University of Kentucky President Gets New Contract, 48 Percent Raise

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University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto


University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto

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 press 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’s 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 and (502) 814.6546.