University of Kentucky Board of Trustees finalizes school’s governance changes, dissolves University Senate

Originally published by WEKU.

The University of Kentucky’s Board of Trustees finalized a vote Friday to change how the school is governed.

The change gives all direct policy making power to school administration and abolishes the University Senate. A newly formed Faculty Senate will share advisory roles with the Student Government Association, a Staff Senate and a President’s Council.

A provisional executive faculty has been created as the school works to set up the new system in the meantime. It’s made up of faculty from each of UK’s colleges and chaired by Provost Bob DiPaola.

School President Eli Capilouto says the change is meant to streamline decision making and allow more voices to be heard.

“To realize our promise and meet the expectations of this state we serve, we need more voices at the table, and we now have a way that we engage more voices,” Capilouto said.

The school says the change is part of its Project Accelerate initiative, which is meant to grow the school and advance its objectives to improve the state’s health and economy.

During the same meeting, the Board also passed a record yearly budget of $8.4 billion, a 23 percent increase of the school’s budget last fiscal year.

Critics say the new governing regulations remove power from educators and make UK’s decision making process less clear. Last month, the University Senate passed a vote of no confidence in Capilouto.

Board of Trustees member Hollie Swanson also criticized the change during the meeting. She says the new regulations remove power from educators and make UK’s decision making process less clear.

“We are being asked to fundamentally change how this university operates,” Swanson said. “As an educator, I still believe that educational decisions should be made by those closest to the classroom.”

The Board of Trustees finalized the new regulations with a 19-1 vote, with the lone opposing vote coming from Swanson. An initial vote in April resulted in the same outcome.

The passed resolution says Faculty Senate elections will take place “no later than October 31,” and Senators will take office “no later than November 30.”

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.