A Message from President Eli Capilouto
Since January, the field of higher education has faced a challenge unlike any we’ve ever seen. And, as the University of, for and with Kentucky, we’ve responded to these unparalleled times in unprecedented ways.
|President Eli Capilouto
We are answering the call to help heal and serve as we did more than a century ago against the backdrop of the flu pandemic. We persevered through the Great Depression and other tumultuous times.
This time will require the same tenacity and commitment.
We are responding with a collective commitment to reinvent ourselves - fortified by our historic and vital missions of education, research, service and care and committed to creating new foundations. We will emerge stronger, more nimble and even more dedicated to serving our state and our world.
That is why we made sure to include nearly 500 members of our community in our process to reinvent operations for fall 2020. These individuals outlined a playbook for how we will move forward, not only as an institution, but as a community united in the belief that we can do this.
We can persevere.
We know, too, that a sense of security can’t only be conceptualized in terms of physical illness. It must include a community safe from the destructiveness of hate and the overt, pernicious impact of racism. We can’t eliminate risk, but we can minimize it. And we can’t eliminate prejudice, but we can work together toward truly being a community of acceptance.
Guided by science and decades of practice in clinical care and public health, the steps we take next will drive the overall protection of community health. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to each other to adapt and, if necessary, change old habits to reach our long-standing goals.
Even as we take these steps, no matter our physical distance, we will find ways to draw closer together as a community, united in common purpose toward a greater sense of understanding our new world.
University of Kentucky - The Commonwealth’s Flagship Institution
The innovation, creativity, quality teaching, and uplifting service underway at the University of Kentucky touch the lives of people throughout the state, the nation, and the world. It is our role as the University for Kentucky that calls us to ground-breaking research, community outreach, intellectually rigorous education, and technological advances that contribute to the betterment of the Commonwealth while also fostering a cultural quality of life through our museums, libraries, and special events.
Founded in 1865 as a land-grant institution adjacent to downtown Lexington, UK is nestled in the scenic heart of the beautiful Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. From its early beginnings, with only 190 students and 10 professors, UK’s campus now covers more than 918 acres and is home to more than 30,000 students and approximately 13,900 employees, including more than 2,600 full-time faculty, and operates an annual budget of more than $4.4 billion. UK is one of eight universities in the United States that has colleges of agriculture, engineering, medicine, and pharmacy on a single campus, leading to groundbreaking discoveries and unique interdisciplinary collaboration. The state’s flagship University consists of 16 academic and professional, degree-granting colleges where students can choose from more than 200 majors and degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Colleges include Agriculture, Food and Environment; Arts and Sciences; the Gatton College of Business and Economics; Communication and Information; Dentistry; Design; Education; Engineering; Fine Arts; Health Sciences; Law; Medicine; Nursing; Pharmacy; Public Health; and Social Work. The Lewis Honors College provides an immersive liberal arts education with the resources of a leading research university. The Graduate School prepares the next generation of business, industry, and academic leaders. Supporting and emboldening our scholarly community is a comprehensive research library system made up of nine facilities, including the world-class William T. Young Library.
The student body is diverse, representing more than 100 countries, every state in the nation, and nearly all 120 Kentucky counties. The University continues to attract the best and brightest from Kentucky and beyond. At 25.8, the average ACT score for first-year students is more than four points above the national average. Several hundred students participated in the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program or the Governor’s School for the Arts; and the University enrolled more than 800 National Merit, National Achievement, and National Hispanic Scholars in the last several years. UK students compete successfully for prestigious scholarships and awards, such as the Fulbright, Astronaut, Truman, Goldwater, Marshall, Udall, Rhodes and Gates Cambridge. UK has had 14 Truman Scholars and had its 10th Rhodes Scholar named in 2018-19. Additionally, UK has celebrated 23 Astronaut Scholars, as well as 25 Goldwater Scholars since 1995. For 2020-21, five UK students and alumni were awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. In the past 10 years, 50 UK students and 75 faculty and staff have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships in support of teaching, research and professional development activities around the world.
By focusing on student success; academic excellence; infrastructure growth and improvement; creating opportunities for innovative teaching and learning; fostering a robust research and creative scholarship enterprise; providing life-saving subspecialty care; and empowering communities through service and outreach, the University of Kentucky will ensure a new century of promise for the people we impact.
The University of Kentucky has a broad range of resources centered on a single campus in the heart of the Bluegrass. Our wide array of programs allows us to excel in multidisciplinary studies and fosters an environment of cooperative engagement across all colleges, programs, and research endeavors. Because of the lives we touch and teach, we remain anchored in our mission to Kentucky - to educate, innovate, heal, and serve. To be sure, our complex, multi-faceted mission looks different today in many ways than it did in 1865. However, our sense of responsibility to our communities on campus and across the region is resolute. The mission has evolved and grown. The vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world beyond remains the same. They remain our compass - the soul of the University of Kentucky.
In the last several years, UK has received nearly 100 national rankings for excellence in academics, research, health care, and economic development. U.S. News and World Report ranks several of UK’s graduate programs among the nation’s best: the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration is ranked fourth in the category of public finance and budgeting, and the College of Pharmacy is ranked sixth. The University of Kentucky earned 28 Top 10 rankings and 50 Top 25 rankings over the last several years.
The College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Hispanic Studies, Department of English, and doctoral program in Clinical Psychology have received top honors for faculty productivity and scholarly activity. The Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations named the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce among the top 20 master’s degree programs in international affairs in the world. In the last few years, the colleges of Engineering, Communication and Information, Education, Health Sciences, and the Gatton College of Business and Economics have been ranked in the top 30 in their respective fields. In addition, a study published in the Southern Economic Journal ranked the Gatton College of Business and Economics’ Department of Economics 19th among public institutions in the U.S., and Gatton’s Master’s in Accountancy program has among the highest passage rates on the CPA exam. The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment - the foundation of our land-grant mission - boasts the nation’s third largest Cooperative Extension Service, and UK’s J. David Rosenberg College of Law has been ranked a top 10 best value law school by National Jurist Magazine.
With its well-manicured landscape and landmark buildings, UK’s campus also offers great facilities that advance the scholarship of its students and the research endeavors of its faculty. At the heart of the campus is the iconic William T. Young Library, the most visible of several facilities that comprise UK Libraries. The stately architecture features a 93-foot-tall rotunda and a dramatic five-floor atrium allowing natural light to pour in from skylights. UK Libraries is among the world’s leading research libraries with a broad scope of advanced technology that offers students, faculty, staff, and Kentucky residents special access to current information online, in addition to printed resources.
To match the scope, scale, and grandeur of William T. Young Library, the University of Kentucky engaged in an effort to revitalize student living and learning spaces. UK’s public/private partnership with EdR/Greystar has yielded more than 6,850 modern beds and more than 200 active learning spaces in 14 buildings - a more than $450 million investment made by our partners.
- Johnson Hall and Donovan Hall opened in fall 2013;
- Chellgren Hall, Woodland Glen II, Haggin Hall, Jewell Hall, and Blazer Hall opened in fall 2014;
- Woodland Glen III, IV, & V opened in fall 2015;
- Holmes Hall and Boyd Hall opened in fall 2016; and
- University Flats and Lewis Hall opened in fall 2017.
Over the last eight years, the University approved the construction of more than $2.4 billion in infrastructure to bolster the long-term health and success of the institution. In addition to the aforementioned residential housing projects, UK has invested:
- More than $40 million to renovate and expand the J. David Rosenberg College of Law;
- $65 million to renovate and expand the Gatton College of Business and Economics with the support of generous donors and friends;
- $110 million in the new Jacobs Academic Science Building that defines cutting-edge, interdisciplinary education and research. UK Athletics funded $65 million of this modern learning and research space - an unprecedented move in American higher education and NCAA athletics;
- $120 million to enhance Kroger Field, $45 million to build the Joe Craft Football Training Facility, and the $49 million Kentucky Proud Park, financed completely by self-generated revenue from and partnerships with UK Athletics;
- $20 million invested in the College of Fine Arts, including a new home for the School of Art and Visual Studies;
- More than $150 million to continue the fit-out of UK HealthCare’s Chandler Hospital, financed with clinical revenue;
- $201 million to renovate and expand the Bill Gatton Student Center and create a modern facility for the campus and community, financed with the support of donors and friends of the institution; and
- The $265 million multi-disciplinary Healthy Kentucky Research Building, financed in partnership by the state and institution.
Building on these campus investments, the University is investing:
- $10 million as an internal loan to Auxiliary Services and $5 million from private funds to demolish the Kirwan-Blanding Residence Hall Complex and Dining Commons. While preserving the allée of trees, the university would construct new student living space in addition to adding new green space to create a UK Green; and
- Several million to restore the historic academic core of the UK campus.
Research at the University of Kentucky is a dynamic enterprise encompassing traditional scholarship, the humanities, health care, and emerging fields and technologies. UK’s research enterprise received approximately $429.2 million in research awards in fiscal year 2020. The scope and scale of UK’s research enterprise resulted in a more than $725 million economic impact and 4,400 jobs across Kentucky.
With more than 50 research centers and institutes, UK researchers are discovering new knowledge; providing a rich training ground for current students and the next generation of researchers; advancing the economic growth of the Commonwealth of Kentucky; and exploring art and creativity of diverse cultures. After working for more than 10 years on unlocking an ancient piece of history, faculty in the UK Department of Computer Science will “virtually” unroll 2,000-year old Heculaneum scrolls buried by a volcanic eruption in AD 79. The discovery - made possible by first-of-its-kind software - could have profound impacts on history and literature from the Classical era.
Several centers excel in the services offered to the public. The Gluck Equine Research Center is one of only three facilities of its kind in the world, conducting research into diseases of the horse. The Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) is pursuing groundbreaking innovation across the energy disciplines. CAER staff are pioneering new ways to sustainably utilize Kentucky’s natural resources through carbon-capture algae technology, biomass/coal-to-liquid products, and the opening of UK’s first LEED-certified research lab to support the development of Kentucky’s growing alternative energy industry. The College of Education’s P20 Innovation Lab is reforming Kentucky classrooms by implementing 21st century learning techniques derived from pedagogical research, preparing new teachers, and providing additional training for school and district leadership.
Among the brightest examples of UK’s investment in transformative research is the Markey Cancer Center. As a center of excellence and distinction at UK, Markey’s robust research and clinical enterprise is the cornerstone of our commitment to Kentucky. It is fundamental to our success in uplifting lives through our endeavors and improving the general health and welfare of our state, which is burdened by the nation’s highest rate of cancer deaths per 100,000 people. The Markey Cancer Center is one of 71 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in the nation and the only one in Kentucky.
Because UK is one of the few universities in the country with a research and teaching campus and a medical center in one central location, multidisciplinary research is particularly strong. Through the collaborative efforts of nearly 200 faculty and staff across 12 departments and colleges, the University of Kentucky was awarded a $20 million Clinical Translational Sciences Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As one of only 60 institutions with this research distinction, UK was awarded the CTSA for its potential in moving research and discovery in the lab into practical field and community applications. The CTSA and NCI are part of a trifecta of federal research grants that includes an Alzheimer’s Disease Center. UK is one of only 20 universities in the country to hold all three premier grants from NIH.
In addition, UK’s commitment to addressing relevant and complex questions is evident in the four-year, $87 million HEALing Communities Study grant from the National Institutes of Health to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 40 percent in 16 counties that represent more than a third of Kentucky’s population. This work, in partnership with the state and federal government, is designed to discover and implement research-driven solutions to stem the tide of a national crisis.
Established in 1957, the medical center at UK is one of the nation’s finest academic medical centers. UK HealthCare is the clinical enterprise and academic medical center of the University of Kentucky and includes 945 beds at three hospitals - UK Chandler Hospital which includes a level 1 trauma center, transplant center and NIH-designated cancer center; UK Good Samaritan Hospital - an acute care facility; and Kentucky Children’s Hospital. In addition, UK HealthCare has more than 250 ambulatory clinics. UK HealthCare is comprised of more than 9,000 people - physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals - all dedicated to providing the most advanced, most effective care available. In FY 2019, UK HealthCare had 41,589 hospital discharges - an average of 114 discharges per day; 2.14 million outpatient (ambulatory) visits and 111,819 Emergency Department visits.
UK HealthCare is No.1 in Kentucky in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals Rankings and Kentucky Children’s Hospital recently ranked nationally in two specialties - orthopaedics and cardiology, in the 2020-21 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings. The University has demonstrated its commitment to partnerships with businesses and other institutions of higher learning. In Lexington, UK is shaping a better relationship with the community by directly engaging with businesses, local government, and civic service organizations. As a $4.4 billion university, UK is the region’s largest employer, providing more than 13,900 full-time jobs and more than $100 million in state and local payroll taxes.
UK’s reach extends far beyond the borders of Fayette County. As an anchor institution for the Bluegrass Economic Advanced Movement, UK’s College of Engineering and graduates of our institution are a critical component of growing an advanced manufacturing economy in Central Kentucky. UK is also part of the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium, a collection of postsecondary institutions working together to advance the cause of learning. And we work collaboratively with other institutions to establish joint degree programs and improve the pipeline of students transferring between colleges and universities.
UK’s agenda remains committed to accelerating the University’s academic excellence in all areas and gaining worldwide recognition for its outstanding academic programs, its commitment to students, its investment in pioneering research and discovery, its success in building a diverse community, and its engagement with the larger society. It’s all part of the University’s mission as a 21st century flagship and land-grant research university. From its first Nobel Laureate to cutting-edge work in addressing health disparities, and from the artistic wonders that stir souls to our scientific creativity that inspires minds, UK seeks a brighter future through the contributions of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni. We are the University of Kentucky.