Capilouto speaks at SLI

Capilouto speaks at SLI

Capilouto: Important to keep boards "engaged, informed and inspired"
Kentucky School Advocate
July/August 2017
By Matt McCarty
Staff writer
Before becoming the 12th president of the University of Kentucky, Dr. Eli Capilouto spent eight years as a school board member in Mountain Brook, Ala.

“I once walked in your shoes,” Capilouto said to open his remarks to Kentucky school board members at the Summer Leadership Institute. “We all owe a great debt of gratitude to those of you who serve as board members because I know you’re volunteers providing your expertise, your experiences, your insight at the community level.” 
Dr. Eli Capilouto Capilouto said as a board member he learned how essential professional development is for teachers and staff, and he learned the role of a board is not managing. ‘That’s the responsibility of the superintendents, the principals.”

As a university president, he utilizes one of the first lessons he learned as a board member. “I learned back then – keep our board engaged, informed and inspired. I know we’re doing this across the 120 counties because I see a constant commitment to improving education,” he said.

Capilouto, who became UK’s president in July 2011, said both the university and public school districts share the goal of preparing students for 21st century learning.

“To do so,” he said, “we must embrace together that our 21st century is so rapidly changing.

“Those that will be successful in the future will be those that can navigate the intersections of the discipline and the intersection of our differences.”

As careers are becoming “more complex, fragmented, specialized and collaborative,” those careers are evolving into micro careers.

“I tell our faculty we must prepare our students for their first job and even more importantly for their future jobs,” Capilouto said. “The first 10 years of their career nowadays, it’s likely they’re going to have four jobs.”

He said building an economic future starts with education.

“That means strengthening the P-12 educational system and challenging all of our educators to partner and collaborate even as we must continually look for ways to improve what we do,” he said. “How we teach must continually evolve to match the needs of our global economy while building new job opportunities for the communities we’re called to serve. And there is no excuse for not learning.”

Capilouto shared stories of UK students he has talked to and said they make him “very confident about our future. I have no doubt that together, with them, we can meet our challenges. So thank you for preparing and being our partner for that next generation of leaders.”

Doors open to in-state students
When Capilouto arrived at UK, the university admitted a class of about 4,300 students with 22 percent non-residents of Kentucky. Last year, UK admitted 5,100 students and 38 percent were out-of-state.

“Our doors are open widest to Kentuckians. Every qualified Kentuckian is admitted,” he said, noting the admission rate is over 90 percent to in-state students who apply.

Capilouto said the university wants to help grow a competitive workforce in Kentucky.

“We want to grow the number of graduates at the University of Kentucky and I don’t mind if some of them come from out of state,” he said. “Why? First of all, it diversifies the population. We have students from all 120 counties, all 50 states, over 100 countries.”

He said surveys show 40 percent of out-of-state students who get a degree from UK stay in Kentucky. Seventy percent of Kentucky residents who get a degree stay in the Commonwealth.

“People go looking for great jobs. I want to keep them all here.”
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