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Campus Community,

Time and again, I have been a witness to the fact that this is a community that cares — about our Commonwealth, about our campus and about each other.

Others are taking note as well.

This week, Forbes magazine announced that it has ranked the University of Kentucky sixth out of 500 total companies on its America’s Best Large Employers list. We are second nationally in the education category.

Other institutions in the Top 10 include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Mayo Clinic and Fidelity Investments — the company we are working with to bring UK Invests to students across our campus and where a large number of our employees have entrusted their retirement accounts.

You can read more about the ranking here, but it is based on an independent survey applied to a sample of 45,000 American employees, working for companies with more than 1,000 employees. This achievement is especially meaningful because the evaluation is based on direct and indirect recommendations from employees, who were asked to rate their willingness to recommend their own employers to friends and families.

As always, much more important than any single ranking is what the numbers say about us. We are a community of people who ask each day: what can we do, and did we care?

We certainly have demonstrated the culture of concern and compassion with the support we provide to our students. But that culture — built over decades by those who are here now and those who came before us — is also that we are a community that supports each other, our faculty and staff, as well.

In recent years, directly alongside our staff leaders, we’ve worked to make historic investments and increase compensation steadily and consistently. We’ve held down health costs for individuals and families and expanded benefits in direct response to the needs of our people. It’s that commitment to community that has resulted in several honors and rankings in the last several years, ranging from being a “Best Employers for New Grads” by Forbes to earning recognition in recent, successive years as a “Diversity Champion” from Insight Into Diversity.

We are gratified, of course, but never satisfied by such designations. We know there is more work to do and areas where we can still improve to do more and be more, both for Kentucky and for this campus.

But I know the commitment is there, always. I see it in advisers, support staff and faculty, who work at all hours to help our students. I see it in those who braved extremely cold temperatures over holiday breaks, sacrificing time with loved ones, to keep buildings operating. And I see it every day, in ways large and small, in the concern and care our people show for each other.

It is why I know that our audacious goal to advance this state in everything we do remains so vital and reachable.

Thank you for being that community. Thank you for all you do to demonstrate a culture of care and concern every day.

Eli Capilouto