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Todd Begins Final Week as UK President

by Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio

Lee Todd is in his final few days as president of the University of Kentucky. Todd will retire this week after 10 years leading the huge operations of academics, athletics, and healthcare.

“What’s going on at the hospital is beyond my expectations,” he says. “What’s gone on in enrollment and academic programs is more than I would have ever thought of. The key is bringing in the people who can have those ideas and then letting them have their run at it. And we’ve got some outstanding people.”

Todd says even though UK’s goal to become a top 20 research university has been an unfunded mandate from the state legislature, faculty and staff have continued to work and improve across the board. Eli Capilouto, the former provost at the University of Alabama Birmingham, will take over as President of UK

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WFPL News Special to Address Rising College Costs

Two weeks ago, the Council for Post-Secondary Education capped the amount that the Universities of Louisville and Kentucky can raise their tuition, limiting them to a 6% increase. UofL trustees approved a budget that raises tuition by the full 6%; UK did the same, and also raised fees for student housing and meal plans.

Today at 1pm, a WFPL News Special will talk about the rising costs of a college education with UofL President Dr. James Ramsey, JCTCS President Dr. Tony Newberry, and Michael Gritton, the Executive Director of KentuckianaWorks. Call 502-814-8255 during the broadcast to ask your questions and let us know how rising college costs have affected you.

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Candidate for UK President Speaks With Students and Faculty

by Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio

University of Kentucky faculty, staff and students had a number of questions today for the man who may be the school’s next president.

Eli Capilouto is the provost of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He visited UK today as the board of trustees’ preferred candidate to replace retiring President Lee Todd.

Professor Dr. Steven Yates was glad to hear that top finalist had secretly toured campus last week, but says that if Capilouto had walked through the chemistry building, he would have seen buckets catching rain from a leaky roof.

“We reside in a building that’s more than 45 years old and by scientific standards our laboratories are just antiques in many cases,” he said.

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UAB Provost Preferred Candidate for UK Presidency

by Alan Lytle, Kentucky Public Radio

The University of Kentucky’s Board of Trustees has selected University of Alabama at Birmingham provost Eli Capilouto as its preferred candidate to succeed Lee Todd as the school’s 12th president.

Capilouto and his wife, Mary Lynne, were introduced at a press conference in Northern Kentucky late Sunday afternoon. Capilouto told reporters the couple paid an unscheduled visit to the campus last Tuesday.

“I walked through your athletic facilities, I spent time in your medical center area just casually talking to grateful patients. And it’s then that Mary Lynne and I realized we wanted to be a part of your family,” he said. “I also know that when I met people across campus and they came from every corner of your state, that there are lots of hope and dreams, and when I look at the data about your state, Mary Lynn and I are looking forward to traveling through every county, I learned that there are lot of dreams still deferred; dreams that haven’t been met.”

The Alabama native was asked what he thought of the school’s mandate to become a top public research university by 2020.  He says a lot has happened since the legislature passed that mandate in 1997.

“Our economy is much different.  We are seeing that federal funding for research may be stalled for a period of time.  We are seeing demographic changes amongst our students and so forth. So I look forward to having a dialogue with the faculty, the students, and staff, and along with the Trustees, to learn what the best way to chart that future is; maintaining those high hopes and dreams.”

Capilouto will meet with the campus community at several forums on Monday.  If that goes well, the Trustees are expected to formally offer him the job on Tuesday.

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University of Kentucky Raises Tuition, Fees

University of Kentucky officials have proposed an increase in mandatory housing and meal fees. That’s on top of a plan to raise tuition six percent. At a budget form today, university treasurer Angie Martin announced that next year’s students will pay nine percent more for on-campus housing and an additional three percent for their meal plan. Although faculty and staff will receive their first pay raise in three years, Martin says some departments will have their budgets cut by 2.5 percent, despite the extra revenue from fee increases.

The budget proposal will raise the overall cost of attendance, including tuition and fees, to $15,880 per year, per student. It will be submitted to the university’s Board of Trustees on May 3rd.

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University of Kentucky Presidential Search Committee Chooses Finalists

by Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio

The University of Kentucky Presidential Search Committee has narrowed its list of candidates to replace retiring president Lee Todd, but members of the committee remain tight-lipped about the process.

Committee chair Jim Stuckert will not say how many names are on the list.

“We’re still doing additional due diligence work, additional referencing, and continuing down that process,” he says.

Trustees chairman Britt Brockman had initially said the search committee would pick three to five finalists, but he also  declined to say how many have made the shortlist.

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UK Presidential Search Committee Finishes Interviews

by Alan Lytle, Kentucky Public Radio

A University of Kentucky official says the school’s presidential search is on course after a series of interviews with prospects this week.

The group charged with hiring the next president for the University of Kentucky has finished three days’ worth of interviews and says the list of candidates will be whittled down to five or fewer by April 11th. UK Board of Trustees Chair Brit Brockman says those candidates who have made the initial cut can look forward to a comprehensive vetting process.

“We’ll contact the people they put down as references, and we’ll contact people they may not have put down as references, and we’ll do background checks, et cetera,” he says.

Brockman will not divulge how many candidates were interviewed or how many are still in the running. He did reveal on Thursday that many of the hopefuls have Kentucky ties but that the prospects come from both coasts and many places in between. The finalists will be reviewed by the board of trustees, who hope to hire a new president by May.

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University of Kentucky Presidential Search Committee to Review Candidates This Week

by Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio

The public forums are complete, now the search committee looking for the next University of Kentucky president is preparing to conduct candidate interviews. Committee members will meet in closed session Tuesday through Thursday at a hotel conference room in northern Kentucky.

UK Board of Trustees Chair Britt Brockman says the list of potential hires will be narrowed to three to five finalists and an offer will be extended to the preferred candidate by the end of next month.

“I’ve said from the beginning it’s a very ambitious deadline as far as our goal of May 1st, but right now we’re right on target,” he says.

Unless all the candidates agree to it, the names of the finalists will not be released. UK is searching for a replacement for outgoing president Lee Todd Jr., who plans to retire after 10 years leading the university.

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Council Sets 6% Maximum Tuition Increase For U Of L, UK

Associated Press/Gabe Bullard

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education has set tuition limits for the state’s public universities and colleges for the 2010-2011 school year.

The council met Friday and voted to allow state resident undergraduate tuition and fees to increase no more than 6 percent at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.

It also set a 5 percent limit at Eastern, Western, Northern, Murray State and Morehead State universities, and a limit of 4 percent for the state’s community colleges.

The increases are one percent higher than the maximum allowed by the CPE last year. State universities and colleges have endured nine cuts in state funding in the last nine years.

Any tuition increases must be approved by the schools’ boards, then by the CPE.

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Cardinals Face Wildcats Saturday

The University of Louisville and University of Kentucky men’s basketball teams face off Saturday.

The 10-3 Cardinals will travel to Lexington to take on the undefeated Wildcats.

Mark Bacon is the host of WFPL and WFPK’s basketball podcast. He says it’ll be tough for any team to beat the Wildcats, but Louisville’s chances rely heavily on two factors.

“Long-range shooting is real key, but I think the first key is defense,” says Bacon. “Defense wins games. They’ve got a great coach with Rick Pitino in terms of teaching defensive schemes and pressures, they’ve been drilled in the fundamentals of it, now they’ve got to go out and bring the best game they’ve ever brought to stop this juggernaut that is the Wildcats.”

Tipoff is 3:30 at Rupp Arena.