Retention of Fall 2014 Graduating Cohort on Target to Meet Goal for Increase

This just in from Dr. Bethany Miller, Director of the Office of Retention & Student Success:

The latest Retention Update has been posted. The one-year retention rate of our Fall 2014 cohort students is currently 82.7%.  We continue to remain ahead of last year in the number (452) and percentage (0.4%) of cohort enrollments for fall.

Our overall retention goal for the Fall 2014 cohort is 83.1%, an increase of 1.0% from last year.  Our goal is within reach:  we need a net increase in enrollment of only 26 cohort students.  Please continue the excellent work and collaborations in reaching out to non-registered F14 cohort students.

For more details about individual colleges, see the Retention Update on the Student Success website.

Retention & Student Success header

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Call for Student Success Workshops – Collaborative Opportunity

In Fall 2015, as part of our upcoming First Year Experience “The Blueprint”, UK will offer Student Success Workshops to all new students. All students taking UK 101 (estimated at 2,500 students) will be required to attend at least one workshop; all other new students will be strongly encouraged to attend, although not required.

Promotion of these workshops will include a hard copy distributed at seeBlue. U. and an electronic copy distributed during K Week. Communications via Workshop Partners, UKPR, UKAT, Retention & Student Success will also promote the event.

Want to offer a Student Success Workshop for your college or department? The Office of Student Success will be accepting Workshop topics until June 15th.  If your college/area is interested in submitting a workshop, please contact Larissa McLaughlin, Student Success Project Manager.

Workshops are free – with no cost to the student – and should be approximately an hour in length. The venue for your proposed Workshop should accommodate 30 students. Attendance will be tracked using UK’s Tally Cats (card swipe) system, so encourage your students to bring their ID cards when they attend. It is recommended that the majority of workshops be offered between the fourth and tenth week of the semester (September 21 – November 6). Students enrolled in UK101 who wait until the end of the course to complete the requirement could cause a potential rush, so some UK 101 instructors can require their students to complete earlier in the semester.

The Student Success Workshop partners in the first meeting to organize these new opportunities for UK’s first-year students were:

  • Academic and Career Exploratory Advising (including Career Center and Undergraduate Studies)
  • CARES
  • Counseling Center
  • Disability Resource Center
  • Education Abroad
  • Financial Ombud
  • First Generation Initiatives (including Robinson Scholars)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Center
  • Office of Retention & Student Success
  • Office of Student Involvement
  • Student Health
  • Student Support Services
  • Substance Education & Responsibility
  • Transformative Learning (including Academic Enhancement, CNP and Presentation U!)
  • Writing Center

For more information on the first meeting regarding the Student Success Workshops, see the notes from the April 30th Student Success Update 

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UK Academic Expectations posters are now available for you to display in student services areas and classrooms

Thumbnail of Academic Expectations posterIn collaboration with the Campus Retention Advisory Committee, a group of faculty and professional staff developed a list of core academic expectations to be shared with all F15 cohort students:

Academic integrity, honesty, fairness and responsibility in our scholarship and personal lives form the bedrock on which our UK experience is built. You will significantly enhance your success at UK as a student/scholar by meeting the following academic expectations and accompanying behaviors.

  1. Attend and prepare for all classes.
  2. Reflect on and apply what you learn.
  3. Create and respect relationships.
  4. Expand your education beyond the classroom.
  5. Believe in your ability to succeed. 

These Academic Expectations will be included in The Blueprint (the First-Year Experience program), K Book, see blue. U booklet, K Week Schedule, UK Parent and Family Association handbook, Student Success website, and in UK 101 sections.

We also hope that academic resource and tutoring centers, residence halls, advising offices, classrooms, etc. will display the Academic Expectations posters.  If you would like an academic expectation poster, please contact Larissa McLaughlin, project manager in the UGE Student Success office.

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Chellgren Fellow Anna Townsend selected for prestigious Shepherd summer internship

Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty logoAnna Townsend, of Oldham County, KY, has been selected by UK to represent the institution at the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty summer internship program for 2015. Anna will be interning with the Vermont Community Garden Network, helping with their mission “ to support and grow the state’s vibrant network of community and school gardens”.   http://vcgn.org/   Shepherd interns agree to work for eight weeks at a specific agency or site that serves low-income individuals or families and also to live on a stipend of $815 for the entire eight-week period to gain an insight into the challenges facing people who live below the poverty line. (See a video of Shepherd interns and their placements on the SHECP website.)

Anna Townsend

Anna Townsend, Chellgren Fellow 2014-15

Townsend is majoring in biology with minors in neuroscience, psychology and music performance. She participated in the Chellgren Fellow program this past year and did research on de novo assembly of transcriptomes from multiple species of salamandrid salamanders and analyzing genomic data produced from next-generation sequencing. She worked with Dr. David Weisrock in the Department of Biology. She plans to pursue a degree in Clinical Psychology after graduating from UK.

Townsend is passionate about food, music and science. Her culinary fascination burgeoned after becoming involved last year with a UK student organization, Campus Kitchens. Every week, she helped assemble meals for less fortunate members of the Lexington community. This work included food preparation, baking/cooking, packaging, and transport. Her favorite of the four – food preparation – allowed her to share culinary knowledge with those learning how to cook. Townsend wrote that volunteering with this Campus Kitchens was the highlight of her week during the spring semester because she was able to do two things she loves: helping her community and cooking.  Over her spring break, Townsend traveled to Washington, D.C., with the Alternative Spring Break program. She worked with a non-profit focusing on hunger and homelessness and this spurred her to want to work with an organization that focuses on food insecurity.

This past weekend, Townsend participated in an orientation program for interns at Marymount University to help them get ready to begin their internships. Anna will travel to Vermont with other Shepherd interns who have assignments in the same area and will share accommodations with them, also a valuable part of the learning experience. At the conclusion of the internships, all interns return to Lexington, Virginia, home of Washington and Lee and the Virginia Military Institute, and participate in a two-day closing conference where panels of interns present on their summer experience.

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Retention Update: UK undergraduate colleges and units still in the running for increase in UK’s retention rate

This just in from Bethany Miller, Director of the UGE Office of Retention and Student Success:

The latest Retention Update has been posted!

As of yesterday, 4,246 of the University of Kentucky’s official Fall 2014 cohort have registered for Fall 2015, representing 82.8% of the total cohort (5,128).  In comparison to this date last year, we are still tracking ahead 1.0% and 469 students.  The decrease we are experiencing is expected:  academic suspensions from Spring term are placed and students are disenrolled from courses.

Between now and June 18th, we are asking everyone to continue to reach out to those non-registered cohort students (who are eligible to enroll for the fall semester) to off-set the decrease we will experience from academic suspensions.   We need a total of 5,310 students (64 more) to meet our goal of 84.0% by June 18th.

If you have content to include in the Retention Updates, please send your information to Larissa McLaughlin, Student Success Project Manager.

As always, thank you for your dedication to student success.  Please contact me if you have any questions.

Best,
Bethany
——-

Bethany L. Miller, Ph.D.
Director
Office of Retention & Student Success
(859) 257-9025
www.uky.edu/studentsuccess

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Two new undergraduate certificates at University of Kentucky – distilleries and debates, fine old Kentucky traditions upheld

Two new undergraduate certificates were approved by the University Senate on May 4th:

These two new certificates are just the latest of a whole array of undergraduate certificates – see the full list of them all at the UGE website.  However, it is particularly fitting to this Kentucky historian that these two certificates were approved at the same time. Lexington is the home of Henry Clay, and the birthplace of political parties in the new federal republic. The Democratic Republicans and the Federalists debated here in Lexington, the Athens of the West, to great acclaim – gathering crowds in the thousands. Then later the Democratic Party and the Whig Party fought over the funding of the Maysville Road – a turnpike which crossed Main Street of Lexington (Limestone Street) and eventually became U.S. 27.

Henry ClayThe best debaters of the nation would come to Lexington, Kentucky regularly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Just under the present Guignol Theatre is one of several of the old Maxwell Springs. Originally about 24 acres, Maxwell Springs was a park and gathering place for the city of Lexington in the early 1800s. Here on what is now the UK campus was the site for patriotic celebrations, militia formations, political gatherings and barbeques with whiskey “treats” for party faithfuls. It was so well known as a place for civic engagement and political debates that Henry Clay used to say, “No man can call himself a true Kentuckian who has not watered his horse at Maxwell Springs.”

Drs. Seth Debolt (Horticulture, CAFE) and Bert Lynn (Chemistry, A&S) wrote in their program proposal:

“There are two key reasons for offering this program. First, this industry represents the science of one of the oldest products linked to human civilization; thus, education opportunities span a breadth of disciplines. Secondly, this is a global industry that provides a wide and interdisciplinary range of careers. The curriculum was developed due to an urgent need to train people in this area as identified by the local industries. The Bluegrass is home to nearly 95% of one of the world’s premier distilled spirits, bourbon. There are over 70 wineries in the area as well, in addition to numerous large and small breweries.”

And, Kentuckians still love their debates today. In the program proposal for the “Directing Forensics” certificate program, Dr. Will Buntin writes that there is a growing demand for forensics coaches. “Learning to coach competitive public speaking and debate are a unique skill set. … The Commonwealth of Kentucky features extensive competition at all levels of education from middle school to college.” See more about Kentucky’s annual competitions in speech and debate at the College of Communication & Information website.

Together these two new certificate programs celebrate our oldest Kentucky traditions. We look forward to seeing them flourish in the years to come.

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University of Kentucky GEAR UP KY Summer Academy@UK 2015

GEAR UP Kentucky Summer Academy@UKThe University of Kentucky will offer the second of three residence-based, three-week summer enrichment academies in July 2015 for GEAR UP KY (GUK) students. In partnership with the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education (CPE) and their GUK staff, the UK Division of Undergraduate Education (UGE) works with many different colleges, academic support units and student services to provide a safe and educational college/career readiness program for selected Kentucky high school students in the CPE’s GUK schools. For some great photos and videos of past activities related to GUK at the University of Kentucky in 2013 and 2014, see the UGE Flickr albums.

The academic and student life programming are directly linked to and should show evidence of students’ successful transition over the three years’ time to the University’s general education UK Core Program student learning outcomes. Each of the contributions from the many different parts of the UK community directly benefit this college-readiness program for selected high school students in Kentucky. For more information on the specific relationship of the overall learning outcomes for Summer Academy@UK to the statewide Kentucky College/Career Readiness goals outlined in Senate Bill 1 (2009), and for the relationship for each of the academic offerings and the co-curricular events to transition from high school to the University of Kentucky, see the Summer Academy@UK section of the UGE website.

All of this work is to support the long-term goals and objectives of the Summer Academy@UK wherein Kentucky high school students during the summers of 2014 through 2016 return to the UK campus to complete the agreed-upon academic trajectories toward their entry in to the University of Kentucky as first-year, first-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students matriculating in the fall of 2017.

Personnel for the Summer Academy@UK 2015

If it is possible to top last year’s terrific successful collaboration across colleges and support units at UK, the generosity of the UK community has grown even more this year. Personnel for Summer Academy@UK 2015 consist of a mix of staff, students and faculty at UK who will work together with CPE GUK staff before and during the three weeks here on campus.

Academic Support and Leadership

While Dr. Randolph Hollingsworth serves as the Campus Liaison to CPE and the UK Colleges, the primary running of the Summer Academy@UK 2015 falls on the shoulders of Matthew Deffendall, Director of First Gen Initiatives in UGE. As the UK Site Director, he will work in partnership with the GEAR UP KY Site Director assigned by the CPE (Omari Gletten) to develop and implement evening and weekend activities that blend the curricular and residential experiences in ways that create opportunities for deeper understanding and integration of the academic goals and student learning outcomes for the Academy students. He coordinates communication meetings as needed with the onsite staff to intervene with students’ issues associated with the Academy. He is to provide guidance and support for all academic related matters, including the development and implementation of Café College, a college readiness co-curricular program that supports the overall Academy goals. The wonderful administrative support of Terri Runyon, Gloria Robinson, Evie Russell and Lynn Hiler who are taking on the extra tasks associated with the Summer Academy@UK budget and grant processing — together with the budget officers in the partnering colleges and units — cannot be underestimated.

The Summer Academy@UK Living Learning Community Director is a new position this year as an improvement strategy for supporting high quality co-curricular activities that relate closely to the academic programming. Kelsey Carew, who reports regularly to Matthew Deffendall in the UGE Office of First Gen Initiatives, offers her expertise in maintaining on a day-to-day basis the direct relation of the co-curricular activities in the Academy@UK to the University’s expectations for a quality Living Learning Program for first-year UK students.

Dr. Laurie Henry, Associate Dean in the College of Education, together with Dr. Sarah Kercsmer in the College of Communications & Information, provide oversight of the instruction and student completion of the General Core Studies digital badge requirements (which is required for all 80 students).  They are also providing the academic faculty oversight of the instructional assistants (IAs), online and in face-to-face settings, to ensure the quality of the work of the IAs with the students in relation to the performance requirements for all the digital badges.

Instructors

Instructors for Summer Academy@UK consist of a mix of staff, students and faculty at UK, and their work is to design the curriculum that will be used to determine the performance of student learning outcomes identified in the appropriate digital badges as well as the co-curricular programming in college readiness (“Café College”) for the Summer Academy@UK. The instructors will be working with the students directly in the classroom (face-to-face) as well as online in the Summer Academy@UK courses where the digital badges are tied to assessment rubrics the instructors will use to determine student success.

  • College of Agriculture: Molly Davis (Director of the Arboretum); Jason Headrick (Director of Student Relations); Associate Dean, Dr. Larry Grabau; Dr. Stacy Vincent and Aly Sowder (Ag Education) for “Walk Across Kentucky” and “Following Our Food, Learning to Lead” in Ag Sciences
  • College of Arts & Sciences: Maher Alkateeb (Arabic Studies) for Global Studies
  • College of Communication & Information: Dr. Allyson DeVito and Dr. Sarah Kercsmer (Instructional Communication & Research) for General Studies Core – Communications
  • College of Design: Patrick Lee Lucas, Director of School of Interiors, for “Design in Your World”
  • College of Education: Fatih Destebasi for Global Studies (Turkish as a Second Language); Associate Dean, Dr. Laurie Henry and Erin Sienicki for General Studies Core – Education
  • College of Engineering: Dr. Bruce Walcott for “Engineering and Autonomous Systems”
  • College of Fine Arts: Robert Dickes (School of Visual Arts); Justin Cornelison (Music); Dana Clark (School of Visual Arts); Michael Lewis Johnson (Theatre); Erin Walker (Music); Nicole White (School of Visual Arts) for the Arts & Creativity Core
  • Campus Recreation in the Division of Student Affairs: Ron Lee, Executive Director for College Café session on a tour of the University’s campus recreational facilities
  • Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching: Cara Worick for General Studies Core (video production and blogging)
  • International Center: Karen Slaymaker for Global Studies
  • Science Outreach Center (in the College of Medicine): Margaret McConnell and Dr. Don Frazier for “Using Problem-Solving Tools in Science”
  • Office of Sustainability: Shane Tedder and Victor Smith for College Café sessions on sustainability on campus and bicycle safety
  • UK Libraries: Jaime Burton (Special Collections) for General Studies Core – research

Instructional Assistants

In addition to the instructors, the colleges and UGE are offering 6 instructional assistants (IAs) and 5 residential instructional assistants (RIAs) to work in the Summer Academy@UK. The IAs assume responsibility for the safety of the students to and from class as well as ensure participation of all students by identifying to the Site Directors those who show symptoms of homesickness or other behaviors that may affect their overall success in the program. They are assigned to the instructors by academic discipline according to their own educational experience and credentials. They will contribute also to the online “Student Homeroom” course in Canvas where the co-curricular programming/events are listed in the calendar, and their small group sessions for college readiness activities are managed. They will also participate in the Instructor Lounge in Canvas where student alerts (“How Did It Go Today?” discussion threads) and policies/procedures for all instructional staff are located. The RIAs will work more hours since they will be housed in the residence hall with the students and assume more responsibility for student behaviors.

  • College of Agriculture, Food & Environment: Allisa Sowder
  • College of Communication & Information: Amanda Slone, Anna de Le Serna
  • College of Education: Cody Blair, Thomas Clouse, Lyuda Ivanyuk, Bharath Kumar, Maggie Scarboro
  • Undergraduate Education in partnership with CPE GEAR UP KY: Mark Sherfey (a WKU graduate student in Rhetoric); Alicia Riley (a secondary school teacher from Morehead); Jordan Smith (a teacher’s aide and substitute teacher in Ashland)

Resident Advisors

The two resident advisors (RAs) come from a pool of experienced RAs at UK: Hajong (Jason) Yoo  and Karaline Wood. They live and work in the residence halls during the Summer Academy@UK and will supervise all program participants between the hours of bedtime and breakfast each day from July 5 through July 25, 2015. They are to rely on their UK training and professional development in educational policy and evaluation to enforce rules and regulations that support both the Academy and University policies to ensure student safety and overall success in the program. They participate in meetings set by the Site Directors (both Matthew Deffendall and the CPE GUK Site Director, Omari Gletten) and will participate in a 24-hour on-call rotation for emergencies.

Final Showcase and Dinner for the Summer Academy@UK 2015

Don Witt and Enrollment Management staff are supporting the Summer Academy@UK again this year with a big event at the end of classes – the Final Showcase and Dinner. Last year over 300 people attended: family members of the students came as well as faculty, staff and students from UK together with the GUK CPE staff came to hear the GUK students present their capstone projects. Associate Provost Ben Withers presided over the event – President Capilouto kicked off the event, Provost Riordan and CPE Vice President Aaron Thompson also spoke. We anticipate a similar celebration on Friday evening, July 24th, this year.

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University of Kentucky Diversity Goals and Academic Program Eligibility

University of Kentucky Diversity Plan Progress Update to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education Committee on Equal Opportunities, March 2015The 2014 University of Kentucky’s work of assessing its own diversity performance was evaluated by the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education (CPE) in March 2015 and all six objectives were determined to have been met.  This evaluation is based on CPE Kentucky Public Postsecondary Education Diversity Policy and Framework for Institution Diversity Plan Development.

The Kentucky Public Postsecondary Education Diversity Policy focuses on four areas: student body diversity, student success, workforce diversity, and campus climate. In March, Terry Allen presented a set of slides to the CPE Committee on Equal Opportunities that described the work UK faculty, staff and students have done to meet the University’s goals for achieving a greater diversity and educational excellence. (Download the .pdf file of the presentation slides by clicking the thumbnail image above – you can download the full report from UK here.)

from Terry Allen's presentation to CPE's EEO committee, March 2015

Fall 2007-2014 Enrollment Growth, slide from Terry Allen’s presentation to CPE’s EEO Committee, March 2015

Student Body Diversity

As part of his presentation to the CPE’s Committee on Equal Opportunities, Terry Allen emphasized several historic firsts for student body diversity in UK history. First of all, the Fall 2014 student enrollment was up and students of color (specifically, African American / Black, Hispanic / Latino, and those who identified themselves as “two or more races”) matriculated at an all-time high within an historic total enrollment of over thirty thousand total students:

  • 30,131 total student enrollment; 22,274 total undergraduate students
    • 20,977 In-state; 9,154 Out-of-state
    • 27,342 Full-time; 2,789 Part-time
  • 3,113 Underrepresented minority students
  • 1,997 Black or African American students
  • 1,033 Hispanic or Latino students
  • 772 Two or more races
Chart showing improvement of UK student body diversity

UK Student Body Diversity Target Goals, slide from Terry Allen’s presentation to CPE EEO Committee, March 2015

UK met its target improvement rate for enrollment of African American / Black students (7.7% increase from 2011-12 to 2013-14); and, we exceeded the projected target of 2.7% increase of Hispanic / Latino undergraduate enrollment by achieving at 3.3% increase by 2013-14. This is the result of much work by staff, faculty and students across campus, including expanded recruitment efforts toward underrepresented students, the application fee waiver through the Veterans Resource Center, the development of a new Scholarship Search Tool, the continued success of the First Scholars Program and several new college readiness workshops/programming offered by colleges and support units.

Chart showing drops in retaining African American students at UK

Retention Rates for Underrepresented Minorities in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 cohorts

Student Success

In addition to the recruitment and first-time, first-year enrollment of a more diverse student body, the University seeks to improve its retention rates for underrepresented minorities. In this category, we have slipped in retention rates for African American / Black undergraduates – especially during and after the sophomore year. Meanwhile, retention rates for Hispanic / Latino students improve over time at UK – if we can hold on to them in their first year.

Chart showing poor graduation rates for URM

Graduation Rates, Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded and STEM+H Degrees Awarded to Underrepresented Minorities at UK, 2011-12 to 2013-14

Looking specifically at the key performance metrics for African American / Black students as well as Hispanic / Latino students, the University has not met its proposed targets of 59.2% graduation rates. Even though there are more bachelor’s degrees awarded than ever before, by not retaining our first-year, first-time degreeseeking students our student success rates suffer overall.

Chart showing increase especially in African American / Black student transfers - from 37 in 2011 to 51 in 2013

Increase in KCTCS transfer students, 2011-2014

The number of transfer students coming in from the Kentucky Community & Technical College System has increased slightly in the past few years from 608 total transfers in 2011-12 to 658 total transfers in 2013-14. However, the sharp increase in African American / Black students transferring in to UK – primarily from Bluegrass Community and Technical College where we have a UK transfer advisor located half-time, explains the growth in degrees earned by this demographic population recently.

Workforce Diversity

Chart showing a drop of .3% from 2012 to 2013 in the Executive/Administrative/Managerial rank for all minority groupsFor the past two years, UK faculty have consistently exceeded the University’s goals for the percentage of underrepresented minorities: reaching over 19% in both 2012 and 2013 academic years though the target goal was 15.8%. However the overall percentage of tenured African American faculty has decreased from 47.8% in 2010 to 44.2% in 2013 – while faculty of all minority groups (including women) has increased dramatically from 40.5% in 2010 to 59.6% in 2013.

This crucially important task of increasing the number of people of color in University leadership has not been as successful in other parts of the UK workforce. Diversity in the professional staff ranks has not significantly changed over the past two years (though exceeding the University’s goal of 9.1%). And, more significantly for those in the Executive/Administrative/Managerial ranks where discussions of administrative regulations and policy depend on a diversity of experience and background in order to improve the University overall, we have not met our modest goal of reaching 12.1%. In fact, the University dropped from 40 individuals in this rank to 39 (only 7.3% of this rank are categorized as members of any minority groups).

Lists showing initiatives from Colleges of Design, CAFE, Fine Arts, Health Sciences, Nursing, B&E, Education, Law, Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacy, DentistryCampus Climate

The University relies on the Equal Opportunity Committee – Campus Environment Team to monitor plans and programs that ensure equal opportunity. They recommend new processes to assist the University community especially in facilitating the development and implementation of diversity perspectives. Some examples from the last two years include the Latino Task Force, the LGBT Task Force, the Black Male Student Success Initiative, the creation of a Women’s Leadership and Career Development Task Force, a review of USDA Civil Rights Compliance and participation in a Fraternity and Sorority Diversity initiative. Many colleges work specifically on addressing issues of diversity and campus climate, and several of these were listed in Terry Allen’s presentation to the CPE’s EEO Committee in March (click on image above for the list of diversity initiatives from selected colleges).

Goals Met

The above data and accompanying narrative provide a brief snapshot of the health of the University. It also illustrates UK’s continued interest in the educational benefit of diversity. Every year more work needs to be done in terms of intentionality in improving the University’s diversity goals — removing barriers to student success, seeking out representatives of demographic groups not present in leadership areas or decision-making meetings, insisting on civil and respectful dialog that constructs a more inviting place for us all to learn together.

Kentucky statute states that an institution’s eligibility for new academic programs is connected to its performance in implementing equal opportunity objectives.  See more information about credentials earned by race and ethnicity can be found in the CPE Data Portal.

By achieving continuous progress in 6 of 6 objectives, UK has “Automatic” eligibility status to submit requests for new academic programs during 2015 calendar year.

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Provost Tracy provides update on UK’s Strategic Plan on WUKY

See Blue - Tim TracyProvost Tim Tracy was recently interviewed by Tom Goddell on WUKY about the UK Strategic Plan. The goal of the University of Kentucky is to be “one of the handful of exceptional public residential research institutions in our country with an unwavering commitment to our Commonwealth.”

In the interview, Provost Tracy describes the current Strategic Planning process which relied on the work and feedback from faculty, staff and students (including the recent Town Halls). He addresses the University’s emphasis on undergraduate education.

Provost Tracy emphasizes that the most challenging part is the implementation of all the action steps and how to allocate the resources so we are successful. However, later in the interview, the Provost reiterates the importance of our recent improvements in retention and graduation rates. He states unequivocally that undergraduate education is a key emphasis for UK moving forward: “It’s the reason we are here.”

WUKYOur work — all of us working together to improve the lives of undergraduates here at the University of Kentucky — will serve as a driving factor for achieving the university’s mission. Dr. Ben Withers, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, states that he is confident that “we can continue to make a difference on campus.”

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