"Good News Abounds"
President's column from UofL magazine, Winter 2004.
"Good News Abounds," UofL magazine, Winter 2004
You’ll see from the cover of this issue of UofL that good news continues to make headlines for the university. Our 2005 entry into the Big East athletics conference means more than a new level of competition, it means that we’ll be in good company with institutions that match our academic aspirations as well. The Big East represents increased national visibility for all of our programs, academic and athletic.
This magazine also features other stories that signal U of L’s growing reputation. You’ll read, for example, about an unusual recognition: our listing in a Wall Street Journal article about students who go to top graduate and professional schools. Four students in the Journal’s study earned their undergraduate degrees from U of L, enough to place us 30th among public schools. That’s yet another signal that the quality of education we provide is being noticed.
In addition, you’ll find a story about the university’s first “program-project grant” from the National Institutes of Health to create a new discipline: environmental cardiology. The $7 million grant is especially significant because it recognizes that we have an exceptional team of top faculty researchers who can lead collaborative investigation into a new area. Universities from across the country compete for these prestigious grants; receiving one is a truly significant accomplishment.
The environmental cardiology grant comes close on the heels of the largest federal research grant in the university’s history. Five young cancer investigators received an $11.1 million NIH grant designed to support preliminary research at U of L’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center. (See the complete story from the last issue of UofL at www.louisville.edu/ur/ucomm/mags/fall2003/leads/fed_grant.html.)
The cancer grant reinforces the value of Kentucky’s innovative “Bucks for Brains” program, which attracted leaders of the cancer center who, in turn, attracted the young researchers. We’re also grateful to Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, who secured equipment that will help them complete their work.
Grants, awards and even selected rankings signal a growing respect for our faculty and students. You’ll remember that last spring our students earned a highly competitive Truman Scholarship and three Fulbright fellowships.
There are other signs. Major media outlets are turning to our faculty scholars and researchers for their perspectives on national and international issues. Recently, U of L faculty have been cited in such respected media as U.S. News & World Report, the New York Times, CNN, Christian Science Monitor, the Boston Globe, National Public Radio and many others, not to mention leading academic and professional journals.
It’s easy in a large university environment to get wrapped up in the day-to-day details and issues that can consume and even distract us. But occasionally it’s refreshing to step back and see all of the positive effects of our work.
From the Big East to competitive grants for outstanding research to successful students and respected faculty, we’ve got a lot to be proud of at U of L. Our story is being told where it counts, to our friends, fans and the general public, in ways that demonstrate our contributions to education, economic advancement and our quality of life.
I thank all of you who are helping us to maintain our focus and spread the good word as we move forward.
James R. Ramsey