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[11] > Image [11] of Minutes of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, 2008-06-17.

Part of Minutes of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees

8 deans where he expected to walk into the room and see a bunch of deans complaining about the budget situation. The moderator, who took notes for the deans' retreat, summarized what the deans had come up with as their priorities. The first thing on the list was to continue to increase the academic success of the student body. The second thing on the list was to continue to serve and meet the needs through outreach of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Since most of them are not Kentuckians, this was very heartwarming. The third thing on the list was to increase collaboration across campus. While the deans probably felt like whining and moaning, they were there to work. They were there to continue to push forward. President Todd told the deans of his emotion to have a press conference on the steps of the Capitol and burn the Top 20 business plan because UK has only received an approximate $12 million increase in the base budget in the past nine years. He wanted to say, "Let's get real;" however, he feared there would be a lot of people that would say that the state could not afford it anyway. He stressed that the state cannot afford not to do it. President Todd talked about the pride he has in the faculty and staff that have not said a word to him personally about backing off the plan. They know it is tough. The university will not achieve all the measures in the strategic plan right now, but the university will be much better off trying to achieve them. There is nobody in the state going to move the state forward any better than the institution. The university touches education, health care, and economic development. All of these aspects need to be touched. The state is one of the worst in health care in the country. It has been ranked low in education, due to the lack of commitment for so many years. And, the economy does not reflect where the state has to be in order to offer competitive jobs. There are people at this meeting who are willing to fight for that and who think it is important to do that. For these things, it is worth continuing to ask for more money. Due to research and the medical center, the university is building on revenue streams. It is time that serious conversations begin with the legislature about stepping up and providing the university the ability and flexibility to do what needs to be done. The university needs a bonding capacity that is comparable to $2.2 billion, a AAA rated corporation. The university needs the ability to sign leases because it is a very responsible party. The university cannot sign a lease over two years now. Somebody who might want to build the university a building could not get a bank loan under the current conditions. The university needs to be able to get out from under some of the other situations as well. Indirect cost reimbursement keeps going down nationally. The university did not receive any overhead money for the $5 million grant to the Kentucky Geological Survey to drill two large holes in eastern and western Kentucky to look at carbon sequestration. While it is nice to get the $5 million from the state, there are operational costs needed. The state needs to realize the research universities are doing work for the state, and the universities need to have some overhead coverage. The university's public and government relations groups need to schedule campus tours for the legislators so they can see firsthand what is happening on campus.