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University of Kentucky President Gets New Contract, 48 Percent Raise

University of Kentucky President Eli Capliouto
University of Kentucky President Eli Capliouto

In the midst of a tuition hike and layoffs at the University of Kentucky, the school’s Board of Trustees gave President Eli Capilouto a $250,000 raise and a host of new incentives Friday.

Capilouto’s contract extension runs his employment through 2021 and pays him $790,000 a year in base pay, a 48 percent raise over his salary.

He no longer gets a free car or performance incentives. The contract guarantees a major payout for staying with the school, while also providing millions if he is terminated.

In a news release, the UK Board of Trustees called Friday’s decision a move to continue to “invest in the future” and the “undeniable progress” UK has made in the last five years.

“We are Kentucky’s indispensable institution. I believe we have an indispensable leader,” UK Board Chairman Britt Brockman said in a released statement.

If Capilouto remains president of UK through 2021, he will receive an additional sum of a year’s salary. If the board asks him to leave before 2018 without specifying cause, Capilouto gets $1.7 million, plus the rest of his salary through 2021.

In a blog post Thursday, Capilouto shared details of a new university budget that includes a “realignment” that will cost up to 75 people their jobs. It also includes a 2 percent merit raise for staff and a “moderate” 5 percent tuition increase for students.

“We are investing in you, so the campus remains a home for the intellectual thought leaders, innovators, artists, and healers of our day,” his post read.

Will Wright contributed to this report. Kate Howard can be reached at  khoward@kycir.org and (502) 814.6546. 

Kate Howard is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

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