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Recognizing Great Faculty: Dr. Ihsan Bagby

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 09:50

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Earlier this week, I was reading the Wall Street Journal and saw one of our UK College of Arts and Sciences professors, Ihsan Bagby, quoted for his research in Islamic studies.

It was a great reminder of the daily impact that our faculty create in profound ways, from teaching that changes lives, to research that can transform communities and shed light on important issues, like those discussed in the Wall Street Journal article.

Dr. Bagby is among our researchers whose expertise regularly impacts discussions on the national stage.

I encourage you to read it:

In 2001, he and his colleagues published the results of the first and largest comprehensive study of mosques in America, titled "The Mosque in America: A National Portrait."

The study aims to create a public profile of the American mosque, with the ability to further the understanding of the Muslim presence in the US. It provides a broad, thorough portrait of mosques in America.

Based on the 2001 study, Dr. Bagby published articles including, “Imams and Mosque Organizations in the United States,” in Muslims in the United States, “A Profile of African American Mosques” in Journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center, “Attitudes of Mosque Participants Towards America,” in the book "A Nation of Religions: The Politics of Pluralism in Multireligious America," and “The Mosque in the American Public Square,” in Muslims’ Place in the American Public Square.

Furthering that research, in 2011 he and his colleagues published additional studies on American mosques, which focus on a variety of topics including mosque administration and activities; basic demographics and attitudes of mosque leaders; and female participation in American mosques.

His fascinating work also demonstrates the breadth of our research and expertise at the University of Kentucky. Across the scope of our academic disciplines, our researchers are shaping national discussions and breaking boundaries of discovery.

I congratulate Dr. Bagby for this most recent recognition and I thank all of our faculty for the work that you do each and every day.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

All the best,


Join Me Next Week As UK Celebrates International Education

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 13:58

Thursday, November 13, 2014

At the University of Kentucky, we prepare students to be leaders in an increasingly interconnected world. This is one of the great challenges in higher education today, and requires commitment from across our campus.

From our leaders in the UK International Center, to the faculty conducting international research and leading programs abroad, to the students who seek opportunities to explore different cultures, we recognize the vital role that internationalization plays on our campus.

Next week, we will celebrate those efforts throughout International Education Week, from November 17-21.

This week is an annual, joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.

Associate Provost for Internationalization Susan Carvalho, gives a great snapshot of the week in the video below.

I am particularly excited about the Keynote speaker for the week: Christie Vilsack, Senior Advisor for International Education at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).  As USAID’s Senior Advisor for International Education, Vilsack travels the world to visit with education leaders, to learn about international programs and to share her insights about education.

Vilsack will speak on Thursday, November 20 at 6 p.m. in Memorial Hall.

She will discuss USAID’s education strategy in her presentation titled, "Let Girls Learn: Education in Developing Countries." USAID's education strategy is an initiative focused on improving children’s reading skills, strengthening workforce development and providing fair opportunities for education in areas ridden by conflict.

This event is free and open to the public.

Below is a full list of events for the week. You can also learn more about the week here:

Please join me in thanking the individuals at the UK International Center who have worked so hard in planning this week. I look forward to the events!

All the best,


All Week 
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
W.T. Young Library
A weeklong event
The winner will be announced on November 24

Monday, November 17
Bridge the Differences: A Dialogue
3:30 – 5:00
Niles Gallery in the Fine Arts Library
Food and drink will be provided

Tuesday, November 18
Education Abroad Open House
10:00 – 2:00
Third floor of Bradley Hall
Food and drink will be provided

Wednesday, November 19
International Game Day
1:00 – 4:30
Room B-108C in the W.T. Young Library

Global Design
Phil Duncan, Global Design Officer for The Procter & Gamble Company
3:30 – 5:00
UKAA Auditorium in the W.T. Young Library
There will be a reception following talk

Thursday, November 20
International Education Week Keynote Speaker Christie Vilsack, Senior Advisor for International Education at USAID
6:00 – 7:00
Memorial Hall
A reception will follow the talk in the Lexmark Room.

"see community." Through These UK Stories

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 16:10

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Community is at the core of everything we do at the University of Kentucky.

It is reflected in our mission— our commitment to improving lives through education, research and creative work, service, and health care.

It is reflected across our campus — in interactions with students, in the work of faculty and staff, and in the alumni and community members who partner with us.

I love hearing the stories from students, faculty and staff about how our community has empowered them to succeed. I would like to share three particularly moving stories with you.

Last week, I had the pleasure of watching this video highlighting a group of first-generation students who spent three weeks on an education abroad program in London. When asked about the best parts of their experiences, they noted the relationships they forged with their classmates— the community that pushed them to succeed. One of the students, Abel Rodriguez, said that his time ingrained in him a sense that he was part of an enormous network of people, not only at UK, but across the world. 

Equally moving is this story of community: UK physicians and brothers Christopher and Jonathan Feddock share a passion for making an impact on their patients, students and colleagues at the UK College of Medicine and the Markey Cancer Center.

You see their passion and dedication when they talk about choosing careers in medicine. Born and raised in Kentucky, these two individuals use their skills each day to give back to their community.

As we talk about how we continue to build community on our campus, one crucial initiative is our Living Learning Program.

We know that learning occurs both in and out of the classroom; our living learning programs serve to compliment the classroom experience and to provide a deep sense of meaning and purpose for students' educational experiences. The video below highlights some of our current living learning program residents. It's wonderful to hear, from them, how the communities in their residence halls are supporting them in so many ways.

One of the students, Connor Bechtol, said that through his program he is not only making friends, but that he is building himself as a person and developing his leadership, education and study skills. That's powerful.

I often say the people make the place. These stories are just a few examples— among so many— of how that statement echoes true across our campus.

Thank you for being a part of this community.

All the best,


New Resource for Dean Searches

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 01:29

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Yesterday was a special day for our campus. I had the pleasure of announcing that Scott Lephart from the University of Pittsburgh will become Dean of the UK College of Health Sciences on March 1, 2015, pending Board approval.

There is no way to overstate either the importance or quality of our deans at the University of Kentucky.

Responsible for the overall direction of our colleges and their programs, deans provide pivotal leadership in advancing our educational, research and service missions. That is why it is so important for us to find the right individuals, like Scott Lephart, to take on those responsibilities.

There are currently four other colleges at the University of Kentucky undergoing dean searches. And as these processes continue, we are committed to keeping members of the university community updated on our progress.

We all have the same goal in mind: to find the absolute best individuals to lead these colleges-- individuals committed to excellence in education, research and service, and who seek to serve our students, faculty, staff and the Commonwealth.

As part of our commitment to keeping the community updated on these vitally important searches, we have created webpages to display latest news and updates. You can visit these sites at the following addresses:

UK College of Medicine:

UK College of Design:

UK College of Dentistry:

UK College of Public Health:

We value feedback and input from the community. If you have any questions or concerns about these various searches, please contact us at

All the best,


"seeing blue." Throughout Homecoming Week

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 11:35

Friday, October 24, 2014

What a great week it has been to "see blue." I have so enjoyed seeing all of the fantastic Wildcat spirit on our campus throughout homecoming week, and I look forward to the culmination this weekend!

This week has really been a testament to how people make the place at UK.

Tuesday night, our students gathered on Administration Lawn in front of the Main Building to set up carnival games and trick-or-treating for children from local schools. This event has become a community tradition that has gotten better every year.

This past Sunday night, the UK Black Student Union and the Delta Sigma Theta organization hosted "Mr. and Mrs. Black UK," collecting canned goods for charity and recognizing two of our most outstanding African American students.

And on Wednesday, our students gathered in Wildcat Alumni Plaza to celebrate the week with our UK cheerleaders, dance team and the UK Pep Band. It was incredible to see the amount of pride and school spirit our students demonstrated as they cheered for our talented athletes and band members. The Homecoming Royalty Court was also announced at this event, showcasing the accomplished students who have earned the respect and votes of their peers, based on their academic excellence and community involvement.

It's an exciting time to be a Wildcat, and it's sure to be a great weekend. I encourage students, faculty and staff to attend the events that continue throughout Homecoming weekend. Click here to view a full schedule of events.

One event in particular that I would like to highlight is the Dance Blue 5K, which takes place on Sunday at Coldstream Park. If any event exemplifies how people make the place, it is DanceBlue, a student-run philanthropy event that raises awareness and funds for the DanceBlue Kentucky Children's Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic. Registration will take place from 1 – 2:30 p.m. at Coldstream Park; the race begins at 3 p.m. The cost is $20 before Oct. 10, $25 after Oct. 11, register at

Have a great weekend and GO CATS!

All the best,


UK's United Way Campaign

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 09:17

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived: this is to have succeeded.” At the University of Kentucky, service is part of our identity; it's at the core of our mission and our vision for the future.

As part of our commitment to service, earlier this month we kicked off of our annual UK-United Way Campaign. Over the last two years, we have raised over $500,000 to support the more than 80 agencies and programs served by United Way.

The University of Kentucky has set a goal of $350,000 for the 2014 United Way Campaign, which lasts through Friday, October 31.  As of Friday, October 11, $103,517.29 had been donated (29.58% of the total).

I'm happy to provide information regarding how members of the UK family can continue to support this important cause.

  • If you would like to complete a Payroll Deduction Pledge On-line, this can be accessed through your myUK Employee Self-Service Tab.  Just click on the Benefits and Payments Tab; then choose the United Way from the screen menu. 
  • The first of two prize drawings will be held on Friday, October 17.  Donations must be in the system by 4:00 p.m. on Friday to be eligible.  Prize winners will be announced on Monday, October 20.  Items in this drawing include:
  • 5 Plus-Dining Cards ($20 value each)
  • 1 pair football tickets w/parking permit (UK vs Georgia, November 8) $100 value
  • 1 pair of men’s basketball tickets – UK vs. Buffalo (November 16).  Lower arena seating, $60 value

For additional information, including instructional videos for making your pledge, campaign updates and personal stories from the people your contribution helps, please visit:

Thank you for your commitment to serving our community!

All the best,


Welcoming our Community: UK Family Weekend

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 10:03

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

This weekend our campus will opens its doors for 2014 University of Kentucky Family Weekend. Thanks to the great work of our UK Parent Association, we will welcome members of the UK community from across our Commonwealth and beyond. With so many great events planned, it's hard to imagine a better way to spend a weekend!

You can access the full schedule of events here:

I encourage students with family members attending to check in at the Boone Center on Friday, October 10. By doing so, you can meet with UK Parent Association Staff and pick up the official Family Weekend guide, which describes all of the different events taking place throughout the weekend. The check-in will also host a resource fair where you will have the opportunity to learn more about organizations and offices at UK.

In addition, you might also consider stopping by the UK Visitor Center located in the Main Building on campus and the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau in downtown Lexington so your relatives can learn more about all that UK and Lexington have to offer.

On Friday, from 1-5 p.m., Academic Advisors will be available in 109 Miller Hall. Students and parents can meet with advisors to discuss questions about majors and other academic matters at UK. They will also be able to refer you to other campus resources and answer questions as students prepare to register for spring semester classes.

On Friday at 8 p.m., the Student Activities Board will present magician Derek Hughes, in Memorial Hall. Hughes created original deception for MTV’s Room 401, Justin Willman’s YouTube series Magic Meltdown, and Michael Carbonaro’s appearances as the magic clerk on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Tickets are free for UK students, faculty, staff, Parent Association members, and children 12 and under. Tickets are $5 for all others. Ticket information is available here:

On Saturday, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., Education Abroad at UK will host an Education Abroad Information Session in the Hub, in the basement of the William T. Young Library. For those students interested studying, interning, conducting research, engaging in service or teaching abroad, this is a great opportunity for you and your relatives to learn about different opportunities and to ask questions. To RSVP, email Seth Riker at with your name and the number of attendees in your party.

On Saturday from 9:30-12:30, The UK Parent Association will host a Family Weekend Tent Party, leading up to the Louisiana-Monroe football game! The tent will be located at the corner of Farm Road and Nicholasville Road next to the Gluck Equine Research Center, and is open to everyone, even those not planning to attend the game. Tickets are $8 for UK Parent Association members and $12 for all others. UK students get a free ticket with a valid student ID. Ticket information is available here:

These are just a few of the great events planned for this weekend. I encourage everyone to take a look at the full schedule.

It's going to be a terrific weekend, and I'm so looking forward to meeting more members of our UK family. If you have any questions about the weekend, contact the UK Parent Association at or (859) 257-6597.

See you this weekend, and let's go Wildcats!

All the best,


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