In 1997, the Kentucky General Assembly approved HB1, also known as the higher education reform act. That act included the mandate that the University of Louisville would become a preeminent metropolitan research university by 2020.
By almost any measure, the Challenge has been a success.
The university responded in 1998 by launching the Challenge for Excellence, a 10-year, 11-point plan to move the university toward national preeminence by 2008. The challenge focused on improving the quality of students and faculty, increasing research and the university's financial health and spurring economic development in Louisville and the state.
In 2006, the University is a much different place. Quality of students and faculty is up. Research funding has risen dramatically. Business start-ups and other measures of economic development are up sharply. The campus itself has changed, improving the environment for its students and leading to redevelopment of its surrounding neighborhood. By almost any measure, the Challenge has been a success.