SALutations! | We made it!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens
can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
—Margaret Mead

We Made It!

As with all good things, a semester must come to an end. I bid you warm salutations as we depart campus during this holiday season. May you experience a restful and joyful break with your friends and family. I look forward to working with you in the new year.

Student Success Summit

John N. Gardner Institute - First-Year Focus - Foundational DimensionsMark your calendar! The Division of Student & Academic Life (SAL) will be hosting a campus-wide Student Success Summit on Friday, January 19, 2018, 8 a.m. to Noon in the Hilary J. Boone Center. At this meeting, we will launch Wildcat Foundations, an effort that will re-examine the first-year experience at UK, and make recommendations on how we might further improve it. As a part of this meeting, we will gather the subcommittees (foundational dimensions) that will inform this effort throughout the remainder of the academic year. I encourage you to investigate the philosophies behind each of these foundational dimensions, and choose the one you believe best fits your skill set and interests.

To reserve your spot at the Summit, please RSVP.

USA - Mental Health First AidMental Health

The Student Health & Well-Being Unit within SAL is working with campus partners to establish training and educational outreach initiatives to address stress, anxiety, and depression among UK students. This initiative will begin by providing Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) certification opportunities to SAL staff, SAL student leaders, and campus partners.  MHFA empowers its participants with the skills “to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.”  The first round of full-day and half-day certification workshops will be held during Spring Break (March 12-16, 2018).

Additionally, we are working to provide the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) full-day workshop to faculty, staff and student leaders.  MBSR helps people manage both daily stress and stress from chronic conditions, both physical and emotional.  We hope to have at least one faculty member from each college volunteer to receive MBSR and MHFA training. Further information and additional wellness projects will be discussed in future SALutations briefs, in emails from the Student Health & Well-Being Unit, and via social media outlets.  If you would like to get involved or contribute to these initiatives, please reach out to Assistant Provost Drew Smith:

Student Center Co-Curricular Programming

We were gratified to receive a large number of responses to call for proposals. We’ll be working with the proposals teams within the colleges on the next steps in the design thinking proposal development process. You can follow our progress here.

Feel free to send your comments to

Greg Heileman
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life
230 McVey Hall

View SALutations! Archived Newsletters.

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College Readiness Indicators in Kentucky set for re-draft

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) works with leaders in postsecondary institutions and representatives from the K-12 sector in the state to establish a consensus on various indicators for student placement into credit-bearing coursework. The goal is to find a baseline by which all public postsecondary institutions in Kentucky guarantee that a student who demonstrates to their high school — or, if not in high school, then the college or university where they are admitted — that they have achieved “academic readiness” then they should not have to undergo a preliminary remediation course in a particular content area (English, Reading, Mathematics). This understanding among the Kentucky schools are formally expressed in Kentucky law: 13 KAR 2:020. Guidelines for admission to the state-supported postsecondary education institutions.

At a meeting of the CPE’s College Readiness Indicators Workgroup on December 7, 2017, the CPE staff alerted the members that the College Admission Regulation (13 KAR 2:020) was being redrafted by the CPE leadership in partnership with the Kentucky Council for Chief Academic Officers (CCAO). They hoped to get everyone’s input on the changes to the law being designed in time for the legislature to repeal and replace the current one. For example, in the new draft, the term “college readiness” is replaced with KDE’s preferred term “academic readiness.”According to the draft as of December 5, 2017:

“Academic readiness means the student has demonstrated the requisite ability to succeed in credit-bearing coursework the successful completion of two college courses, exams, or a combination of courses and exams. One of the courses or exams must meet the quantitative reasoning or natural science learning outcomes and the other must meet the written or oral communication, arts and humanities, or social and behavioral sciences learning outcomes per the Council’s General Education Transfer Policy. Successful completion means:
(a) For an exam, meeting or exceeding the benchmark scores outlined in the College Readiness Indicators document adopted by the Council; or,
(b) For a college course, obtaining a grade of “C” or better.”

There was much discussion over the drafted law’s “Section 7: College Course Placement.” Postsecondary representatives were not sure what would actually happen if it were implemented as written: “A student meeting the statewide standards for academic readiness admitted to an institution shall be placed in credit bearing courses in their respective curriculum pathway. The student shall not be required to enroll in a corequisite, supplemental, or developmental course.” It was asserted by CPE staff that institutions should consider partnering more strongly with the KCTCS so that they could defer admission to those students who – by the letter of the law – met the statewide standards for academic readiness (especially tricky for those students who are enrolled in dual credit courses) but did not demonstrate readiness for enrollment in a particular curriculum pathway’s introductory courses. This scenario honed in particularly on those postsecondary majors that depended on College Algebra and Calculus for student success. For example, some of the workgroup asserted, a high school student could take a college course in the natural sciences and, by the newly drafted definition of “academic readiness” the student should not be required to enroll in a remedial mathematics course even if a math placement test score showed it would be best for the student. However, the CPE staff assured the workgroup that if their faculty had delineated specific criteria for prerequisites to that introductory mathematics course, then the student in this scenario could not be enrolled in that course if the prerequisites had not been met. The Council staff continue to seek their institution’s input on the drafting of the new law.

Recommendations from the CPE’s College Readiness Indicators workgroup are sent to the Committee on Undergraduate Education and then the Kentucky CCAO for consideration and further recommendations. After the College Readiness Indicators has been finalized by the CCAO, it will be submitted to the Board of the Council on Postsecondary Education as an informational item. This document will serve as the basis for understanding how the newly rewritten 13 KAR 2:020 will be implemented in the public postsecondary institutions of Kentucky.

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Educational Quality and Completion

“The completion of a few college courses is not a sufficient education in the 21st century.”
(American Academy of Arts and Sciences, “The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America,” 2017 – download the full report at the website for the Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education)

The American Academy of Arts & Sciences delivered today a report that challenges all of higher education to pay attention to completion rates while paying close attention also to educational quality. According to the report, reducing inequities as well as controlling college costs can lead to achieving both goals. But this requires substantial public investment in higher education — and belief that this investment would lead to economic growth as well as gains in “greater intercultural understanding, increased civic participation leading to a stronger democracy and more rewarding lives for graduates (Future of Undergraduate Education, 7).”

Here in Kentucky, a state where too many counties contain some of the lowest number of baccalaureate degree holders in the nation, a new performance funding model for public postsecondary schools was signed into law in March 2017 from Senate Bill 153. The law was passed with virtually no changes to the recommendations of a Postsecondary Education Working Group (see especially pp. 8-10) that included all of Kentucky’s university presidents. The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education has the role of managing the new model and work with each institution to reach their performance goals.

Student Success 35%; Course Completion 35%; Academic Support 10%; Institutional Support 10%; Maintenance and Operations 10%

from CPE Policy Insight (7 July 2017)

There are actually two models: one for the Kentucky Community & Technical College System, and one for the public four-year institutions. The public four-year institutions, which includes the University of Kentucky are to align funding and their performance indicators in the following manner:

  • 35% of allocable resources will be distributed based on each institution’s share of their sector’s total student success outcomes produced. For the 4-year sector, student success outcomes should include bachelor’s degree production, degrees per 100 undergraduate full-time equivalent (FTE) students, numbers of students progressing beyond 30, 60, and 90 credit hour thresholds, STEM+H (science, technologies, engineering, mathematics and healthcare practices) degree production, and degrees earned by low income and underrepresented minority students. The funding model will include a small school adjustment to minimize impact on smaller campuses.
  • Another 35% of allocable resources will be distributed among universities based on each institution’s share of sector total student credit hours earned, weighted to account for cost differences by degree level (i.e., lower division and upper division baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral research, and doctoral professional) and academic discipline.
  • The remaining 30% of allocable resources will be distributed among the universities in support of vital campus operations, such as maintenance and operation of facilities, institutional support, and academic support (e.g., libraries and academic computing).

The CPE’s 2016-21 strategic plan for postsecondary and adult education matches well with the state’s new performance funding model for public higher education. We have known for many years that completion rates need to rise in order to change our state population’s educational success rates. If we believe that by the year 2020, 62% of the jobs in the Commonwealth will require postsecondary education or training, then a big change in how we approach student success goals must take place. Last year, the CPE reported that only 54% of adults in the state are projected to hold a postsecondary degree or credential beyond high school by 2020 (Kentucky Completion Report, 2016).

With the unprecedented growth (an overall 69% increase over two years) in high schoolers taking college-level courses in introductory mathematics with the help of the Kentucky Dual Credit scholarship program, one might speculate that UK’s entering students will be better prepared for majors in STEM+H disciplines. Students who come from families with lower socio-economic statuses will have more opportunities to succeed if they’ve taken advantage of accelerated learning opportunities such as dual credit or Advanced Placement courses in high school.

Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment Growth in Kentucky, 2014 compared to 2016

from CPE’s Policy Insight (27 November 2017)

If this effort in improving the academic challenge of key courses in Kentucky secondary schools continues, we should be able to find evidence of improvement in postsecondary persistence rates.

The improvements in student success and degree attainment should come not only from those students who come from backgrounds of more means than others, but also from low-income students. Students who come from under-represented minority populations and in the past have lagged behind in the University’s student success rates will need for us to create a big culture change both in classrooms and around campus. We would want to see not just course completion rates rise but also progression in those majors where white males comprise the overwhelming majority. This kind of culture change takes all of us working together, keeping us honest with each other and actively listening to make any incremental improvements long-lasting and meaningful. We must believe that we can change the state’s current levels of educational achievement – and that this will change the world around us.

Posted in College/Career Readiness, Diversity, Exploratory Students, First Generation, high impact practices, Retention, Student Success | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Off-Campus Student Services

Whether you’re working with a first-year student, a seasoned junior, or a graduate/professional student, living off campus can be a challenge. While the freedoms that come with off-campus living are many, so are the responsibilities. Culture shock, community development, rental issues, leases, utilities, ordinances, safety, commuting … these issues and more add to what can be an already stressful academic experience.

Off-Campus Student Services: Community Leaders - Good Neighbors - Campus Advocates

Check out the Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS) resources below – and refer your students:

  • Information: Our website is designed to answer almost all frequently asked questions by students, parents, Lexington community members, and campus community members. Please take a moment and visit our website at
    • Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to visit the OCSS office at Blazer Dining 277.
  • Advocacy: Even though our office is not a realtor, mediator, or legal representative, the office serves as an advocate to help each student to find the resources needed to support them.
    • Off-Campus Community Ambassadors (OCCA) are students that live in the Lexington community that assist the office in programs, outreach, and mentoring our incoming freshman and transfer students, as well as our sophomore students that had previously lived in the Residence Halls.
  • Personal and Community Development: Are students looking for a way to get involved, gain leadership experience, and support their community? Students can apply for one of our Leadership Positions for our Off-Campus Student Association (OCSA)
    • Students can join our Off-Campus Student Association on UK Orgsync.
    • OCSA November Town Hall Meeting is November 29, 2017, from 6-7 pm at 204 Whitehall Classroom Building
  • Social Responsibility: Party Smart– This presentation is for students that are discussing hosting a safe social event off-campus? Do they know the city ordinances related to social hosting? Sign up for our free session on “Social Hosting and the Risks” at
  • Off-Campus Life:  Has a student mentioned they are looking for a roommate, looking to move soon, for a short term lease, or maybe looking for a sublet or want to post a sublet because they are participating in an education abroad program? Our office is here to help.

Off-Campus 101 Presentation

This presentation is for students currently living on-campus, at home with their parents, or transferring to Lexington for the first time and are processing if they want to live in the Lexington community, but do not know where to begin? Dates for this presentation are:

  • November 28, 2017 from 5-6:30pm in the WTY Library Auditorium
  • December 6, 2017 from 5-630pm at 118 Whitehall Classroom

If our team can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. Stay connected with the university and city by following us on Twitter @UKYOCSS.

Off-Campus Student Services
277 Blazer Dining Hall
University of Kentucky
343 S. Martin Luther King Blvd.
Lexington, KY 40526-0012
859-218-3840 ;

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Exploratory Students and Career Center Services

Students who are exploring their academic and career prospects can find the Stuckert Career Center to be very helpful. Exploratory students can work with advisors and career counselors to discover interests, clarify their goals then develop and implement their degree and career plans.

Career Counseling and Academic AdvisingStuckert Career Center staff will work in partnership with academic advisors in the colleges to help students develop the degree plans that connect their passions to their professional goals. Many UK colleges offer an Exploratory Studies option now:

Agriculture, Food & Environment Engineering
Arts and Sciences Fine Arts
Business and Economics Health Sciences
Communication and Information Social Work

Encourage students to plan ahead and create a Career Advisor Appointment in Handshake.
STEP 1: Log in using your LinkBlue or Handshake account:
STEP 2: Select “Career Center” at the top panel (next to your name)
STEP 3: Click on “Appointments” in the drop-down menu
STEP 4: Click on “Schedule a New Appointment”
STEP 5: Choose a “Category”
STEP 6: Choose an “Appointment Type”
STEP 7: Review the available timeslots, select an appointment slot, complete the pre-appointment survey and click “Request” to submit the appointment request.

For more information, visit or call 859-257-2746.

Stuckert Career Center
Student & Academic Support | Division of Student and Academic Life
408 Rose Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0034

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Host a Dinner Dialogue with Your Students

The UK Parent and Family Association is now accepting applications for Dinner Dialogues – 2018 spring semester:

Dinner Dialogues provides funding for instructors to host a dinner for their students in their homes, giving instructors an opportunity to get to know their students in a more casual, comfortable setting over a meal.  The application must be completed by the instructor interested in hosting the event.

  • The instructor will be refunded for the costs of food for up to $5 per student.
  • The attendance should be 30 students or less, and the invitation should be extended to an entire class.
  • The instructor will be reimbursed even if students do not show up.
  • Alcohol cannot be served during this event, even if students are over 21.
  • The dinner must be hosted in an instructor’s home.
  • The dinner cannot be held during midterms week, dead week, or finals week.
  • Students will be expected to find transportation to the event (encourage carpooling, as some students may not have vehicles).

Application information:

  • The application should be submitted no later than two weeks before the event.
  • Funding will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis until available funds are exhausted.
  • If your application is approved, you will receive an email within seven days indicating how much funding is available for your dinner and details on how to receive the funding.
  • In order to be reimbursed, the applicant will need to provide three things within five days of the dinner: (1) a sign-in sheet from the dinner with students’ signatures, (2) an itemized receipt from the food purchased (please make sure not to include personal items purchased at the same time as the food), (3) a filled out version of the Request for Employee Reimbursement and Invoice form, and (4) indicate where you would like the check for reimbursement to be sent. If you have any questions about reimbursement, please contact

We look forward to working with you to create opportunities for faculty to connect with students. Please let us know if you have any questions about Dinner Dialogues.

All the best,

Nicki Jenkins
UK Parent and Family Association
Student and Academic Support
2nd Floor Blazer Dining
Lexington, KY 40506

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Trans* Week of Awareness 2017

The Trans* Week of Awareness is a week-long series of events sponsored by the UK Counseling Center, Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Center, the Office of LGBTQ* Resources, and PFLAG Central Kentucky.

All events are free and open to the public. Donations for the Big Blue Pantry will be accepted at all events – more information on their website.

Monday, Nov 13
7 pm
Trans* 101: An introduction to language and identities, 214 White Hall Classroom Bldg:
Partake in a workshop on language and identity and develop a better vocabulary to talk about trans* issues. Topics to be covered: names, pronoun usage, productive dialogues, and how to make UK more trans* inclusive.
Tuesday, Nov 14
Rainbow Conversation, 313 Blazer Dining Hall:
Ph.D. candidate Holly Brown will be discuss her graduate research “Gatekeeping Systems for Transgender Health Care”. Lunch provided.
Tuesday, Nov 14
6:30 pm
Wellness and Beyond! with PFLAG, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 2025 Bellefonte in Lexington:
Our panel will cover a lively variety of topics: Trans and Queer Health services and research; HIV prevention and management; Breast/Chest Feeding Without Birthing; Mental Health resources for LGBTQ+ folks. Presentation and Q & A takes place the first hour, followed by a confidential support group meeting. There is no charge. More information at or call 859.338.4393.
Wednesday, Nov 15
Green Dot Overview, VIP Center, Frazee Hall:
Participate in a Green Dot Overview at the VIP Center to learn about how you can actively contribute to ending violence within our campus community. Lunch will be provided by the Office of LGBTQ* Resources and the event will be hosted in the VIP Center. Attendees will also receive information about VIP Center Services as well as complementary Network Resource Cards. Lunch provided.
Thursday, Nov 16
7:00 pm
Trans* Identities and Experiences Panel, UKAA Auditorium, W. T. Young Library:
Join us to hear individuals speak on their identities and experiences.
Friday, Nov 17
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Affirmation Friday, Jacobs Science Building Atrium:
Join LGBTQ* Resources and UK Counseling Center. Come decorate your own rock with words of affirmation, wisdom or encouragement to keep or pass along.
Monday, Nov 20
7 pm
Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil, Main Building steps:
Join LGBTQ* Resources in reflection honoring the trans* individuals whose lives were lost in 2017. Rain location, 6pm Holmes Hall, 111 Avenue of Champions.


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SALutations! Transitions & Call for Proposals

“Salutations!” said the voice.
Wilbur jumped to his feet. “Salu-what?” he cried.
“Salutations!” repeated the voice.
“What are they, and where are you?” screamed Wilbur. “Please, please, tell me where you are. And what are salutations?”
“Salutations are greetings,” said the voice. “When I say ‘salutations,’ it’s just my fancy way of saying hello or good morning.”
—E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web

Living Learning Communities

At a recent meeting of the UK Living Learning Program (LLP) directors, Heather Carpenter reminded me of the timeless life lessons contained in E. B. White’s classic children’s book, Charlotte’s Web, and it also brought back fond memories of reading this book to my own children.

Our LLP places students with similar interests or a common major together as “themed communities” within our residence halls. These students receive special programming adapted to each community. Studies have shown the efficacy of these residential communities in building belonging and fostering academic success. At UK, students participating in an LLP community are 8% and 15% more likely to be retained after their first years, as compared to students living in the residence halls or off campus, respectively.

Given this success, Nick Kehrwald, our Dean of Students, is working with Trisha Clement-Montgomery, Assistant Director for Academic Initiatives to investigate the possibility of extending LLP experiences beyond the first year. We will keep you updated as this work progresses.


It is with a mix of sadness and well wishes that we bid farewell to Provost Tim Tracy. I’m thankful for the brief opportunity I had to work with him, and for the groundwork he laid around the four pillars of academic excellence and student success. I’ve been impressed with the manner in which this framing of the student success imperative has been adopted across campus. The student success vision that Provost Tracy articulated was a compelling factor in my decision to come to UK, and I look forward to furthering his work in this area. In short, Provost Tracy leaves his office, and the institution, in a far better place as a result of having been here. As President Capiluto put it, the impact of Provost Tracy’s work is “deep and lasting.” The president is consulting with various constituents on campus, and will be announcing his plans for the Provost position shortly.

Events and Opportunities

Phil Harling, Director of the Gaines Center for the Humanities, is recruiting next year’s class of Gaines Fellows (the application can be found here). If you know of any 2nd-year students who might benefit from this opportunity, please encourage them to attend the information session from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 30 at Commonwealth House (226 East Maxwell Street).

Call for Proposals

A call for proposals for the development of innovative student center programming went out this week. In efforts to foster empathetic student-centered designs, we also hosted a design thinking workshop that we hope will guide your efforts. Please view the highlight video to learn more. You can learn more about submitting a proposal here. 

Continuing Conversations on Immigration

The Office of Institutional Diversity and the Provost Office are hosting a Continuing Conversations on Immigration, open to all, that will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14 in the Woodward Hall (Rm. 307) at Gatton College.   The event will consist of a series of concurrent sessions dealing with topics such as debunking stereotypes, DACA, immigrants as citizens, and compassionate cities. The event will conclude with a student panel moderated by Associate Provost Kathi Kern.

Reaching Out

As we all know, the end of the semester can be a mentally and physically taxing time for both undergraduate and graduate students. It’s a good time, then, for us to reach out to them. Many students, when stressed, revert to ineffective coping mechanisms, such as defensive avoidance of studying or substance abuse, while others may operate at a significantly reduced capacity due to anxiety or negative emotions. Akgun and Ciarrochi demonstrated that students with high capabilities in “learned resourcefulness” are more effectively inoculated against academic stress, allowing them to earn higher grades.

Faculty, too, can foster stress inoculation by managing their courses so that students have a clear idea of course expectations, by giving feedback on progress, and by providing students a degree of control over course activities. You may also wish to refer students to the broad range of services provided by the UK Counseling Center, if you feel it might benefit them.

Finally, keep in mind that even a small act of kindness can make a big difference in a student’s life, not to mention your own. Indeed, a timeless lesson found in many religions is that compassion itself is a source for your own happiness, or as Charlotte put it …

“… By lifting you, perhaps I was trying to lift my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” – E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

Feel free to send your comments to

Greg Heileman
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life

View SALutations! Archived Newsletters.

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Congratulations to Mary Bolin!

Mary Bolin

Dr. Mary Bolin

We read today in UKnow that our own Dr. Mary Chandler Bolin, director of the UK Counseling Center (UKCC), has been re-elected to the Board of Directors for the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors. This international association of her peers addresses campus mental health policy and offers good practices for initiatives in the field — and this election acknowledges her great work at UK, the community and beyond.

Dr. Bolin is a licensed psychologist; she graduated with her doctorate in Counseling Psychology at the University of Kentucky in 1994 and was appointed as director of the UKCC in 1998. Much of her clinical work and public outreach efforts have focused on LBGTQ* issues as well as eating disorders, body image, learning disabilities and ADHD. She also launched the QPR (Question. Persuade. Refer.) suicide prevention training here at UK – see more on the UKCC website.

Lexington FairnessAs the faculty advisor to the UK Gay-Straight Alliance from its earliest days fifteen years ago, Dr. Bolin was celebrated last summer when she received the 2017 Ally for Fairness Award from Lexington Fairness.

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