Workshop: Teaching with Open Educational Resources, Sept 28th 11 a.m.

Workshop: Teaching with Open Educational Resources
When: Thursday, September 28, 11:00-12:00
Where: Presentation U! in the Basement Hub of WT Young Library
Refreshments served, register at link below

Amid the concerns about the costs of higher education are the escalating prices of textbooks. According to the Census Bureau, the costs of college textbooks have risen 812% from 1978 to 2012. To alleviate students’ financial burdens, some educators have switched to library resources and/or openly licensed peer-reviewed materials (open educational resources, OER) in place of traditional textbooks. In addition to being free of charge to students, OER allow instructors to customize the content to suit their pedagogical needs and provide students with up-to-date information on the subject. As a 2016 survey of 16 studies of OER adoption in higher education found, “students generally achieve the same learning outcomes when OER are utilized and simultaneously save significant amounts of money.”[1]

This workshop aims to introduce participants to the forms and purposes of OER, provide resources and best practices for finding OER, and connect OER to participants’ course goals and student learning outcomes. Formal presentations will be brief, and time will be focused on thinking about current and potential resources, as well as the means to locate and implement open resources for future learning designs.

This workshop was offered last semester and was well attended. We offer it again for a new round of UK Libraries’ OER grant recipients, as well as any who missed our last workshop and would like to get a start on using OER for their teaching.

Register at Contact Trey Conatser ( from CELT or Adrian Ho ( from W.T. Young Library with questions. Coffee, water, and snacks will be served. Note: for this event, please bring a laptop or tablet.

[1] John Hilton III, “Open educational resources and college textbook choices: a review of research on efficacy and perceptions,” in Educational Technology Research and Development, vol. 64, no.4, 2016, pp. 573–590.

Posted in Educational Technology, Open Educational Resources, Student Success, Undergraduate Curriculum | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

African American and Africana Studies Carter G. Woodson Lecture Series 2017

The African American and Africana Studies department in the College of Arts & Sciences announces the offerings in the Carter G. Woodson Lecture Series for this fall. All lectures are at 12 noon in the MLK Center, 313 Blazer Hall.

Upcoming Dates:

September 27
Vanessa Holden, “Generation, Resistance, and Survival: Black Children and Nat Turner’s Rebellion of 1831”

October 25
Ray Block, Jr., “Race, Law Enforcement, and Public Opinion: How Polling Practices Reflect Contemporary Debates”

November 29
Anastasia Curwood, “Before Obama: The Political Career of Shirley Chisholm”

Posted in Diversity, Student Success | Tagged , | Leave a comment

SALutations! | Transforming our first-year experience at UK

Merriam-Webster:  Salutary [săl′yə-tĕr′ē].
Promoting or intended to promote an improvement or beneficial effect.

Salutary neglect was a term used in the 17th and 18th centuries by the British to refer to their policies of ignoring strict enforcement of parliamentary laws that were created to exert control over the American colonies. The end of salutary neglect was a major impetus for the American Revolutionary War.

First-year Experience

In higher education, the first-year student experience was historically characterized as one of salutary or benign neglect—the programming received by incoming students was thought to be helpful, but not much effort went into coordinating the overall experience or assessing its effectiveness. Salutary neglect of the first-year experience is no longer practiced at many colleges, serving to instigate an American student success revolution; however, one characterized more by cooperation than conflict. The roots of this revolution can be traced back to the 1970s, a time period of unrest and protest on college campuses around the country. At the University of South Carolina, President Thomas Jones sought to counter the divisions created by this turmoil through the creation of a new course designed to bond students to the institution and transform undergraduate teaching. A more intentional approach to the first-year college experience grew out of this vision, and today the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition continues to operate at the University of South Carolina.

A tremendous amount of work has gone into creating a more intentional first-year experience at UK, and the success of this effort speaks for itself. We are on track to report record retention and graduation rates this year.  Complacency, however, does not align with UK’s aspirational student success goals. There is more work to be done. The Student and Academic Life Division will be launching an effort to re-examine and further improve the first-year experience at UK. This work will incorporate the outstanding efforts that are already taking place in this area, while working to better coordinate them across campus. It is important to recognize that the first-year experience involves everyone at UK—anyone who interacts with first-year students, in any way, plays a role in their success. Thus, we will work to include faculty, staff and students from across campus in this endeavor. If you would like to be a part of this campuswide effort, contact us at, and please feel free to offer suggestions, resources and comments.

Our Influence

One of the most gratifying experiences for a faculty or staff member occurs when we are reminded that we made a difference in a student’s life. This sense of gratification is most tangible when a student reconnects after many years—to thank you for a class you taught, the mentorship you provided, or the kindness you showed. Sometimes your influence can profoundly change the course of a student’s life.

John Thomas Scopes was a student at UK during the 1920’s, providing him firsthand exposure to the efforts at UK (led by Professors William Funkhouser, Arthur Miller and Glanville Terrell, as well as President McVey) to preserve the right to teach evolution discussed in my last brief (link to last brief). Following graduation, while Scopes was working as a substitute teacher in Tennessee, he volunteered to be prosecuted under an anti-evolution law that was established there, leading to the eponymous “Scopes Monkey Trial.”  In “Defending Darwin,” current UK Biology Professor James J. Krupa cites a stirring homage to Professor Funkhouser taken from Scope’s memoir:

Teachers rather than subject matter also rekindled my interest in science. I saw Dr. Funkhouser … was a man without airs, who could have passed for a grocer or some other businessman, but he taught zoology so flawlessly that there was no need to cram for the final examination; at the end of the term there was a thorough, fundamental grasp of the subject in bold relief in the student’s mind, where Funkhouser had left it.

The Funkhouser Building is situated across from McVey Hall and houses UK’s Undergraduate Admission, Registrar, Financial Aid and Student Billing Offices.


Earlier this month the Trump Administration announced it will rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows those who entered the United States as minors to receive deferred action from deportation, along with eligibility to work. Congress was asked to develop a legislative solution before DACA is set to expire in six months. Please read President Capilouto’s message reaffirming The University of Kentucky’s commitment to and continued solidarity with our “DACA students” and their families during this time of uncertainty. In addition, the Dean of Students Office has created a central repository of resources available to those who might be impacted by these events.

Emergency Assistance

If you know of any UK students whose lives have been significantly impacted by the multitude of hurricanes this year, please make them aware of the Emergency Assistance and Relief Fund that has been established to assist students facing financial emergencies. Please direct these students to the MoneyCATS team.

Feel free to send your comments to

Greg Heileman
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life

Posted in College/Career Readiness, Diversity, Orientation, Peer Mentoring, Retention, Student Success | Leave a comment


Merriam-Webster: Salutation [sal-yuh-tey-shuh n].
An expression of greeting, goodwill or courtesy.

Welcome to the first edition of SALutations, a bi-weekly brief from the Division of Student and Academic Life (SAL) at the University of Kentucky. As a part of the university’s commitment to openness and transparency, I will use these briefs to keep the university community informed about the work of SAL, and to solicit feedback regarding matters of student life and academic success


On August 1, 2017, I began serving as the Associate Provost for SAL, reporting to Provost Tim Tracy. I came to UK from the University of New Mexico, where I spent 27 years on the faculty, moving from assistant to full professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. My last administrative appointment at UNM was as the Vice Provost for Teaching, Learning and Innovation. In this role I was responsible for leading and supporting strategic priorities related to teaching and learning, including a wide variety of student success initiatives.

Why did I come here & what does SAL do?

A key objective in UK’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan is undergraduate student success, as measured by lofty retention and graduation rate goals. These goals also include a commitment to significantly narrow the graduation gap between the student population as a whole and select groups, including under-represented minorities, students who are the first in their family to attend college, and students who have significant financial needs. In order to reach these goals a number of strategic initiatives were articulated. UK leadership felt that in order to most effectively address these initiatives, a reorganization of the student-focused groups within the Provost Office was required (see Transforming Academic Excellence). Provost Tracy described the need for the reorganization as follows, “today, we have too many islands of effort, where instead we need a seamless and integrated organizational structure among all our units in support of students and their success.” The full Herald-Leader story is here. The reason I chose to come to UK is simple, I believe in the student success vision that has been articulated, I recognized that the resources necessary to achieve it back the vision, and I was challenged by the bold goals that were set. Attainment of these goals will place UK among the top public universities in the United States.

In future briefs I will describe in more detail each of the units that comprise SAL, as well as the philosophies that guide our work.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. While reading a wonderful book about the history of Lexington, Lexington: Queen of the Bluegrass, by our very own Randolph Hollingsworth, I was intrigued to learn a few interesting facts about the name of the building I’m housed in, McVey Hall. Frank L. McVey was the third president of the University of Kentucky, serving this institution for 23 years, from 1917-1940. In 1921, a movement led by William Jennings Bryan attempted to pass a law making it illegal to teach evolution in Kentucky universities. President McVey put his job on the line by weighing in on the subject. His efforts contributed to the defeat of the anti-evolution bill by a 42-41 vote in the state legislature. Prof. Arthur Miller from the UK Department of Geology submitted an account of the proceedings that appeared in Vol. 55, Issue 1421 of Science on March 24, 1922. Contentious politics and razor-thin voting margins are not unique to our time.

Academic Alerts

Early feedback is critical for students’ academic success, particularly first-year students. For students who miss a number of classes or have poor performance on a test or quiz, the submission of an alert is a critical part of that feedback. The new alert management system, ACT, allows UK to align students with academic resources, track interventions, and partner with offices across campus. Learn more.

Hurricane Harvey

If you or your family have been impacted by this catastrophe, please visit this link for a list of the UK and non-UK resources available to you.

Thank you!

The UK community has been incredible in welcoming my wife, Jeri, and me to Lexington. The warm and generous Wildcat welcome we have received makes it clear that UK is a very special place. We look forward to growing friendships and a life in Lexington. I welcome any feedback you’d like to provide. My hope is that every complaint is accompanied by proposed solutions, and that we also remember to celebrate our successes. Please feel free to send your comments to

Gregory L. Heileman, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life
230 McVey Hall


All the SALutations newsletters are posted here:

Posted in About the Division of Student and Academic Life, Academic Alerts, Student Success | Leave a comment

GEAR UP KY 3.0 Summer Academy@UK 2016

The Division of Undergraduate Education will host a large group of Kentucky high schoolers who will be living and learning here on the UK campus as part of a 5-year college readiness program. The GEAR UP Kentucky 3.0 Summer Academy@UK is a college readiness program at the University of Kentucky in partnership with the Council on Postsecondary Education’s GEAR UP Kentucky. The Academy@UK prepares GEAR UP Kentucky (GUK) students academically and personally for college – and not just any college. 2016 marks the third year of the academy on campus which aims to prepare Kentuckians for success at the University of Kentucky.

The instructors and staff of the Academy@UK will:

  1. Introduce high schoolers to at least some parts of the four University of Kentucky Core Program learning outcomes.
  2. Offer digital badges that depict the particular skills and knowledge learned in each of the courses, and invite the colleges’ faculty leadership to explore the possibility of offering dual-credit courses.

GUK Summer Academy@UK badges for Year 1, Year 2, Year 3From July 10 to July 30th, 100 students selected from 22 Kentucky high schools (rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders) will live in a UK residence hall; eat at UK dining; and take classes in UK classrooms, laboratories, and fine arts rooms. They will work with campus partners from the Media Depot, Transformative Learning, Undergraduate Studies and the Stuckert Career Center to develop college knowledge. Study groups will meet in The Hub for students to engage with their peers and instructors in person as well as through the free and open version of the Canvas LMS.

All students will take classes that relate to requirements in UK Core: Composition & Communication I and Intellectual Inquiry in Arts & Creativity. Last summer 16 students were returners from the first Academy@UK, and all but one earned their digital badges for their core classes. The 15 returning students (rising seniors) will attempt the third level of C&CI and Arts & Creativity courses under the direction of UK faculty who regularly teach these courses. This summer, in addition to the core classes in the mornings, students will select electives each week ranging from Chinese language and culture to robotics and computer programming. Participants will experience the Lexington community by participating in Gallery Hop, visiting the Lexington Farmer’s Market, and attending a Lexington Legends baseball game.

Several colleges and student support units at UK partner in the Academy@UK to ensure students increase their college readiness by using written oral and visual communication skills; increase academic and professional skills; and develop appropriate behavior and self-awareness so that they can succeed on a college campus and navigate the complexities of college life. Thus far, faculty and staff from the following colleges and units are taking leadership roles in the instructional components of the Academy@UK 2016:

    • College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
    • College of Communication & Information
    • College of Education
    • College of Engineering
    • College of Fine Arts
    • College of Health Sciences
    • College of Medicine
    • Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT)
    • First-Gen Initiatives, UGE
    • International Center
    • Residence Life, Student Affairs
    • Stuckert Career Center & Undergraduate Studies, UGE
    • Transformative Learning, UGE
    • UK Academic Technologies

For more information about Summer Academy@UK 2016, contact Matthew Deffendall ( in First Gen Initiatives.

Posted in About the Division of Undergraduate Education, College/Career Readiness, First Generation, Orientation, UK Core | Tagged , | Leave a comment

#IAmAWomanInSTEM Service Projects in UK300 this Spring

IAmaWOMANinSTEM logoThis spring, as part of the #IAmAWomanInSTEM initiative launched in partnership with the American Association of University Women, several faculty and staff are teaching a 2-credit course, UK300: Leadership and Service Learning for the #IAmAWomanInSTEM Initiative. In addition to regular class events and assignments, the #IAmAWomanInSTEM student ambassadors who chose to enroll in this class are creating a research-based field experience in partnership with their assigned #IAmAWomanInSTEM mentors. The hours and learning days spent on this project are arranged by the students and their mentors. Students are expected to work in small groups to plan the project, research additional information and implement on-site visits with their mentors, discussing what has been learned, and development of digital materials (either for a social media campaign using the #IAmAWomanInSTEM hashtag or for upload to the website).This is a list of the service projects that are being planned for the community of UK undergraduates, focusing especially on the needs and experiences of women in STEM-related majors/minors, and the faculty/staff that support them.


Brittany Rice, Biology, EKU

Thursday 11 a.m. Group with Ms. Brittany Rice – a digital project featuring women in STEM at UK (their mentors, faculty, peers), similar to the “Humans of New York” or “Humans of UK” projects; will focus on the questions of diversity and bias raised by their course co-facilitator, Brittany Rice; will use the #IAmAWomanInSTEM Instagram & Google account to create a Facebook community page and will also think about creating a student organization so to keep the content creation going over the years.


Dr. Thushani Roderigo-Peiris, College of Medicine, UK

Thursday 4 p.m. Group with Drs. Thushani Roderigo-Peiris & Randolph Hollingsworth – a digital project centered in Tumblr (using the #IAmAWomanInSTEM account) to raise awareness about women in STEM at UK, and using SnapChat to get brief videos going; also have an event on campus with a whiteboard where passers-by can give their feedback on issues of gender and STEM at UK – will order stickers of the logo to hand out to everyone to put on their laptops etc

Wednesday 1 p.m. Group with Dr. Ellen Crocker – We are asking girls/women what they want to be when they grow up and having them writing their responses on a white boards that we then take videos/pictures of.  We plan to use the video to post on social media and with the pictures we will make a collage and post flyers around campus. An example of where this project is going, featuring women at out last Meet-and-Greet #2.


Dr. Ellen Crocker, Forestry, CAFE, UK

Wednesday 4 p.m. Group with Dr. Thushani Roderigo-Peiris – We are still in the planning stages of our group project, but we have reached out to Dr. Christia Spears-Brown (our speaker at the February meet-and-greet) about helping her with some aspect of the Center for Inequality and Social Justice that she is getting started up at UK. We are still talking with her about the specific role our group will play in the Center, but are hoping to nail something down soon

Wednesday 11 a.m. Group with Dr. Thushai Roderigo-Peiris – We are looking into the complexities of designing an app that could have tips on succeeding in STEM, as well as an area for assignments and due dates. We also discussed having cutouts of the IAmAWomanInSTEM logo posted in the various science building around campus where women can write anything motivational, whether it be their own inspiring story, a quote that motivates them, or a piece of advice they want to offer other women. We thought the first wave could be filled out at the meet-and-greet.


Dr. Madushi Raththagala, College of Medicine, UK

Friday 10 a.m. Group with Dr. Madushi Raththagala – We are working on a website that will incorporate many different aspects of media into it. We will be writing a few short articles, and also creating a few short videos involving women in STEM, geared towards those on campus, and potentially including them into the videos as well. We also have a section to give various facts about women in STEM, or questions that are frequently asked. There will be a page that links all of the IAmAWomanInSTEM social media sites and contact info onto it for others to have access to. We are considering allowing some of the videos/articles to be the stories of various women in STEM across campus, to help get their stories out of being underrepresented in these majors. Also may include statistics about the lack of women in these fields on the site under the facts in order to raise awareness of how few women there are.

Friday Noon Group with Dr. Madushi Raththagala –We are planning a photo/video project inspired by #ItooamHarvard. This photo campaign was undertaken by students of color at Harvard, where they took pictures with a small white board with things that had been said to them that made them feel like they don’t belong. We are considering doing something similar, but with things that women have heard about making a career in STEM difficult for women. We are also going to ask them why they are pursuing/passionate about STEM, as we want the ending to be encouraging. We are also going to include statistics we’ve learned in class and include pictures of women in mostly empty classrooms to show how many women are missing from STEM fields (for example, 14 percent of Computer Science degrees are women, have a classroom where 14 percent of the chairs have women in them). We can post this on our Youtube channel, and tweet the individual photos (with #IamawomaninSTEM), encouraging women from other institutions or working to share their experiences too. Our hope is that this will bring awareness to our own campus about the lack of women in STEM and why, while, since it is a social media campaign, it might bring a broader awareness to the missing women nationally, or even globally.

UPDATE: On Saturday, April 16th Shelby Albers, a math major and member of the #IAmAWomanInSTEM Steering Team, presented on the initiative at the Kentucky state convention of American Association of University Women (AAUW). Her slides are available for download here (.pdf file).

Posted in Diversity, Open Educational Resources, Student Success, Undergraduate Curriculum | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Teaching Science to Undergraduates – A Panel Discussion, Tuesday, 5 April, 5 pm

This just in from the UK Society of Postdoctoral Scholars:

Academic Careers at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions:
Faculty Perspectives from Sciences and Liberal Arts

Tuesday, April 5th, 5-6:30 p.m.
114B Chemistry-Physics Building

Professors from local liberal arts institutions will speak about their experiences in this panel discussion moderated by Prof. Susan Odom (UK Chemistry) and Dr. Ellen Crocker (UK Forestry). Faculty speakers include:

  • Prof. Jennifer Muzyka, Professor of Chemistry at Centre College
  • Prof. Sarah Bray, Associate Professor of Biology at Transylvania University
  • Prof. Saori Hanaki, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science; Pre-Health Committee Advisor at Transylvania University
Posted in Student Success, Undergraduate Curriculum | Tagged | Leave a comment