E. President's Report to the Trustees (PR 1)
President Todd began his report in PR 1 by calling attention to Frank Harris, a special gentleman in the audience. He said that he had known Mr. Harris when he was a student and faculty member at the university, and he was pleased to announce that the Grand Ballroom in the UK Student Center has been named for Frank H. Harris.
Mr. Harris served as the Student Center's director from 1966 to 1973 and again from 1980 to 1997. He is the first chairman of the board of directors of the National Entertainment Conference, which is a national organization with more than 1,000 members comprised of colleges, universities, and agencies that provide entertainment, products, and services to colleges and universities. Mr. Harris also served as the Student Government advisor for many years. The National Association for Campus Activities named an award in his honor: the Frank Harris Outstanding Student Government Advisor Award, which is presented annually to an outstanding professional in the field.
President Todd asked Mr. Harris and his wife Elsie to stand and be recognized, following which they received a round of applause. He thanked them for attending the Board meeting and said people would be thinking about them when they are in the ballroom. President Todd recognized former Vice President for University Relations Joe Burch sitting with Mr. Harris and said he was glad to see him on campus.
President Todd reported that the university has received a $10.5 million grant to study obesity, diabetes, and heart disease links. Dr. Lisa Cassis has done a phenomenal job at the UK Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences, and she will be the principal investigator of the UK Center of Biological Research Excellence (COBRE) in Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease. Dr. Cassis will lead a team of junior investigators, comprising a mix of physicians and basic scientists, and senior researchers who will serve as mentors, advising and overseeing research projects. He said that it is critical that UK do this research. He pointed out that this is a NIH grant, which is hard to get.
Governor Steve Beshear was on campus to announce approximately $14 million worth of EPSCoR funding for an experimental program to encourage states that have not been high in federal funding to become that way by investing money into young faculty members who have not been previously competitive. UK received $7 million of the $14 million.
President Todd reported that the Gatton College of Business and Economics team excelled in the Wall Street Journal's National Biz Quiz at The Ohio State University in mid-November. He and Mrs. Todd took three of the students to lunch recently and had a most enjoyable time with them. The Kentucky students placed fourth out of 24, and UK sophomore Jeffrey Howard of Louisville, who is majoring in accounting, won first place in individual competition among 72 other students. President Todd said that he is very pleased that Dr. Gordon Holbein is the senior lecturer that worked with the team and coached them.