The Endowment Match program, also known as the “Bucks for Brains” initiative, was established through the 1998 biennial budget and was designed to attract top researchers to Kentucky. B4B was using tax payer's money to support faculty members.
The Bucks for Brains (B4B) program requires that universities match the state funds with donations from philanthropists, corporations, foundations, and other non- profit agencies. Public and private matched funds are invested and the earnings fund faculty positions, programs, or scholarships. The invested principal remains untouched in order to provide a perpetual source of funding to ultimately meet the goals of HB 1 through the commercialization of research, the creation of knowledge economy jobs, and the improvement of Kentucky’s economy and standard of living.
As of 2006, University of Kentucky received $153,722,882 from the general funds that was earmarked for B4B program.
The website of Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education states that:
According to the 2011 Summary Report, Bucks for Brains has attracted faculty with extensive records of externally funded research to Kentucky. Between 1997 and 2010, the number of endowed chairs at Kentucky public universities increased from 56 to 252 and the number of endowed professorships increased from 53 to 354. Over that same period, extramural research and development expenditures generated by UK and UofL faculty and staff increased from $105.2 million to $364.8 million, or 247 percent.
Funds for B4B program is administered by the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education (KCPE). To get more insight into the B4B program, I recently made an open record request to find out the email communications between administrators of KCPE and University of Kentucky Administration.
The interesting fact is that despite the large size of the program and such major roles taken by UK and KCPE, there is absolutely no email records of anything according to the lawyers of KCPE. This is almost impossible to believe and the stonewalling efforts by KCPE attorney, Travis Powell, is illegal.
Apparently attorneys of KCPE has something to hide and they deny existence of any emails that even mentions the B4B Program.
Lachin Hatemi is a physician and a civil rights activist based in Lexington, KY. Hatemi is also the founder and partner in consulting firm, Hatemi & Wallace Consulting. You can reach him at Lachin@HatemiWallace.com.