LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- University of Kentucky trustees on Tuesday approved a $2.7 billion spending plan for the coming year that includes merit-based pay raises for faculty and staff, more money for scholarships and the school's smallest tuition increase in more than a decade.
The spending blueprint for the fiscal year that begins July 1 amounts to an increase of 2.7 percent, or $71 million, over the budget for the current academic year.
"This budget clearly invests in our students and our people as well as the programs and facilities that help them maximize their collective potential," UK President Eli Capilouto said.
The new budget includes a 3 percent tuition increase for in-state, undergraduate students — touted as the smallest increase in 15 years at the state's flagship university.
The budget provides $20.2 million for faculty and staff raises and benefit adjustments, including a 5 percent merit-based pool. It amounts to the largest pay raise, on average, in more than five years on campus. The budget also ensures no increases in health insurance premiums for most campus employees.
It also includes an additional $7.3 million for scholarships and student aid. More than 85 percent of in-state students at UK receive financial aid, the school said in citing the most recent figures.
The budget also includes $1 million for online learning initiatives and $1 million for new police officers and counselors.
UK officials said additional money from a growing number of out-of-state students has played an important role in the school's budget, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
Between 2008 and 2012, the number of Kentucky undergraduate students has increased by about 6 percent, compared with a 24 percent increase among out-of-state students, the newspaper reported. Out-of-state students pay a tuition rate that is roughly double that of Kentucky students.