Message from the Dean

September 2018

Hello Cardinal Family,

We have an exciting year in front of us. We’ve started the semester strong and have many opportunities on the horizon.  President Bendapudi likes to share the fact that the incoming freshman class is the largest the university has ever had—and she is brand new with every one of them! I like to point out that while the university’s overall enrollment declined just a bit—public health was the only school to experience double-digit percentage enrollment gains at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. We’re happy to welcome all of our new and returning students, faculty, and staff who make this growth possible.

This year is also going to be exciting because the university finally gets to think and act strategically after several years of struggling with the aftermath of the previous administration’s failings. This is the year that we will envision what we want to look like in years to come. A new strategic plan will be in the works. A new revenue distribution model is already under development. All instructional and research programs will be scrutinized. New initiatives are underway reaching new markets. All of this will hopefully point UofL to a new structural and fiscal foundation, which should in turn allow for bold investments in strength areas and new opportunities.

Public health is poised to be in the middle of some of those evolutionary moves. As I noted in my last message, we have a number of new programs gearing up. Our new MS in Health Administration and fully online MS in Biostatistics are both underway and had good enrollment numbers. Several other new instructional programs will be in place next fall and will benefit from a full year’s recruitment efforts. Speaking of recruitment, we are finally replacing our recruiter. We have been without for a year, driven primarily by the hiring freeze that has been in place. We look forward to introducing you to our new colleague in the coming weeks once it is official.

Finally, need I point out that we live in very unusual times? As we invest in data-driven policy development, and strive to teach tomorrow’s leaders in this area, we continue to struggle with those in power who prefer to ignore data and make decisions based solely on personal preference. In times like these, we need not stoop to the common denominator when engaged in discourse. We must redouble our efforts and be true to our beliefs. If you are eligible to vote in Kentucky but have not registered, the deadline to register to participate in the November 6 general election is October 9.

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Dr. Craig Blakely

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