Capilouto1LEXINGTON, Ky. (11/22/13) – University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto testified before the General Assembly's Interim Economic Development Committee during their meeting Thursday afternoon, regarding the economic impact UK has on the Commonwealth.

Approximately $284 million is poured into UK from Kentucky annually, said Capilouto during his presentation, which makes up a little more than 10 percent of the university's overall revenue.

“Our capacity to carry out our mission begins with you,” said Capilouto to the committee. “Everything we do here is built upon the $284 million of state appropriations.”

Capilouto highlighted what comes from those state and taxpayer dollars, including a $2.7 billion academic and research enterprise, a $1 billion hospital and Markey Cancer Center, a statewide cooperative extension network, and a self-sustaining collegiate athletics program.

UK is also the largest employer in Lexington and the second largest employer in the Commonwealth, said Capilouto. That's ahead of Toyota, Humana, Ford and G.E. UK employees 12,188 full-time employees, which generates $26.7 million in local payroll tax for Lexington and Fayette County Public Schools along with almost $52 million in state payroll tax revenue.

He added that UK has produced more than 5,000 graduates annually over the past decade, and 6,000 during the 2011-2012 year alone. More than 105,000 UK alumni currently reside in Kentucky. In addition, 86 percent of UK graduates are living in Kentucky five years after their graduation. That includes 52 percent of students UK attracts from out of state.

“We've helped develop a critical concentration of technology, healthcare and education that thrives here in central Kentucky through the partnership of our talented faculty and staff, the resources we are able to attract through collateral businesses and industry, and through the graduates that we prepare,” said Capilouto. “I like to say that the economic engine of Kentucky is wherever a graduate of the University of Kentucky resides and works.”

Capilouto also outlined renovations and new additions to the campus, including residence halls, a $65 million renovation to the Gatton College of Business and Economics, a new academic science building and renovations to Commonwealth Stadium.

He ended the testimony by expressing deep gratitude to the committee.

“I hope you have great pride in what we're doing, because you have a strong hand in it,” said Capilouto. “We are an institution with incredible momentum … It is a lot to be proud of and we are so so grateful for you giving us the opportunity to serve our state in these many ways.”

David Gillum
SurfKY News
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