Local/Regional News
9:21 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

UK Begins Notifying Employees Of Layoffs

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The University of Kentucky is undergoing a "significant reduction" in employees, according to an email sent to the university community Tuesday from President Eli Capilouto.

Some employees have begun receiving notice that they are being laid off. The Lexington Herald-LeaderĀ  reports university spokesman Jay Blanton wouldn't speculate on a final number of employees who will lose their jobs and said administrators are putting that information together.

Capilouto's email was sent campus-wide at 5:30 p.m. EDT.

"It is a painful exercise to implement significant reductions in our workforce," he wrote. "But there simply is no way to patch over the holes in our budget with temporary measures or one-time sources of funds any longer."

Capilouto announced last month that UK would reduce spending to make up a $45 million budget deficit over the next two years. In his email, he said UK has lost $50 million in state funding since 2007.

The university is Lexington's largest employer with about 2,500 faculty members and 9,000 staff. UK Healthcare employs an additional 3,000.

Blanton said some departments have begun giving employees notice that their jobs will end in 90 days.

"We expect there will be reductions in our work force; that's happening at the unit level," he said. "The clear direction has been that departments and units will do what is necessary to minimize impact on teaching and direct patient care."

Capilouto's proposed budget calls for 11.4 percent spending cuts during the next two years for administrative units that report directly to the president. Academic units would face 7.5 percent cuts. Faculty and staff would not get a raise in 2012-13 but would share a 5 percent merit pool the next year.

The board of trustees is scheduled to approve the budget plan at its meeting June 19.

The board has approved a 6 percent tuition increase for the upcoming academic year. The increase brings the total cost of tuition, fees and housing for in-state undergraduates to $16,518 a year. UK tuition has increased 147 percent over the past decade.

UK Work Life Office Director Robynn Pease said another round of layoffs will probably occur between October and January.

Considering UK's budget issues, layoffs are not a surprise, Pease said.

"It wasn't being hidden. It was implied and stated that the budget cut was going to hurt," she said. "I think it's fair to say we're facing now what other universities, such as the University of California system, began facing several years before."