Monday Memo January 13, 2020

Dean's Message

Dear Faculty & Staff,
I wrote last week about the importance of creating a community of care, where I envision A&S as an extended family of students, alumni, staff, and faculty, who are mutually supportive and where each finds their home. One way we can express this care is to strive to reduce the barriers that often get in the way of student success. All staff and faculty contribute to student success in one way or another, and we should each be asking ourselves what we can do better.
As you know, the university is transitioning to a new budget model. The change is from a centralized, incremental model that carries over each year’s budget with only minor changes, to a decentralized, activity-based model that forefronts the university’s academic mission. The new model ties each unit’s general funds revenue to the student credit hours taught in that academic unit. This means that the more students we enroll in our classes, the more revenue we will generate for A&S. In the coming months, I will be working closely with department chairs to be sure they understand how this model will be implemented in the next fiscal year.
This new budget model could be very good for A&S. If we increase our enrollment, new opportunities to advance our teaching, research, and service missions will arise. The two primary strategies for increasing enrollments are recruiting new students and retaining the students who matriculate. Our initial focus needs to be retention for two reasons:

  • It is a moral imperative that we support our students as they work toward degree attainment.
  • Retention is more cost-effective than recruiting.

The institution has already made significant efforts, with great effect, toward improving retention. Those efforts will continue, but now all of us need to step up to the plate. If we are engaged, the small actions we each take will make a difference. Collectively, those actions will lead to profound change. In each of your daily interactions with students, demonstrate your commitment to making A&S a truly student-centered college, where students feel both challenged and included.


David S. Owen, Ph.D.
Interim Dean, and
Professor of Philosophy


UofL travel training    

January 14, 10-11:30 a.m., Ekstrom Library, Room 117A
UofL Travel will be hosting training sessions on both Health Sciences Center and Belknap campuses. In addition to the session above, other sessions at HSC consist of January 14 from 1-2:30 PM and 3-4:30 PM and January 15 from 10-11:30 AM (all in Clinical and Translational Research Building, room 123). Additional Belknap sessions (Ekstrom Library, room 117A): January 15, 1-2:30 PM and 3-4:30 PM. Email Wesleigh Hummel or call 852-7737.

Call for 2020 A&S Awards Nominations

Please take the time to nominate your faculty and staff colleagues for a 2020 A&S award. Awards will be given at the A&S Celebration of Excellence on April 21, 2020, in the SAC Multipurpose Room. Winners of the A&S Distinguished Faculty Awards and Outstanding Performance Awards for staff will be forwarded to the President's Office as the College's nominations for the University-wide awards of the same name.
Nominations are due February 26, 2020. For more info and to nominate.

The Greatest Give Back volunteer opportunity

In honor of Muhammad Ali's birthday, Metro United Way is partnering with the Muhammad Ali Center on The Greatest Give Back, a community-wide service initiative taking place on January 17. We would love to have some A&S folks join in these efforts! 

12-2 PM — The Greatest Care project will assemble 780 healthy snack packs for youth and seniors.

3-5 PM — The Greatest Comfort project will make 78 tie-knot blankets for the Center for Children and Families. 

Register hereto take part in one of these service projects.

Theater ticket giveaway

The College purchased an ad in USA Today and, as a thank you, they provided us with tickets to several upcoming theater performances.

Email if you would like to be put into the drawing for 2 tickets to any of the following shows. You may put your name in for all 3, but can only win once.

  •  Miss Saigon – The Kentucky Center – February 14, 8:00 pm
  • Anastasia – The Kentucky Center – March 20, 8:00 pm
  • The Buddy Holly Story – Brown Theatre – April 16, 8:00 pm

Help Carol heal

Instead of a peaceful and joyous holiday break, before Christmas, while working her second job in retail, Carol Singleton (Academic Coordinator for Undergraduate Affairs in UofL's College of Arts & Sciences) fell and broke her left knee cap and fractured her right shoulder.

She had surgery on the knee cap on December 26th and is undergoing PT for both the knee and shoulder. Unfortunately, the accident prohibited her from working her second job, so she was and continues to be short on income. Carol will be unable to return to work at least through the end of February. 

Please consider chipping in to help Carol heal without the horrible emotional and financial stress brought on by the loss of income.

Anonymous feedback

Interim Dean David Owen is committed to making A&S an inclusive and equitable work environment where the Cardinal Principal of “Respect” is valued and put into action. However, he needs your input in order to achieve that goal.

Please submit your feedback using our new anonymous feedback tool.

Candy Kudos

Don't forget to nominate your colleagues for Candy Kudos! The Candy Kudos program is a way to recognize your colleagues for the great work they do each day. Nominations are due Wednesdays by 12 Noon. Kudos will be delivered on Friday.

Review last week's winners and submit your nominations here.


Prof. Che Rhodes to be featured on Kentucky Live

Glass artist Che Rhodes (Fine Arts) will be featured on an upcoming episode of KET's Kentucky Life, premiering Saturday, January 18, at 8 PM. Rhodes studied under legendary glass artist Steven Powell, who died last year, and says Powell was a huge influence both on his art and his life.

A&S has 113 Faculty Favorite Nominees

Our college had 113 nominees for 2018-19 Faculty Favorites! Congratulations to all faculty, instructors, and GTAs who were voted favorites. All favorites will be acknowledged at the upcoming Celebration of Teaching and Learning on February 7. Thank you for your commitment to our students’ education!   

Great Place to Learn

Nominate Outstanding Students to be Peer Advisors!

A&S Advising is collecting nominations for our 2020-2021 group of Peer Advisors. These students serve as peer mentors to students throughout their first year at UofL. Please consider nominating a student to fill this important role.

Learn More about the University Writing Center

The University Writing Center offers a variety of resources for UofL faculty, staff, and students. The Writing Center offers a variety of resources for writing and teaching writing, with individual consultations available to provide feedback on any type of writing at any point in the writing process. The Center also facilitates three writing groups: Graduate Student and Faculty, Creative Writing, and LGBTQ+. Class visits or 10-minute introductions to services are available. Visit the Writing Center website to schedule consultations, browse resources, view writing group schedules, and request class visits.

2020 Study Abroad Photo Contest

Any A&S Major or Minor who studied abroad in 2019 can submit up to three photos from their travels. Seven winners will receive a gift card to Murphy's Camera and other local businesses and a foam-board print of their winning photograph. Deadline for submission is February 24th at 5:00 PM. Submit photos here.

Great Place to Work

Mentoring for Success program

UofL’s Mentoring for Success program supports the university’s vision to be a great place to work!
Why mentoring? Having a mentor can be transformational! Research shows that employees who have a mentor are more engaged, productive, and happier at work and they feel more connected to the organization’s vision and mission.  Employees who hold marginalized identities (women, people of color, LGBTQ people, etc.) often find that mentoring relationships help them feel less isolated and more equipped to overcome workplace barriers to their success, but everyone benefits from a mentoring relationship.
Apply between January 13th and 24th to begin creating a stronger sense of connection across campus while gaining personal and professional support for your goals. Apply to be a mentor, mentee, or both.  We welcome applications from faculty, staff, and retirees.  Those who participated in the 2019 pilot are invited to reapply with the same mentor or request a new one. Click here for program guidelines.

Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day

Please join us on February 19 at the KFC Yum! Center for a Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day during the UofL Men's Basketball game versus Syracuse.
Tickets can be purchased here using your UofL email address. The pregame reception will begin at 5:30 PM in the President’s Room with the game beginning at 7 PM. Tickets are available for a discounted price of $25 for upper-level reserved seats.

Great Place to Invest

UofL Researchers Partner with NASA to Study Blood Rehydration in Space

Biology Prof. Michael Menze and graduate research assistant Brent Janis have been working with NASA to determine if dried blood can be rehydrated in a zero-gravity environment. Learn more about their groundbreaking research here.


Maple Tapping Workshop rescheduled 
Join us on January 17 at 12 PM in UofL's sustainable garden to learn about the process of tapping maple trees and making maple syrup.

Workshop leader, Dave Barker has been tapping trees and making his own syrup in Louisville for years. He will give a brief, hands-on workshop on the process and then attendees will get to work with him as we install taps on our own maple trees located in the Garden Commons and around campus.

Participants will have the opportunity to sign-up to volunteer to empty buckets as they fill throughout the coming weeks.

In the News

Panelists Say Some School Dress Codes Target Girls, Impeding Their Learning (WFPL, 12/21/2019) - Prof. Dawn Heinecken (Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) weighs in during In Conversation

Mayor Fischer pitches tax break to combat gentrification in Louisville's neighborhoods (Courier-Journal, 1/6/20) - Prof. John Gilderbloom (Urban & Public Affairs) questions whether residents are displaced as a result of rising property values.

U of L professor uses handwritten hate mail to show beauty of multiracial children (WDRB, 1/7/20) - Department Chair Prof. Ricky Jones (Pan African Studies) turns the tables on the author of racist hate mail by compiling a video of beautiful multiracial children.

NASA spots 'Godzilla Galaxy', 2.5 times wider than the Milky Way with 10 times as many stars ( 1/9/20) - Prof. Benne Holwerda (Physics & Astronomy) nicknames spiral galaxy UGC 2885 "Rubin's Galaxy" after observing and capturing its image with the Hubble Space Telescope. 

Rep. John Yarmuth Teaching Political Science At U of L This Semester (WFPL, 1/18/20) - Rep. John Yarmuth is co-teaching the 300-level American Congress course alongside Department Chair Prof. Jasmine Farrier (Political Science). 

Is the love of high school football putting players in danger as Kentucky rosters shrink? (MSN, 1/19/20) - Prof. Tracy K'Meyer (History) discusses the recent phenomenon of shrinking high school football rosters.