State of the University 2011
September 13, 2011
Thank you Kurtis and thank you for your outstanding leadership. As Kurtis said, this is our 8th State of the University ceremony. It’s a little bit hard to believe, 8 years.
The State of the University ceremony allows us to pause from our routine and to “celebrate.” Today, we first celebrate the life and legacy of Harry S. Frazier Jr.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in history from the College of Arts & Sciences and an MBA from the College of Business at the University of Louisville, Harry S. Frazier embraced change to become a real estate pioneer. Nearly a half a century before Richard Florida wrote of the “creative class,” Harry was creating residential developments as economic drivers to attract companies and their employees to his beloved Louisville.
He was an entrepreneur who shaped this community with heart, friendship and enthusiasm for building upscale communities around leisure amenities. He understood the transformative power of intersecting work and entertainment with family. Although it seemed his gift was success, his hard work and ethical standards were the reasons he accomplished what he set out to do. His legacy thrives in many real estate developments contributing to the livability of Louisville today.
Harry loved life to its fullest, instilled his passion for Louisville in all who knew him and was an outstanding alumnus who wove knowledge, business and creativity into the fabric of our community’s future.
Earlier today we named the College of Business building in the memory and honor of Harry Frazier. From this day forward our College of Business building will be known as Harry Frazier Hall. As part of our naming ceremony, we recognized members of Harry’s family who made this possible. With us this afternoon is his wife Jean and daughter, Sandra.
Would you join me in recognizing them and thanking them for making this landmark day in the history of the University of Louisville possible.
Second, on this special day we celebrate another outstanding year in the life of the University of Louisville.
- A year in which we achieved all 27 of the goals set for us by the Board of Trustees. 27 for 27!
- We celebrate a year which saw Drs. Don Miller, Keith Davis and the people of Owensboro receive a $3.1 million grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust to support our innovative cancer research program in Owensboro ─ an initiative that some doubted and some said would never work.
- We celebrate last year’s outstanding freshman class and we note another great freshman class this fall. We remind ourselves that attracting the very best students to the University of Louisville helps stem the brain drain from Kentucky – an important policy objective.
- Last year we celebrated with professor Kent Hatteberg and Dean Chris Doane the Cardinal Singers and their triumphant return from the Far East and then their later successes in Germany.
- Last September we welcomed Signature Healthcare to Louisville, a major economic development coup that was made possible because of you – the outstanding work of our faculty and staff ─ and because of our Nucleus project.
- We celebrated with Dr. Mark Pfeifer and others a $1.5 million grant for an interdisciplinary oncology palliative care education program.
- In October we opened our Center for Predictive Medicine with Dr. Colleen Jonsson, and we reminded ourselves that we were one of only nine schools nationally selected for such funding. And while we were celebrating the grand opening with our ribbon cutting, we were beginning construction on an addition made possible through a second grant.
- We remember the opening of the (KFC) YUM! Center with the Eagles concert. The Yum Center signified a new era of economic growth for downtown Louisville.
- We think about that special evening when we launched our “Charting Our Course” campaign, and then later in the year when our Board of Trustees raised our fundraising goal from $750 million to $1 billion.
- In November we signed a letter of intent to form a statewide network with Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Healthcare System. In June we followed up on our letter of intent with our Hart-Scott-Rodino filing to the Federal Trade Commission to move forward with this hospital merger – a merger that is good for the University of Louisville but, more importantly, will improve health care for all the people of Kentucky.
- We cheered the success of Ken Lolla and our men’s soccer team as they finished second in the nation.
- We had our first-ever graduation at the YUM! Center – a special, inspirational evening that led the campus community to choose the YUM! Center as our home for future commencement ceremonies – both spring and winter.
We celebrated with public policy leaders on our Shelby Campus the work of the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center – Cam Metcalf and now retired Dean Mickey Wilhelm. Their work is improving energy efficiency for over 150 school districts across the Commonwealth of Kentucky, resulting in an average savings of $28 per student. Think about that with the JCPS, 100,000 students ─ $2.8 million in savings. They are also assisting businesses in saving energy costs in these most difficult of times.Correction: We celebrated with public policy leaders on our Shelby Campus the work of the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center – Cam Metcalf and now retired Dean Mickey Wilhelm. Their work is improving energy efficiency for all 174 school districts across the Commonwealth of Kentucky, resulting in an average savings of $11 per student. Think about that with the JCPS, 100,000 students ─ $1.1 million in savings. They are also assisting businesses in saving energy costs in these most difficult of times.
- We broke ground on a new facility on the Shelby Campus with our partner, NTS, following through on our commitment to take under-performing assets and make them fully performing assets.
- We traveled to the Americana Community Center in the Iroquois neighborhood with Dean Terry Singer and Anita Barbee to celebrate a $4.8 million grant to the Kent School aimed at reducing teen pregnancy. And later we again celebrated with the Kent School in Shelby County with the announcement of a $2.5 million grant to create a coalition to reduce the prevalence of diabetes in Shelby, Bullitt and Henry counties.
- We applauded Marsha Hern and the School of Nursing many times over during the year, including the continued improvement in our nursing licensure pass rate – a rate significantly higher than the national average.
- We recognized Dr. Roberto Bolli for the receipt of a $9.6 million grant from the NIH to head a multi-center cardiovascular research network focused on finding therapeutics to reduce the impact of heart attacks – a network that includes Johns Hopkins, Emory, Virginia Commonwealth. But let us not forget that the lead in the network is the University of Louisville.
We more recently applauded Dr. Bolli and his team with the renewal of a Program Project Grant of $12.8 million. A program project grant that received a perfect score from the reviewers.
- We celebrated with Dan Hall, Ralph Fitzpatrick and our Signature Partnership Community Advisory Board at Shawnee High School with the receipt of a $2.6 million grant to our Office of Community Engagement to create a college-going culture among low-income, minority, first-generation high school students.
- We were pleased when Mayor Fischer, who ─ impressed with our efforts to address the behavioral and health care issues of the aging ─ announced the creation of a “Lifelong Wellness and Aging Center” at Nucleus.
- We recognized our College of Business, the top-ranked business school in Kentucky, and the outstanding achievements of their many student organizations that won national awards ─ including the founders of TNG Pharmaceuticals – UofL students who won the “Super Bowl” of business plan competition beating out Michigan, MIT and Notre Dame.
- We celebrated our designation as a Tree Campus USA, reaffirming our commitment to environmental stewardship ─ and we applaud the work of Justin Mog and our Sustainability Council.
- We opened our UofL Autism Center and thanked Dean Haselton and Dean Halperin for working together to make this possible. We thanked the Kosair Charities for providing the space on their campus and their ongoing support of this program – a program that helps young people in our community.
- We were moved by the research of Jonathan Hodes and Susie Harkema, published in The Lancet; research offering a real, genuine hope for those with spinal cord injuries.
- We celebrated again last year with John Richardson, Pat Condon and Seabrook Jones the 14 students who won Fulbrights, again ranking us among the best in the nation.
- We celebrated with Kerri Remmel and her team the first Stroke Nursing Fellowship Program in Kentucky, created by Ann Mead, one of our graduates whose parents, both true Cardinals, died of stroke.
- We were proud again last year that the University of Louisville dental school faculty, staff and students went to Pikeville to treat over 1,000 patients on a Saturday – many of whom had never seen a dentist before. We applauded our dental school’s outreach at the state fair and their Smile Kentucky! program which serves school kids in our schools, many of whom had never seen a dentist.
- And we thanked our Board of Trustees for their commitment to continue to make UofL the most diverse university in our state, setting an example for our entire state by adopting a minority employment agreement modeled after the one used for the construction of the YUM! facility. We could go on and on but let’s push the pause button and think not about numbers, not about metrics and not about events of the last year; but let’s think about a few of the countless lives of people who have been changed by the work of the University of Louisville.
Watch "The State of The University" video
Rob Summers, baseball player at Oregon State, (injured in a) hit and run; Nicole; Mike Jones, originally from Madisonville, Ky., but now from Louisville, Marcus Blakeney from Louisville – real people – moving stories – inspirational stories – stories that motivate us as we take our next steps as an institution– as we move forward.
Two years ago the provost, in her State of the University address, talked about our achievements while reminding us of our fears and challenges lurking in the swamp – cuts in state funding, the elimination of earmarks; downturn in our endowment earnings, the unjust critics of our efforts to build a better community and state.
We agreed then that we would not ─ could not ─ worry about our fears. For we had more work to do. And so it was last year – we did our job.
And so it will be this year – we will stay focused on our work – educating our students, creating new knowledge and making a better community, a better state.
Our formula for moving forward will be the same formula that we have followed in the past – a formula we outlined on Sept. 9, 2003, Inauguration Day.
For on that day we said that we will remember, respect and learn from our past, both our successes and failures. Our proud history and the stories of the people impacted by our work by your work, the work of you, our faculty and staff, such as those stories we’ve just seen, will encourage us daily. No. 2. Today, as on Sept. 9, 2003, we renew our commitment to the state’s vision that sets for us a course of preeminence. The strategies for achieving the goals set for us by the people of Kentucky were defined first in our Challenge for Excellence and are now in our 2020 Plan. We will not deviate nor retreat from the 2020 Plan.
No. 3. We said then, and we say again today, we will continue to think beyond the boundaries of our campus. We noted then, as we note today, the recent anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
We say again today we must continually heed Dr. King’s call to dream; to dream that all children in our community have access to a quality education; to dream of new economic clusters emerging in our community so that those willing and able to work can find jobs here in Louisville, and in Kentucky; and to dream of that day when the health care issues that have plagued Kentucky for so long no longer plague us in the future.
And let us also dream of that day when we can lock arms in this community and celebrate that zip code 40203 in West Louisville no longer is the zip code with the 13th lowest per capita income in the country, but rather is a zip code where our children can and will complete the first grade and then advance to the second grade, and to finish high school and then enroll at Simmons College, enroll at JCTC, enroll at the University of Louisville, or whatever school they wish.
These are our dreams and we will not let anyone extinguish those dreams.
For our community leaders in 1798 had a dream– a dream of creating a “Center of Advanced Learning,” knowing its importance in making our community a place of even greater consequence.
And that dream of 1798 lives today at the University of Louisville.
No. 4. Nine years ago we said, and we say today, that it’s not enough to dream. For behind the dream must be the deed, and behind the deed must be the doer. And we’ve been called to be the doers of the deeds that will make these dreams come true.
A. Phillip Randolph said, a community must ensure the humblest and weakest can enjoy the highest civil, economic, and social rights as the most powerful. Let us be the doers of the deeds, let us ensure that all in our community have access to quality education and the best health care so that all in our community have the highest civil, economic and social rights.
No. 5. To move ahead we must continue to fully engage those who share our dreams and have a stake in our success – partners like Jewish Hospital and Catholic Health Initiatives; private sector partners who help us bring jobs and economic activity to our community such as Signature Healthcare; partners like the Jefferson County Public Schools who work with us in our Signature Partnership Initiative. We value those who stand with us, partners with courage, partners with conviction; partners who share our passion for a better Louisville and a better Kentucky.
No. 6. We commit ourselves today, as we did on Sept. 9, 2003, to work with our sister institutions in Kentucky, and again we reach out to the University of Kentucky to say that it is our two institutions that have a special calling from the people of Kentucky as research universities. It is our job to drive a better Kentucky. And so we say to Dr. Eli Capilouto that you can count on us to work in partnership with you.
No. 7. We reaffirm today that we will not be out-worked. We will continue to be creative in finding solutions that may be new, untried and, yes, involve risks. Solutions that will surely attract naysayers; those who might say “you can’t because it’s never been done before.” And finally, as on Sept. 9, 2003, I speak from the heart. We must recommit ourselves to the values that we cherish; values that will never fail us – values that will not allow us to deviate from the dreams and the deeds that we pursue; values that will allow us to advance, whatever the challenges. As we said on Sept. 9, 2003, we value honesty, openness and fairness. We value quality and preeminence in all we do.
We value and respect all individuals regardless of position, regardless of length of tenure, regardless of background, regardless of race, regardless of religion, regardless of sexual preference, regardless of neighborhood or homeland.
And we value humility. We value humility. May we always have the strength to not worry about egos and who gets the credit ─ or blame ─ what is said that may be inaccurate or untrue, but may we only worry about our students and a better Kentucky.
So today, as on Sept. 9, 2003 – Inauguration Day – we commit to continue to run the race, a race run as one university, a university of faculty from various disciplines; staff, with different jobs and responsibilities; students, with many different goals. A university with alumni, donors, volunteers and friends, all with various interests, but sharing one singular focus, a passion for a better University of Louisville. For a better UofL means a better Louisville, and a better Louisville means a stronger Kentucky.
This is our job and we shall not falter.
Sept. 13, a special day: My daughter Jenny’s birthday. A day to celebrate the legacy of Harry Frazier. Another wonderful day in the life of our university.
So let’s now enjoy our reception; and then tomorrow we’ll get back at work – for we have more to do. Our students our community our commonwealth are counting on us. And yes Dr. Cosby, we have some toes and thumbs to replace.
And by the way:
GO CARDS – BEAT UK!