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Our Shared Purpose: Keeping Our Community Safe

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 09:17

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016

Academic excellence at the University of Kentucky is rooted in community and in partnership. We know that through collaboration across an array of disciplines, and with a commitment to working as partners with communities, some of the most important questions of our day can be successfully addressed.

You can see the remarkable power of collaboration and shared purpose in the recently released data from the Campus Attitudes Toward Safety (CATS) survey.

More than 24,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students completed CATS in the spring 2015 semester, as part of one of the first mandatory campus-wide surveys regarding sexual assault and campus climate in the country. The data our students provided will help us shape outreach, support services and other mechanisms for campus safety.

If even one student feels unsafe, lacks a sense of belonging, or feels that there is more we can do on our campus—then there is more work to be done. This idea drives everything that we do.

Our institution has become a leader in efforts to both understand and prevent violence and sexual assault on college campuses.

The Green Dot Program, designed by former UK faculty member Dorothy Edwards, has been in use at the university since 2008. It teaches students how to identify situations that could lead to an act of violence (represented on incident maps by a red dot) and shows them how to intervene safely and effectively. A “green dot” represents “any behavior‚ choice‚ word‚ or attitude that promotes safety for all our citizens and communicates utter intolerance for violence.”

We’ve sustained this program for the past eight years because we know that it is effective. A study led by faculty member Ann Coker found a greater than 50 percent reduction in the self-reported frequency of sexual violence perpetration by students at high schools that received the Green Dot training, compared to a slight increase at schools that did not.

It’s not surprising that CATS survey data related to the Green Dot Program on our campus are very strong as well.

Our researchers are also investigating collaborative solutions to further move the needle with regard to safety both on our campus and beyond.

In 2004, we established the Center for Research on Violence Against Women. By bringing together scholars from a variety of fields, from public health to psychology and from statistics to sociology, our researchers address these questions in multidimensional ways; they recognize that such complex issues requires holistic approaches.

For example, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Excellence Charley Carlson serves as a part of this research team. His work focuses on self-regulation strategies for individuals in high-risk situations. Particular breathing strategies have been proven effective in helping women maintain physiological control in dangerous situations. Using virtual reality techniques, Charley is further exploring how these methods could be used to educate women on how to live more safely.

Our commitment extends to the community as well.

Ann Coker and Diane Follingstad, the Director of center, are working with a local battered women’s shelter to determine whether certain activities at the shelter may lead to better outcomes for the women they serve. They are also working on a program to help healthcare professionals more easily recognize victims of sexual trafficking.

All of these efforts—this research, outreach and collaboration—produce information that aids us in nurturing a positive campus climate.

Each day we add to that wealth of knowledge.

Each day we renew our commitment to combat the scourge of violence and sexual assault.

This survey is another step in that journey.

Harnessing the incredible talent on our campus across a broad range of fields, we will continue to make progress on behalf of our most sacred trust—keeping our community safe. 

Timothy S. Tracy



An Update from Lance Poston, LGBTQ* Resources

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 10:38

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Over the past several months, our campus has engaged in a thoughtful and constructive conversation about how we build a more inclusive environment—an environment of belonging. President Capilouto and I have been amazed by the quality of this conversation, particularly because it began among our students. Since then, conversations among and between students, faculty and staff have called upon our community to think, talk, and unrelentingly act so that every member of the UK family can know and feel that they belong here.

It’s the right conversation for our time, for it is our duty to create an environment of belonging for students, faculty and staff of all backgrounds, ethnicities, perspectives, and identities. To that end, nine months ago, we created the Office of LGBTQ* Resources, to provide crucial resources and support for the UK community. I asked Lance Poston, the Director of LGBTQ* Resources, to provide an update on the important work his office is leading.

Updates from UK’s Office of LGBTQ* Resources

Since it was created nine months ago, the university’s Office of LGBTQ* Resources has been very successful in celebrating the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Wildcats and highlighting ways that we can continue to grow as an institution devoted to diversity and inclusivity. As a unit within the Office of the Vice President for Institutional Diversity, LGBTQ* Resources is devoted to fostering community for our faculty, staff, and students through campus support, education, and advocacy. Building on a strong foundation laid by multiple student groups and a robust faculty/staff LGBTQ* task force, LGBTQ* Resources has been able to grow quickly and contribute to many campus milestones that should make us all very proud.

Although we are still in the process of assessing student experiences and campus needs, we have begun to implement a standard schedule of programs and services with vision and goals that are increasingly longer term. Some of these new developments include:

  • Student-focused social events in Blazer Hall 301 each Wednesday at 6pm during regular academic terms
  • An annual Queer & Now Spring Film Series that brings big screen depictions of LGBTQ* life to Memorial Hall once a month during each spring term
  • Gender and Sexuality Lunch and Learns in Young Library once a month during regular academic terms
  • Drop-in office hours with LGBTQ* Director Lance Poston in Blazer Hall 302 every Tuesday from 9am until noon and in Chandler Hospital H-172 on Fridays from 9am until 4pm.
  • LGBTQ* 101 SafeZone Workshops offered as requested by student groups and faculty/staff units with the end goal of continuing to build our essential campus cultural competencies
  • An annual student-driven UK Pride Week that will focus on education and community building from April 11-16, 2016

To spread the word about these exciting new programs and services and continually update our campus friends and partners, we publish a digital newsletter twice per month and maintain a current Facebook page. For information on connecting with either of these informational resources, contact the office’s administrative coordinator at

In addition to these new opportunities for everyone to connect with UK LGBTQ* campus life, we have achieved significant highpoints in curriculum support and alumni engagement. Thanks to the generosity of Drs. Keisa and Amanda Fallin-Bennett, we have established an endowment that allows the Office of LGBTQ* Resources to begin awarding annual student scholarships for Fall 2016. This wonderful gift will provide essential support to our students while also raising the new office’s profile as an essential campus unit dedicated to creating spaces for all Wildcats to flourish as their authentic selves.

As a final update, we were thrilled to have a great turnout for UK’s LGBTQ* Holiday Reception. Held at the Campbell House on Broadway, this early December event was a time for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community supporters to meet one another, highlight campus LGBTQ* developments, and celebrate the season. At this event, we also honored our First Annual UK LGBTQ* Alumni Leadership Awardees, Greg Bourke and Michael De Leon. As one of the lead plaintiff couples in the marriage equality cases that led to the US Supreme Court’s historic Obergefell decision last summer, Greg and Michael had an amazing story to share that is certainly worthy of this recognition from their alma mater. 

Lance Poston, UK Director of LGBTQ* Resources 

The UK Strategic Plan: Undergraduate Student Success

Tue, 01/12/2016 - 13:56

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Last Friday, WUKY’s “UK Perspectives” featured a conversation on a vital element of who we are, why we’re here, and where we’re going as an institution. Focusing on the UK Strategic Plan, Tom Godell and I discussed an essential truth in higher education: all great institutions, without fail, provide excellent undergraduate experiences.

My conversation with Tom is the first of a several part series on WUKY, where we will focus on the major pillars of the strategic plan.

The first objective of our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan provides a road map for cultivating an environment in undergraduate excellence. We must be a community in which commitments to academic excellence, collaboration, inclusivity and belonging are deeply embedded in our culture.

Such commitment begins by recognizing the obstacles that our students face, and by understanding how best to address those challenges. 

I’m fortunate to see and talk with students almost every day. Almost invariably, I’ve found that their concerns span across three primary areas:

  1. Doing well academically and what that means for the future
  2. Financial difficulties, related to work or concern about paying for school
  3. A feeling of being alone, the result of either being away from home for the first time or the challenge of finding their place, that sense of community we all want

We know that whether a student returns to school after one semester, and whether they ultimately graduate, depends a great deal on successfully navigating and coping with these issues. That’s why much of the nearly $2 billion transformation occurring on our campus right now is focused on improving the student experience and instilling an even greater sense of community throughout our campus. Thousands of new residence hall beds, with dozens of innovative classroom and gathering spaces, are designed to foster enhanced living and learning experiences for our students.

We know when students live on campus, particularly their first year, they are more likely to be retained, to do well academically, and to become involved in organizations and initiatives that give them a sense of social support and well-being. Our goal is to nurture and enhance that sense of belonging, to better ensure their success.

And, increasingly, financial concerns— particularly what we call unmet financial need— play a predominant role in the question of student success.

For this reason, this year we announced changes to our scholarship programs for the 2016-2017 school year. We've modified eligibility requirements for some scholarships, such as the Singletary and full-tuition scholarships as we seek to target more successfully students with financial and other needs. Our goal is—and has always been—to find ways to better balance the academic merit scholarships we provide with need-based scholarships and aid. Under the leadership of President Eli Capilouto and our Board of Trustees, we've devoted more and more resources toward scholarships and aid at UK. This year alone, we are investing more than $100 million in institutional scholarships and aid, up from $75 million just a few years ago.

In addition, this past fall we announced a number of initiatives— in addition to our scholarship offerings— aimed at addressing financial need and the challenges that confront many of our students. Among those initiatives is a financial wellness center, which provides guidance and mentoring opportunities for students to enhance their financial literacy.

These initiatives align with the Strategic Plan; they are part of a focus we place at UK on the student experience, the idea of putting students first in everything that we do.

Under the leadership of President Capilouto and our Board of Trustees, we aim to be the University of choice for aspiring undergraduate students, within the Commonwealth and beyond, seeking a transformational education that promotes self-discovery, experiential learning, and life-long achievement. Our Strategic Plan will guide us as we pursue this vision, as the University for Kentucky.

You can listen to the WUKY broadcast here.

Timothy S. Tracy



The Intersection of Innovation and Impact

Wed, 01/06/2016 - 09:24

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

At the University of Kentucky we strive to be at the intersection of innovation and impact.

As a $3.4 billion academic, research and health enterprise, discovery is at the core of our institution – calling upon us to answer still lingering questions while daring to pioneer the questions yet asked. Across campus we are creating significant areas of research excellence - multidisciplinary communities of top talent that address the relevant challenges of our day.

The University’s sponsored research includes nationally recognized programs in aging, cancer, and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease. Our emerging areas of discovery – renewable fuels and plant-based alternatives for industrial manufacturing – are closely linked to questions relevant to the Commonwealth we serve.

Our research and scholarly endeavors offer the brightest hope for transformation and change for our Commonwealth and the broader world we serve.

This week, UKNow featured one of our researchers who has dedicated her career to pursing answers to the questions of our day—to healing through the power of discovery.

Ying Liang, assistant professor of toxicology and cancer biology, recently received a prestigious R01 grant, totaling $1.88 million over five years, from the National Institutes of Health. In her first time to receive the award, she scored at the second percentile, an uncommonly high score indicating that her proposal was nearly flawless.

Her study focuses on a gene that affects stem cell damage from chemotherapy and radiation. She actually helped to discover the gene, called Latexin, about 10 years ago while she was a PhD candidate at UK and member of Dr. Gary van Zant’s lab. Since then, her continued research with Latexin has been supported by KL2 Career Development Award from the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

The Latexin gene, as it turns out, could hold a key to protecting healthy blood and stem cells during cancer treatments, the ultimate aim of Liang’s work. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy target cells that multiply rapidly, as do cancer cells, but healthy cells that rapidly multiply are also damaged in the process. This includes not only hair cells (which is why many cancer patients temporarily lose their hair during treatment), but also blood cells and stem cells in the bone marrow. The damage to these blood and stem cells causes serious short-term consequences, such as bleeding problems and elevated risk of infection, that can drastically increase mortality for cancer patients. Long-term problems loom, too, as cancer therapy-induced stem cell damage can lead to cell toxicity and secondary cancers years later.

Liang hopes that understanding the molecular mechanisms of the gene that affects stem cell vulnerability to cancer therapies could eventually lead to methods to protect these cells during treatment.

You can read more about her research here.

Dr. Liang’s research speaks to our role as the University for Kentucky. Our sense of connection to those we serve and our steadfast commitment to changing lives is an integral part of what makes our campus community special.

We educate students, conduct groundbreaking research and heal communities in need of our care. I’m grateful each day to the various members of the UK family who embody these precious commitments.

Timothy S. Tracy



Academic Excellence: Faculty Impact on Student Success

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 09:40

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

At the University of Kentucky, we are fostering an environment of academic excellence—preparing our students for what President Capilouto often describes as "lives of leadership, meaning and purpose."  

We are able to do so through our world-class faculty and our breadth of academic programs—a breadth that is reinforced by strong linkages among undergraduate and graduate education, academic research, and a vibrant clinical medical enterprise.

In an increasingly complex, diverse and interdependent world, it matters that a place exists where world-class poets and writers conduct their labors minutes away from nationally renowned scholars and researchers in cancer and energy, opera and psychology. At the same time, we never forget that our first priority is — and always will be — the development of our students, the young men and women who come here with bright and uncompromising potential and whom we expect to leave here ready to positively influence our Commonwealth, nation and world.

This focus on student success has guided our decision-making as we’ve grown our faculty over the past eight years. Since 2007, our faculty numbers have increased by approximately 12 percent, paralleling our enrollment growth of approximately 13 percent. During this same time period, the percentage of part-time and full-time faculty has remained consistent.

Notably, even as state budgets have been cut substantially, we've maintained faculty gains and been able to modestly continue growth.  UK’s state appropriations have been reduced by $55 million on a recurring basis since 2008; those appropriations fund the vast majority of teaching at the institution. Despite this challenge, we’ve sustained our student-to-faculty-ratio; currently it is 18-to-1, similar to what it has been for the last decade.

Harnessing the talent of our faculty and working together with this commitment to student success, we recently created even more ambitious targets for retention, graduation and the achievement gap.

The UK Strategic Plan lays the groundwork for UK to reach those goals, allowing us to be the University of choice for aspiring undergraduate students within the Commonwealth and beyond, who are seeking a transformational education that promotes self-discovery, experiential learning, and life-long achievement.

By 2020, the University of Kentucky aims to aggressively increase its six-year graduation rate to 70 percent — an increase of nearly 10 percent over recent figures. Retention rates as well, under the plan, would increase nearly 10 percent to 90 percent.

At the same time, the university wants to significantly close the achievement gap — retention and graduation rates — that exists between the general student population and students of color, first-generation students and students eligible for Pell grants.

Currently a 15 to 17 percent gap exists in the graduation rate between those students and the general student population. Under the proposed strategic plan, those gaps would be closed to less than10 percent by 2020.

The plan in full can be read here.

A recent Gallup-Purdue Index report speaks to role faculty play in student success—yet another testament to the importance of our world-class teachers and researchers. In this report, students nationally indicated that they were 1.9 times more likely to agree higher education was worth the cost if “my professors cared about me as a person” and if “I had a mentor who encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams,” and 1.8 times more likely if “I had a t least one professor who made me excited about learning.”

Because of this, we will make strategic investments in faculty recruitment, retention, and development, and in approaches that support innovative teaching and learning. We will continue to harness faculty talent in roles that impact student support, like Living Learning Program leadership.

All great research universities have at their core a great undergraduate education experience. We aim to be one of the best public, residential research universities in America. To do that, we must — and we will — invest in academic excellence by helping all of our students reach their potential and succeed.

Timothy S. Tracy



Kathi Kern, CELT Featured on "UK at the Half"

Thu, 12/03/2015 - 16:39

Friday, December 4, 2015

One of the best things about being a member of the UK family is the opportunity to engage with gifted, dedicated people, who are tirelessly committed to moving our institution forward. One of those individuals was recently highlighted on the "UK at the Half" radio broadcast. 

Dr. Kathi Kern, an associate professor in the Department of History, is the Director of Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT).

She is an innovator in her own classrooms and brings energy and enthusiasm to the teaching enterprise at UK. Recently, she was featured on "UK at the Half” for her exceptional work as a professor and CELT director. In the broadcast, she talked about her passion for teaching and developing students. 

“I have always been interested in teaching, particularly because when students approach a history class they often think it’s going to be boring, it’s going to be memorization, it’s going to be random facts that aren’t important to me,” she said. "So I have always, as a historian, been interested in how I can engage students in teaching history, and I often used unconventional methods to do that. I started working on teaching as sort of part of my identity as a historian. I wanted to be an innovative teacher."

Though Dr. Kern has won many awards for her innovative and passionate teaching, including but not limited to, UK’s Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Teaching, the alumni Great Teacher Award, and the College of Education’s “Teachers Who Make a Difference” Award, the implications of her work are greater than her personal accolades.

As the director of CELT, Dr. Kern and her staff encourage the use of instructional technology to engage students and increase classroom interaction. Additionally, they offer support and guidance to faculty on how to improve instruction throughout the many facets of higher education. 

“Everyone in CELT teaches because that gives us credibility with the faculty,” she said. “We’re not just going to pontificate about what people should be doing and not try things out ourselves.” 

CELT not only serves the UK community, but also foreign countries. For example, Pakistan and Iraq send faculty to the University of Kentucky CELT to learn and train to be better educators. In addition, CELT is currently forging partnerships with Chinese universities and hopes to welcome the first cohort from China this summer. CELT has also been invited to go to China to offer teaching workshops at universities there.

Dr. Kern also does research and outreach to public school teachers in Kentucky and other states to support and develop educators at all levels. 

Dr. Kathi Kern’s work speaks to the fundamental purpose of the University of Kentucky: to serve students and help them pursue and maintain academic excellence. Her story is an example among many of why we are here-- to serve those that we touch and teach, as the University for Kentucky. 

You can listen to the UK at the Half broadcast here.

Timothy S. Tracy 


#Academic Excellence

Thankful for What We've Accomplished Together this Year

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 08:48

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

In February of this year, I was entrusted with the incredible honor to serve as provost of this great university—a place devoted to achieving excellence across each area that we touch.

With each passing day, with each achievement that our community reaches together, I’m more thankful for this responsibility, and for the compelling work that we undergo, together. We—as a UK family—have an enduring commitment that permeates through all of our work in teaching, research and service: a commitment to academic excellence.

Look at what we’ve accomplished this year.

Strategic plan

This year we’ve strengthened this excellence, by adopting a new strategic plan. This plan will guide our efforts and how we measure our progress as we build upon our momentum. The strategic plan is composed of five objectives:

Undergraduate Student Success - Be the University of choice for aspiring undergraduate students, within the Commonwealth and beyond, seeking a transformational education that promotes self-discovery, experiential learning, and life-long achievement.

Graduate Education - Strengthen the quality and distinctiveness of our graduate programs to transform our students into accomplished scholars and professionals who contribute to the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world through their research and discovery, creative endeavors, teaching, and service.

Diversity and Inclusivity - Enhance the diversity and inclusivity of our University community through recruitment, promotion, and retention of an increasingly diverse population of faculty, administrators, staff, and students, and by implementing initiatives that provide rich diversity-related experiences for all, to help ensure their success in an interconnected world.

Research and Scholarship - Expand our scholarship, creative endeavors, and research across the full range of disciplines to focus on the most important challenges of the Commonwealth, our nation, and the world.

Community Engagement - Leverage leading-edge technology, scholarship, and research in innovative ways to advance the public good and to foster the development of citizen-scholars.

You can read the complete plan, which includes the objectives, initiatives, action steps and metrics at the Strategic Plan Website.

We also continued to transform the academic infrastructure of our campus, empowering our excellent faculty to deliver instruction in a way that further supports student success:

Academic Science Building

The Academic Science Building will open in 2016, and be home to the largest active learning space on campus, where students will have the opportunity to experience and engage with science. Plans for the ASB emphasize environmental responsibility, utilizing natural light, outdoor teaching areas and rainwater recycling.

But the value of the ASB's design extends far beyond its construction — the innovative lecture halls and classrooms inside will help the College of Arts and Sciences realize its vision of improving science education through exciting new models of engaged in class teaching. The teaching space in the ASB will be composed of next- generation lecture halls and groundbreaking TEAL (Technology Enabled Active Learning) classrooms.

Art and Visual Studies Building

The College of Fine Arts’ School of Art and Visual Studies moved into its new home on Bolivar Street in September 2015. This space is a 21st century research laboratory that fosters collaborative, interdisciplinary projects, with student and faculty studios housed close together.

In addition to traditional artist studios and instructional spaces the new building currently features five digital media labs and a 3D fabrication lab.  The building also features a state-of-the-art gallery for student and faculty shows and for special exhibitions such the Alumni Show currently on view and the upcoming exhibition of contemporary art from the United Arab Emirates.

Gatton College of Business and Economics renovation

The Gatton College of Business and Economics completed the first phase of its expansion this fall. When complete in April 2016, this $65 million renovation and expansion will create one of the finest business facilities in the country with high-tech classrooms, a simulated trading floor, and places for our campus to congregate and exchange ideas.

Click here to view a video of the facility:

At the start of the project, the Gatton College was serving a total of 2,800. The plan calls for the college to serve nearly 4,000 students by the time the construction work is finished.

We also welcomed several new deans to the UK family throughout 2015.

Health Sciences

Scott Lephart  joined the UK family in March, after previously serving as a Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh.

Having served on the University of Pittsburgh faculty for 27 years, Lephart is widely published and recognized as a leader in sports medicine, particularly with regard to neuromuscular and biomechanical analysis of human movement associated with musculoskeletal injury, prevention, surgery and rehabilitation.

Lephart also has secured multiple research grants as the principal investigator leading the Department of Defense Human Performance Research initiative.


Dr. Stephanos Kyrkanides joined UK in August.

He previously served as the associate dean for research and faculty development and chair of the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry at the Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine. Stony Brook, part of the New York State higher education system, is one of the leading public research institutions in the country.

We are pleased to recruit someone of Dr. Kyrkanides' caliber, who is an outstanding clinician, researcher and administrator. His experience in innovative care delivery, cutting-edge research and intellectual property generation as well as quality education delivery makes him the ideal person to help the College of Dentistry continue to excel.


Mitzi Vernon assumed the position of dean of the UK College of Design in September.

Vernon was previously a professor of industrial design at Virginia Tech.  Vernon has works of architecture, furniture, interiors and product design in Phoenix, Los Angeles and Chicago..

We are thrilled that Mitzi Vernon is joining the University of Kentucky in this critical leadership position. Professor Vernon has a unique background and diverse set of scholarly interests that make her an outstanding fit for a college that blends different disciplines and is renowned for its quality and service across the Commonwealth.

Public Health

Donna Arnett, former associate dean at the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) School of Public Health and former president of the American Heart Association, will become the next dean of the UK College of Public Health. 

Fostering a spirit of research collaboration across schools and disciplines, Arnett has served as the chair of the UAB School of Public Health’s epidemiology department since 2004. Since her arrival, the epidemiology department has escalated to one of the top-10 research programs in the nation. Faculty members within her department serve as interdepartmental leaders and engage with faculty members in the School of Public Health.

A native of Kentucky, Arnett sees her new role as an opportunity to address health disparities relevant to the region, including cancer and drug abuse. She aims to strengthen the college’s relationships with state and regional health agencies and expand the college’s portfolio of National Institutes of Health-funded research. She will also partner with the faculty, staff, and students to develop a strategic plan for the college through 2020. Arnett believes the future of population health depends on successful interdisciplinary partnerships, and hopes to facilitate such networks to grow research opportunities and educational capacity at UK.

Thank you.

I’d like to thank each member of the UK family for continuing to nurture this environment of academic excellence. Together, we will continue to build upon our momentum.

Tim Tracy

3rd Annual SEC Game Winning Food Drive

Thu, 11/12/2015 - 09:41

Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015

This year, the University of Kentucky will compete in the 3rd Annual SEC Game Winning Food Drive — an SEC initiative to combat the hunger crisis in local university communities.

As we face off this year against the University of Tennessee, University of Alabama, University of Florida, University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, and University of Missouri, we want to promote and inspire a spirit of giving,-- not to "win," but to support the health and welfare of all of our students. 

The canned good donations from UK will go directly to the Big Blue Pantry, a food bank for students in the basement of Whitehall Classroom Building. About 200 individual students use the Big Blue Pantry regularly, with more joining each week. Any type of nonperishable food items are accepted, but the most needed items are canned meat, cereal, canned fruit and vegetables, peanut butter, and pre-made meals.

UK will collect canned goods for the food drive through Nov. 30. Individuals or groups can donate nonperishable canned food in collection bins at the following locations:

  • The Johnson Center
  • Patterson Office Tower
  • University Health Services Building

For groups collecting very large amounts of food, arrangements can be made for pick-up on a limited basis by contacting Campus Recreation at

While they will not count toward the food drive final totals, toiletries and paper products are greatly needed by the students who regularly stop by the Big Blue Pantry as well.

Thank you for supporting such an important cause.

For more information on the Big Blue Pantry, a part of UK’s Center for Community Outreach, visit

Timothy S. Tracy



Metrics to Measure our Progress: The UK Strategic Plan

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 19:59

Thursday, November 5, 2015

As a UK community, we have a vision for what we aspire to achieve together. Our goal is to be a nationally recognized public institution with global reach and a commitment to our Commonwealth. 

You see this commitment across our campus, in various ways, and through numerous stories.

You see it in our new high-tech residence halls, where students live, learn, collaborate and build community. You see it in our new vibrant learning and research spaces, where our talented faculty members are not just gatekeepers of knowledge, but facilitators of learning. You see it through an undergraduate core curriculum that is drawing national praise and through researchers recognized around the globe for the work they do to changes lives and communities

That's our vision; and we are working together each day to achieve it.

And, as you know, every vision requires a plan.

Last month, President Capilouto communicated with you about the outstanding conversations that took place at the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees retreat, which took place October 22-24. Our board endorsed the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan after hearing from the faculty and staff experts who will lead the implementation phase.

It was a data-rich conversation about the multifaceted mission of our University. The dialogue highlighted our commitment to our objectives, initiatives and action steps and, as importantly, the ways which we will measure our progress.

Following that dialogue, the board endorsed five strategic objectives and the related strategies and metrics for our plan: 

Undergraduate Student Success - Be the University of choice for aspiring undergraduate students, within the Commonwealth and beyond, seeking a transformational education that promotes self-discovery, experiential learning, and life-long achievement.

Graduate Education - Strengthen the quality and distinctiveness of our graduate programs to transform our students into accomplished scholars and professionals who contribute to the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world through their research and discovery, creative endeavors, teaching, and service.

Diversity and Inclusivity - Enhance the diversity and inclusivity of our University community through recruitment, promotion, and retention of an increasingly diverse population of faculty, administrators, staff, and students, and by implementing initiatives that provide rich diversity-related experiences for all, to help ensure their success in an interconnected world.

Research and Scholarship - Expand our scholarship, creative endeavors, and research across the full range of disciplines to focus on the most important challenges of the Commonwealth, our nation, and the world.

Community Engagement - Leverage leading-edge technology, scholarship, and research in innovative ways to advance the public good and to foster the development of citizen-scholars.

You can read the complete plan, which includes the objectives, initiatives, action steps and metrics at the Strategic Plan Website.

Thank you for your part in building upon our vision. Together, we will continue to improve the lives of those we touch and teach.

Timothy S. Tracy


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