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October 25, 2012 10:00 AM In case you’re wondering who’s really in charge at colleges…

By Daniel Luzer

Facing funding problems, the University of Kentucky has endured several rounds of budget cuts. Kentucky faculty, anxious to avoid more slashes to their departments, had an idea they proposed to college administrators. Why not make everyone’s retirement benefits equivalent?

According to an article by Linda Blackford in the Lexington Herald-Leader:

Under the policy, which has been around since the 1970s, UK pays the equivalent of 15 percent of administrators’ salaries directly into their retirement accounts. For everyone else, UK matches an employee’s 5 percent retirement contribution with a 10 percent allocation.
In the 2011-2012 school year, the perk was given to 21 administrators at a total cost of $296,134. Recipients included [University of Kentucky President Eli] Capilouto, Interim Provost Tim Tracy and the vice presidents of finance, health care, facilities, commercialization and diversity, according to documents obtained by the Lexington Herald-Leader using the Open Records Act.

So the faculty gets a 10 percent allocation and administrators get 15 percent. Professors asked the university to just do 10 percent for everyone.

Eli Capilouto apparently declined the request, though he did promise that future administrators will only get 10 percent.

Since 2006 this policy has cost Kentucky $1.5 million.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer