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Campus Community,

In March representatives of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges visited our campus for the process known as reaffirmation. 

Every 10 years, universities like ours undergo an extensive review – one that takes months of time and hundreds of people across our campus to prepare for — as part of being an accredited institution. 

As a practical matter, the process of accreditation — and reaffirmation — is important because it, among other things, ensures our eligibility for federal student financial aid.

But beyond the necessary and practical importance of it, affirmation means that we are doing things right — right by our students, right by our people and right by our state.

As I reported to our Board of Trustees yesterday, we received official word this week that our affirmation has been approved by our accreditors with no areas of noncompliance or concern out of more than 70 standards evaluated.

Our report totaled more than 600 pages with some 3,000 points of evidence. It was a massive undertaking on behalf of people in every part of our community. I want to thank Provost Bob DiPaola and many others — such as Katherine McCormick, RaeAnne Pearson, Camille Harmon and Susan Cantrell — who worked tirelessly on this critical initiative. These leaders and dedicated community members come from the faculty, administration and staff, underscoring the collective team approach we took as an institution.

When the review team, composed of several long-time educators, visited us in March, several made the point that a recurring theme they heard throughout this campus was our commitment to advancing Kentucky.

Whether the conversation focused on a particular program or our efforts to initiate transdisciplinary educational approaches to advance Kentucky (what we call TEK) across the curriculum, the commitment to our state was there.

It informed and guided everything we do.

Indeed, one review team member, who has evaluated several institutions over the years, said many schools and universities are obsessed with rankings.

At UK, he said, the focus is firmly fixed on educating and advancing Kentucky.

That focus — that unyielding sense of commitment — is part of what makes our community so special.

It is what has always guided us. It is clearly what guides us still.

Now, we are exploring and examining ways to accelerate our efforts. I am honored to tell the stories of progress you make possible for Kentucky through your talent and tenacity. I know, as always, our efforts will be guided by our north star — to advance this state so that Kentucky is healthier, wealthier and wiser in the future.

Thank you for all you do to make progress for Kentucky possible.

Eli Capilouto