The University of Kentucky does not require employees who are running for public office to go on a leave of absence, university officials said.
Anthany Beatty, who has been an associate vice president at UK since 2008, said he decided not to take a leave of absence from his job while campaigning for mayor.
"I really do enjoy my job at the university and what the university is trying to do," Beatty said. According to the university's policy regarding running and campaigning for elected office, employees who can demonstrate to human resources that they can continue to do their jobs and campaign at the same time are not required to take a leave of absence.
"When Mr. Beatty expressed an interest in running for elective office, he was advised about the specific policies and expectations in place with respect to campaigning and work time," said Jay Blanton, a spokesman for UK. "The university neither prohibits nor encourages people to run for office. The university does not become involved in political campaigns. Ever."
Beatty said that he demonstrated that he can still campaign and oversee his duties as an associate vice president overseeing public safety.
The university provided the newspaper with a copy of the policy. The policy, last revised in April 2014, prohibits those running for office from campaigning on university time and from using university resources to campaign.
Beatty says he campaigns mostly on weekends and in the evenings. He will take more vacation time in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 4 general election to campaign full-time.
According to leave time he submitted to the university, Beatty will be on vacation from Oct. 20 to Nov. 10.
Since entering the race in January, Beatty has repeatedly stressed that the university or its leadership, Dr. Eli Capilouto or Beatty's immediate boss, Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance Eric Monday, did not encourage him to enter the race.
Capilouto and incumbent Mayor Jim Gray have had a strained relationship over the building of a new Rupp Arena and attached convention center in downtown Lexington. Those tensions became public in May when Capilouto wrote a terse letter withdrawing his support for the project. Gray later suspended the project indefinitely.
"The university was not involved in encouraging me to run," Beatty said. "That decision was based on outreach in the community and other people encouraging me to run."