children and one week for parental care. Faculty leave is managed through a different process.
  • For staff in non-health care areas, this budget will extend the deadline to use accrued vacation time set to expire June 30, 2021, until March 31, 2022. For UK HealthCare employees, nonexempt staff may be paid for their vacation time set to expire on Sept. 30, 2021, per the existing UK HealthCare policy. Exempt staff may extend any vacation time set to expire on Sept. 30, 2021, until June 29, 2022. You can read more about vacation policies here: www.uky.edu/hr/news/roll-over-your-expiring-vacation. Faculty vacation is managed through a different process.                                                               

Breaking Down the UK Budget

Eric N. Monday, UK’s executive vice president for finance and administration, said the proposed budget of nearly $5.1 billion is the largest in the university’s history and is about $700 million more than last year. UK’s overall budget has grown by nearly 90% in the last 10 years, nearly double what it was in 2012.

Here’s how the component parts of the budget break down:

  • The increase in this year’s proposed budget is largely driven by the continued growth of UK HealthCare, which now represents nearly half of UK’s budget.
  • More than 61% of the budget — the hospital and clinical services, largely — must be used for designated purposes such as patient care.
  • Another 14% of the university’s budget is designated for specific purposes as well — restricted funds like research grants and contracts and auxiliary services which receive no money from the university’s general fund and generally fund themselves (like UK Athletics).
  • Finally, fund balances are non-recurring funds invested by the institution, which essentially represent the institution’s rainy-day fund for emergency uses and building projects. That’s nearly 8% of the budget.
  • What’s left is a little more than $840 million — the so-called undesignated fund or 17% of the budget — that is comprised of tuition dollars and support from the state. Those resources fund the daily operating expenses of the university: teaching and instruction; the salaries of employees on much of the campus; scholarships and financial aid; and utilities, among other things.

“When you think about your budget, it’s the best evidence of what you value,” Monday said. “It’s the best evidence of what you want to achieve, because it’s where one of the most precious resources — our funds, our students’ money, our state’s money — are invested. And the question is, what do you want to achieve? For this institution, as President Capilouto has said, we invest in our students and our people because that’s how we do the most to advance our state.”

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

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April 1, 2021

News
Update on the State Budget

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2021)  University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto sent an email to UK students, staff and faculty yesterday with an update on state legislative budget action regarding state funding for UK. Please see the email message below.

Dear Campus Community,

The 2021 session of the General Assembly officially came to an end late last night and with that legislators completed their work on a state budget for the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1.

For the University of Kentucky, the news is good, and we are deeply appreciative of the work of policymakers in continuing their commitment to higher education. Here are the details:

  • UK will receive $266.2 million next year — July 2021 through June 30, 2022 — from the state in support of the essential work we do. That amount includes $80.6 million for mandated programs such as extension services, the University Press and the Kentucky Cancer Registry and $1.3 million for debt service on $14 million of State Bonds to improve the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging/Neurosciences Facilities.
  • In addition to that base appropriation, policymakers have appropriated about a 2 percent increase — $17.3 million — toward a performance funding pool in which all state universities and KCTCS compete for funding. The performance funding program for the universities measures progress in critical areas such as the advancement of students toward degrees, credit hours earned, and bachelor’s degrees awarded to low-income and underrepresented minority students and bachelor’s degrees awarded in specific areas including Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Health (STEM+H).
  • UK also will receive additional investments in cancer and spinal cord and head injury research funding that will be split with the University of Louisville.

The investment in the state’s performance funding model is particularly noteworthy. UK has done exceptionally well under this model in recent years, and we anticipate that will continue this coming year. That performance is thanks solely to you: the work of our faculty, staff and students across the campus.

You’ve helped our students succeed and graduate at historically high levels. You’ve ensured that we are more diverse as a campus than at any time in our history. And you’ve worked to prepare our students for the jobs and work so critical to Kentucky’s present and future economy. That’s what the performance funding model rewards. And that is the exceptional performance, the result of hard and tireless work, that you sustain year in and year out.

Now, with the state budget for next year in place, we will begin the work of finalizing the university’s budget for next year, which our Board of Trustees will consider at its June meeting. We still have much to do, but we are optimistic about the continued progress we can make. We can accelerate as an institution as we emerge from the incredible challenges of the past year.

We can do this because of you. I want to, again, thank our policymakers for their continued commitment to this institution. And I want to thank you for all you do to make this community so vital to the state we are called to serve.

Thank you.

Eli Capilouto

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March 12, 2021

News
Fall 2021 Return to Normal Operations

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 12, 2021) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto announced to the UK community today that plans are in progress to return to normal operations in the Fall 2021 semester.  Please see the message below.

Dear Campus,

For the past year, I’ve had the honor to witness our community meet this moment in profound ways.

Our heroes on the frontlines of this pandemic worked countless hours, devoting time otherwise dedicated to loved ones to combat this unforgiving disease. Our faculty and staff adjusted in admirable ways to continue fulfilling our sacred missions of education, research, service and care. Our students found new ways to learn and engage, discover and grow in an environment so different from what they anticipated when they imagined their time in college.

Because of your efforts – your commitment to this place and its compelling purpose—I'm excited to share with you some initial planning assumptions regarding a return to normal operations in the fall of 2021.

Throughout this process, we will lean on our START team, leveraging our world-class experts to ensure a safe transition and implementation of our plans to return to campus operations. They will help us create specific measures and guideposts to monitor our progress as we begin to look to this fall.

In-Person Classes

  • The in-person class experience is invaluable to this institution and the success of our students, allowing them to interact with our world-class faculty who are experts in their fields.
  • Therefore, we expect – and are planning for – 2021 classes to return to levels of in-person instruction in similar numbers to that of fall 2019 in terms of course delivery and attendance.
  • We already are planning for that return. And over the summer, we will finalize details and release a comprehensive plan for our return to more in-person instruction, even as we leverage the investments we have made in technology and online learning to enhance what we do and how we do it.

** On-Campus Work**

  • The university has established a Return-to-Work Committee with employees from across campus who are formulating a plan for our efforts to return to campus this fall.
  • While we still will offer flexibility to supervisors in determining remote work options for their respective units, we are prioritizing getting our employees back on campus so we can continue to fulfill our promise as Kentucky’s university. We are a residential research campus. It is part of what makes us distinctive and special. We must have the staff on campus to support that environment.
  • With more than 6 million square feet of new, modern and high-tech space constructed over the last 10 years, we have the capacity and quality of facilities to ensure an in-person learning and teaching experience for our students, faculty and staff in a safe and healthy environment.

Residential Living

  • The University of Kentucky is known for its transformative residential experience.
  • We’ve created state-of-the-art living and learning spaces that give our students opportunities for connection and engagement, such as our Gatton Student Center, The 90, Jacobs Science Building and new e-sports gaming lounge at The Cornerstone.
  • We are planning for a more robust residential experience, even as we will continue to be guided by the latest science and recommendations from our START team and the CDC.

We know that this past year has not been easy. But your hard work, your commitment to a safe and healthy community and the prospects of a campus that is vaccinated and protected make planning for a return to more normal operations possible.

After all, if I’ve learned anything from the past year, it’s that incredible things happen when we come together, united in a common purpose.

We can do this. We will do this. It’s who we are. It is what we do.

Thank you for being a community so dedicated to what is possible.

Eli Capilouto

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January 29, 2021

Press Release
UK HealthCare, King’s Daughters Announce Significant Partnership

ASHLAND, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2021) — King’s Daughters Health System and UK HealthCare, the clinical health care system of the University of Kentucky, announced today their intent to enter into a significant partnership that will create new opportunities for both organizations to better serve patients throughout Kentucky, southern Ohio and West Virginia.

The executive committee of UK’s Board of Trustees and King’s Daughters' Board of Directors endorsed the formation of the new joint venture partnership during special meetings this morning. It is anticipated that the final operational details of the partnership will be announced in early April.

A new governing group will be formed for the proposed joint venture with equal representation of both UK and KDHS. David Jones, current chair of King’s Daughters Board of Directors, will serve as chair of the new board. Kristie Whitlatch, RN, MSN, will continue in her role as president and chief executive officer of King’s Daughters. While Whitlatch will join the UK HealthCare management team, no additional changes in management, compensation, benefits or job responsibilities are anticipated at either UK HealthCare or KDHS.

“Our goal in entering into this partnership is to strengthen local healthcare,” Whitlatch said, “not just in Ashland and eastern Kentucky, but throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.” King’s Daughters has enjoyed a longstanding, positive relationship with UK HealthCare, Whitlatch noted, including an affiliation with UK’s Markey Cancer Center.

“This is a win-win situation for two strong organizations,” said Dr. Mark F. Newman, UK executive vice president for health affairs. “This partnership builds on our existing relationship and creates mutual alignment between our two organizations,” he said.

The partnership will provide expanded access to tertiary-level services for residents of Eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio, including access to UK HealthCare’s solid organ transplantation program, bone marrow transplantation and expand on the existing relationship between UK’s Markey Cancer Center and King’s Daughters, Dr. Newman noted.

“We are excited to begin working more closely with our friends at UK HealthCare and being able to provide even better care, greater access, and advanced technology to our communities through this partnership,” Whitlatch said.     

 To see the Approved Recommendation from the UK Board of Trustees Executive Committee, click HERE.                                                                                               

**About UK HealthCare: **UK HealthCare employs more than 9,000 people with 945 licensed beds at UK Chandler Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital and UK Kentucky Children’s Hospital. It also includes UK Markey Cancer Center, Gill Heart and Vascular Institute, Kentucky Neurosciences Center and more than 150 outpatient clinics and services.

About King’s Daughters: King’s Daughters Health System (KDHS) is comprised of two acute-care facilities – 465 licensed beds in Ashland and an additional 10 licensed beds at King’s Daughters Medical Center Ohio, located in Portsmouth. It also includes a long-term care facility, five urgent care centers and more than 50 physician practices serving the tri-state area from locations throughout Eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio.

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