Supporting our community September 30, 2022
- Members of our UK family and their loved ones are once again confronting what for so many of us is unimaginable — this time, a hurricane pummeling homes and communities throughout the South. We will be there for those impacted, reaching out with support and services.
- A principle in our Strategic Plan is “ensuring greater trust, transparency and accountability.” As part of an effort to strengthen our commitment to that principle, we are reviewing and refining several processes and standard communications and reports we provide annually. One step is building out a more robust online disclosures page – the start of which you can find here: uky.edu/disclosures/ — that will serve as a repository of important information provided to our community. An example is the annual safety, security and fire report distributed to campus this past Wednesday.
- I continue to be amazed by the work and commitment of our people, whose efforts to support our students and our state are being increasingly recognized for their positive and lasting impacts.
Being there in times of need
As Hurricane Ian is punishing and pummeling communities across the South, we are reaching out to members of the UK family who may be impacted.
Our Office for Student Success is reaching out directly to students, whose home of record is in an area in the path of the hurricane. We will offer places to turn for support and other resources to those who may be impacted. We will know more in the coming days about specific numbers of those affected and will continue our efforts to reach out.
As always, students and others can call 859-218-YOUK (9685) for answers to questions or referrals to the appropriate source of support. We are a community that cares, one that always springs into action whenever and wherever there is need. You can read more about the help line here.
Trust, transparency and accountability
Being accountable to all those we serve is so important that it is a foundational principle in our Strategic Plan.
A critical component in honoring that principle is ensuring both transparency and timeliness with our communications to students, faculty and staff. To that end, we’ve created an online disclosures page — uky.edu/disclosures/ — where we will over time house the information and disclosures we provide to campus regularly — from the annual safety and fire reports you received Wednesday to notices about drug and alcohol abuse prevention for our community.
This is simply one more step — but an important one — in strengthening the goal we share to ensure greater trust, transparency and accountability throughout our community.
Over time, we will build out this hub and provide reminders about its presence, as part of an effort to keep everyone better informed in a more transparent fashion.
Earlier this week, I had the privilege to speak to a few hundred of our student-athletes as part of the UK Invests initiative.
UK Invests is a first-of-its-kind wellness initiative. Anchored by financial education, the idea is to empower students with the tools to invest in themselves and their futures while also receiving incentives to participate in healthy behaviors.
I was deeply impressed by the level of engagement and interest among these student leaders. Over the next month, we will continue to roll out the initiative among student-athletes and begin to work with other cohorts of students across the campus.
UK Invests is yet one more example of our commitment to creating a sense of holistic wellness and support for our students and our community.
Recognizing Our Commitment to Community
At the recent state of the Fayette County Schools Address, a number of our colleagues were recognized for their partnership with Lexington schools to strengthen student achievement and access.
The University of Kentucky STEM Through Authentic Research and Training (START) program was honored with the Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) Golden Apple Award.
The UK START program is a collaboration between UK colleges and local organizations to enhance the pipeline into college for first-generation and historically underrepresented students.
The program focuses on introducing students early to science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers by integrating academic, social and professional experiences. You can read more about the award and the initiative here.
Finally, UK recently earned the 2022-2023 Bronze Level Military Friendly® Schools designation and the Military Friendly Spouse Schools designation. The Military Friendly Schools survey is the longest-running and most comprehensive review of college and university investments in serving military and veteran students.
The designation is a testament to the growing commitment we have made to those who have served and sacrificed so much on behalf of our country. Housed in the Office for Student Success, the University of Kentucky Veterans Resource Center (VRC) — located in the Republic Bank Foundation Veterans Resource Center facility — works to ensure that student veterans have a smooth transition to college by providing support, community and resources.
You can read more about the VRC and the designation here.
Whether we are opening doors of opportunity to more students or ensuring that we are accessible and supportive to those who have served, this community is continually finding new ways to strengthen bonds and honor commitments we are making to advance our state.
I am privileged to witness these efforts, and tell our story, across Kentucky.