When you get paid half-a-millions dollars a year to run a state institution, serving as its President with no prior experience as President of a University, you’re bound to make some mistakes.
The University of Kentucky’s Half-a-Million-Dollar Man, Dr. Eli Capilouto, recently laid off a bunch of people at UK and then had to write a letter to the UK community in which he said he wanted to “apologize for any confusion.”
He went on to apologize for making half-a-million dollars while claiming that the school was financially struggling.
“We deeply regret — deeply regret — the loss of any jobs here, but we know and feel very confident that we have the workforce, the expertise and the excellence to provide a student the best education they can find anywhere,” Capilouto said Wednesday in an interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Look, both my parents taught at the University and a lot of their friends did and I know a lot of other people who still do and I’m not taking anything at all away from them when I say — with absolute love and affection — that is one of the stupidest statements I’ve read this year.
The University of Kentucky offers great teachers, great employees, some good facilities, a lot of potential, and plenty of opportunity if you want it.
But if Dr. Capilouto truly feels “very confident” that UK has what it takes to “provide a student the best education they can find anywhere” then it’s almost criminal to hand him half-a-million dollars each year… or someone is going to have to redefine the words “best” and “anywhere.”
Or Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Berea, Centre, UNC, UC Berkeley… I mean the list goes on… have all ceased to exist.
On the other hand, if you consider that before he got here the University of Kentucky was flailing about trying to break the Top 20 in anything at all and proclaiming itself “America’s next great university” and now, just one year into his reign, we’re already providing “the best education anywhere,” then Dr. Capilouto has certainly earned his paycheck .
Also, he fired Chester Grundy because he had to keep his $500,000 paycheck in tact:
Outrage over the University of Kentucky’s decision to lay off one of its longest-serving and best-known black employees continues to ripple across Lexington and beyond.
Chester Grundy, who started UK’s first Black Student Union in 1969 and went on to found the Martin Luther King Cultural Center and direct it for more than 30 years, was laid off last week. As the news has filtered through cyberspace, his former students and fans are making their voices heard.
Grundy is one of 140 employees at UK laid off as part of budget cuts. An additional 164 positions are not being filled.