Message from the President

February 2007

We are proud to mark the launch of the University of Louisville's Signature Partnership Initiative, an effort to enhance the quality of life for residents of West Louisville.

When appointed President of UofL four years ago, I committed the university to making a difference in our community.  We appointed a university Community Partnership Advisory Board composed of representatives from the university and the community and co-chaired by businesswoman Alice Houston and the dean of our college of Education and Human Development, Robert Felner.  I asked the board to advise me on how the university could best serve our community.

The board also recommended the adoption of the Signature Partnership Initiative (SPI).  The goal of the SPI is to work with various community partners to improve the educational, health, economic and social status of individuals and families who live in our urban core.  Under the leadership of UofL's Office of External Affairs, we held a public forum and conducted various focus groups to learn firsthand from the residents about the pressing needs of our community.

We created the Residents Advisory Council, composed of individuals who live in West Louisville, to help guide our efforts.  Under the capable leadership of co-chairs, Kathy Parks and Keith Bertrand, this group of volunteers is working with the university and its partners to help build leadership capacity among the residents of our community.

We intend to work closely with the community residents, Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville Metro Government, Metro United Way, the Urban League, faith based organizations and many others in this initiative.  The university will draw upon the expertise and energy of faculty, staff and students from every school and college at UofL to deal with issues affecting our community.

I am excited about the potential of this initiative.  With the sustained effort of the university and our community partners, I am confident that we can truly make a difference in our community.