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· UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
, ,_ Focus, Focus, Focus
Y 2; numw- Focus on investment: Carved from the university’s 2003-2006 Strategic Plan published in the
. ;,_ ‘ / ..,4 last Kentucky Alumni magazine come seven items of funding that have been the focus of *
° .; conversation with Governor Ernie Fletcher and the 2004 General Assembly. On the list are: I
‘*"'¤1 ;- . , . . . . .
' w @,3, 1. Revenue bond authority for Kentucky s institutions of higher education 1
¤¤=*· 2. An increase in the statutory dollar limits for capital construction projects, leases,
and equipment subject to authorization by the General Assembly
K 3. Operating funds to support UK’s growth
4. RCTF funds to support UK’s programs of national prominence
5. Construction of a biological sciences/pharmaceutical complex
6. Construction of LCC classroom/class lab building
7. Construction of a patient bed tower at the UK Hospital
lt is essential to UK that these areas of budget support from the state occur in order for
the University of Kentucky, and indeed, all of higher education in Kentucky, to meet the
goals the legislature set in HB1 in 1997. Becoming a top—20 institution necessitates a com- —
mitment to investing in the future. The focus on the mission must be maintained. Provost
Michael Nietzel speaks candidly about the consequences of state funding, or lack thereof, as
an investment in the health and wealth of this state on page 22 in this magazine.
Focus on teaching: Exceptional teaching was recently celebrated with the presentation of I
the UK Alumni Association’s Great Teacher Awards. As a former recipient I know just how
much this means to the honorees. It was a pleasure to present George C. Herring, College of
Arts and Sciences; Kevin R. Hopper, Lexington Community College; Brian R. MacPherson,
College of Medicine; John Thelin, College of Education; and John R. Yannelli, College of
Medicine at the Kentucky Tennessee basketball game. We missed Chana K. Akins, College
of Arts and Sciences, who is currently on sabbatical.
Focus on students: Let me point out three things here.The UK freshman class is the big-
gest and brightest yet.The graduation rate at UK is the highest it has ever been and the
highest among public universities. The university, through the work of its First Year Task
Force. is developing new initiatives to enhance first-to—second-year retention and the colle-
giate experience at UK.
Focus on research: Our research program is paying dividends. UK’s research grants and
contracts from out-of—state sources added $433.3 million to Kentucky’s economy in 2002-03,
and is on pace to do as well this fiscal year. Externally supported research accounted for
5.825 jobs at UK and 7.633 jobs in the CommonweaIth.This is one measure that directly re-
flects what the Bucks for Brains professors have added to the research enterprise already
underway. The challenge now is to continue to compete for the best, not only in terms of
compensation but also facilities and equipment to leverage our state investment even fur-
Focus on you: As a part of that cadre of graduates and former students, you have the
power to support Kentucky with your good will and your good deeds wherever you live.
Stay connected. Participate in the University of Kentucky’s grand adventure.
President Lee T. Todd Jr.