I hope everyone is well on their way to a highly successful and enjoyable spring semester. The University of Kentucky campus is currently celebrating Black History Month with a wide variety of opportunities for everyone to participate.
Now that the drop/add date for this semester has passed, we can report a fall-to-spring semester retention rate of 93.7% for the first-year cohort that started at UK last fall. A tremendous campus-wide effort went into reaching this student success milestone. We should all take pride in this achievement as we all play a role in student success.
At the same time, we still have work to do.
Historically, a larger percentage of the first-year cohort fail to return for the following fall term. Last year, our fall-to-fall retention rate for the 2016 first-time full-time freshman cohort was 83.3% (their fall-to-spring retention was 93%).
The University of Kentucky has a goal of 90% fall-to-fall retention for the 2019 first-year cohort, so the next few months will be critical as we continue our work together.
Dr. Drew Koch, President & COO, John N. Gardner Institute
On January 19, we hosted a Student Success Summit to launch the Wildcat Foundations effort. Drew Koch, President and Chief Operating Officer at the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, provided a keynote address titled Redesigning Foundational Experiences for More Equitable First-Year Student Success.
Drew provided a copy of his slides (download .pptx file here); and given the overflow audience, we also live streamed and recorded the talk (watch YouTube video here). Following the talk, the more than 200 attendees broke up into subcommittees around the nine foundational dimensions associated with the Foundations of Excellence process that form the basis of the Wildcat Foundations effort.
If you’d like to participate, there is still time to get involved. Check out the Wildcat Foundations website, and please contact project director Grace Hahn (firstname.lastname@example.org).
College Party Culture
On college campuses around the country, including the University of Kentucky, there are ongoing conversations around how the college party culture affects the health and well-being of our students. Jason M. Lindo, Peter Siminski, and Isaac D. Swensen are economists who recently studied the mechanisms through which partying may increase the incidence of sexual assault.
Their results are presented in the paper “College Party Culture and Sexual Assault,” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 2018, 10(1): 236–265. This paper is free and open for all to download and read.
CPR Training Saves Lives
In the case of cardiac arrest, the earliest intervention is crucial (see the ScienceDaily article on this topic here). And early intervention is something anyone can do. Campus Recreation and Wellness is offering free training that includes basic first aid, hands only CPR, along with an overview of the use of the automated external defibrillators (AEDs) located throughout campus. This training is intended to provide basic skills related to managing emergency situations; it does not lead to certification. Three identical training classes are scheduled for 8:30 am–10:30 am on Feb. 14, Feb. 28 and April 4. All classes will be in Seaton Center, Room 119.
Please register for the training using your Link Blue ID. Classes are limited to 20 participants, so departments that want to do this as a group should register early for the same class. If you have any questions, please contact Ron Lee, Director, Campus Recreation and Wellness (email@example.com).
In Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion, George Thompson and Jerry Jenkins describe this de-escalation training technique as a “martial art of the mind and mouth that can help you defuse confrontations and generate cooperation.” They further note that “when you react, the event controls you. When you respond, you’re in control.”
Major Nathan Brown, a member of the UK Police Department, will coordinate this training being offered to all SAL employees (but open to anyone) on Thursday, Feb. 15, from 9-11:30 a.m. and on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 8:30-11 a.m. in 200 McVey Hall. At the very least, if you operate a reception desk as a part of your unit, I hope that you will consider sending those who staff the desk to this training, but please feel free to send others as well. Please RSVP your spot by sending an email to Terri Runyon (firstname.lastname@example.org) and indicate which session you plan to attend.
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life
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I welcome any feedback you’d like to provide. Once again, my hope is that every complaint is accompanied by proposed solutions, and that we always remember to celebrate our successes. Please feel free to send your comments to email@example.com.