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Welcome back

An overview of what to expect in the coming months.

The week before classes start is always a busy time as we make sure everything is in place for the new semester. As we anticipate the start of classes, I want to tell you briefly what we are looking forward to this academic year.

First, we look forward to educating some of the best-prepared students we ever have had. Preliminary numbers indicate that our freshman class again breaks our records of class size and average ACT score. These freshmen will be the first students to enter UofL with the Ideas to Action plan in place. Throughout their academic careers, we will help them take the lessons they learn in the classroom to the community and beyond.

Fall semester promises to be busy, and it will be time to set our course for the coming years.

Finalization of our strategic plan will bring new challenges. The planning committee presented President Ramsey and me with the draft in July. Units now are reviewing it to determine how they can support it. By the end of fall, we anticipate a completed document that charges everyone at the university to meet concrete goals to take UofL to the next level.

Sometime this fall we also expect to see a new look and brand for the university. We have dared to be great — and succeeded. University Advancement is working to develop a new tag line and visual identity to take us into a new era.

Review of our budgeting process continues and we should receive recommendations this fall, as well.

In the same vein, if we are to move forward aggressively toward fulfilling our visionary plans, faculty must know that the work we ask them to do is noticed, valued and honored for its contribution to the whole. I have appointed a university wide ad hoc committee to guide unit personnel committees as they examine their work plan development processes and look at the evaluative criteria for each element of faculty work.

You also can expect to hear more in the coming months about how UofL is accountable to the citizens of Kentucky — from the way we spend tax and tuition dollars, to the ways we touch communities and generally make the Commonwealth a better place to live, work and enjoy life; and you will begin to notice the word “sustainability” in more communication from administration as we seek ways to become better stewards of the environment and at the same time promote positive economic growth and social objectives.

Of course, we will continue to concentrate on raising our graduation rate, providing exceptional educational opportunities for students through funded research and scholarship that gain national attention, reaching our diversity goals, and being good community partners, especially through our Signature Partnership in West Louisville.

These are just a few things to look forward to over the coming months. I will tell you more about them and about other initiatives and activities central to the university in bi-weekly messages in this section of my website. UofL Today will let you know when I’ve posted something.

Best wishes for a successful academic year, and thank you for all that you do.

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