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Academic Brand Initiative

What makes the University of Kentucky special? What makes our institution stand out from other large public universities in the country? What differentiates us from others when a student, professional or faculty member is considering where to make their university home?

Put another way, what is the University of Kentucky's academic brand?

UK is filled with incredible stories, stories about the people and ideas that make this institution special -- faculty conducting research and providing service that extends and enhances life and changes communities for the better … staff deeply engaged in supporting student and faculty efforts, while deeply involved in their communities … students from undergraduate and graduate schools who compete with the best in the country and go on to careers at world-leading companies like Google and in the highest ranks of public life.

Those stories reflect who are people are and what they do. But they also reflect what our institution is about and what that stories convey to policymakers and donors who support us as well as faculty, staff and students who consider joining us.

It is a particularly opportune time for a discussion about our academic brand. Over the next several months, UK will be engaged in an in-depth process of developing a six-year strategic plan for the institution -- what we are calling "see tomorrow. The University of Kentucky Strategic Plan."

That process will revolve around the development of six principles that include creating a vibrant undergraduate learning community, cultivating a robust research environment, and advancing the highest quality graduate and professional education -- all in ways that profoundly change our Commonwealth and the world.

Ultimately, we want to enhance UK's academic excellence as we seek to help transform Kentucky in ways that are nationally significant. In doing so, we want to enhance UK's brand and academic reputation as well.

As we move through the Strategic Planning process this coming year, Provost Riordan also will be leading a discussion with stakeholders across the campus about the institution's academic brand as well.

Groups of faculty, staff and students will be convened to discuss and identify those differentiating attributes that make UK stand out among institutions of higher learning and which offer the greatest potential for growth and development in terms of an institutional brand.

Some of the key questions for stakeholder groups include:

For students:

  1. What is the University of Kentucky’s “academic” promise to students? Their parents?
  2. What are the academic advantages for students choosing the University of Kentucky?
  3. What separates a great academic program from an average one and how does the University of Kentucky stack up on those factors?

For faculty and staff:

  1. Why should top faculty come to UK? What is our promise to them?
  2. What are the advantages for faculty choosing UK?
  3. What separates UK from other top research institutions?

Please check this website for more information about this initiative and how to get involved.

Provost
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