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[6]

Part of Minutes of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees

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- 5 - the UK Board have been challenging and meaningful ones. It has been an honor and privilege to serve with Chairman Breathitt and share his dedication and commitment to quality education in Kentucky. I have gained immeasurable appreciation of the importance and complexity of the service the University provides for the citizens of Kentucky. Not only do students gain a quality education, but the outreach through the Rural Health Center, Medical Center, Agricultural Extension Service, Sanders Brown Center, to name a few, touches the lives of thousands of additional families. I have gained respect for the leadership of this institution, administrative and academic. Charles Wethington's skill in crafting policy to be implemented through the budget is remarkable. The impact of the Robinson Forest Scholars Program for talented Eastern Kentucky students will be a legacy to his commitment to using University resources to benefit those with the greatest need. His vision in creating a fiscal vehicle through which to build a library worthy of a "flagship" university was itself instructive for the next chapter in Kentucky higher education. The concept for the next chapter was discussed as early as October 1981 when the Prichard Committee's report In Pursuit of Excellence was presented to the Council on Higher Education at Spindletop. I remember being part of that presentation and thinking we were being ambitious in our recommendations, but resolute that we had come to these conclusions for the benefit of the whole system of postsecondary education. In Mr. Prichard's forwarding letter he said, "we trust...these recommendations will send out a signal to the higher education community for unity of action in the face of unprecedented challenge." Those sentiments hold true as we face the process of implementing House Bill 1. Concerns about duplicative programs for both undergraduate and graduate levels were present sixteen years ago, along with the recommendation that the University of Kentucky assume the role as the state's comprehensive research university and that appropriate state resources be provided to support this role. The Lexington Herald's article in last week's paper cites the 15% growth of research funding during 1996-97 bringing $125 million in contracts, grants and gifts received to the University. This demonstrates the direction we have been moving and Dr. Bramwell is to be commended for his initiative and energy in continuing to expand this role for UK. As we extend the focus of research at the University to embrace an increasingly complex world, so might we consider the replication of a Technology/Research Extension Service comparable to that of the Agricultural Extension to translate current advances into daily practice for professionals and businesses. As I see it, the opportunity for UK to continue in developing its premier role in nurturing knowledge and