Letter from the President


Last June at our summer retreat, our Board of Trustees acknowledged the incredible accomplishments that we as an institution have achieved during the most difficult of budget times.  The question we discussed with our Board: Could we continue to make sure amazing progress in the years ahead given these continuing fiscal challenges and a policy and academic environment much different from that which existed when the 2020 Plan was adopted in 2008?

During our State of the University address in September, we indicated that we as a campus community should come together to begin a discussion to reassess our future as a university and what we can do to continue our march as a leading 21st century university.

Today I presented to the Board of Trustees a plan to undertake such a review and prepare for our future.  We’re calling this initiative the 21st Century University.

Led by Provost Shirley Willihnganz, this ambitious initiative will take a look at the entire university. Questions such as: a) What do we do well? (b) What could we do better? (c) How can we better serve our students, the Louisville community and the commonwealth? (d) What challenges and market conditions will we face? (e) What must we do differently?

Working with a nationally recognized consultant, we will start by reviewing our strengths and weaknesses, our opportunities and threats.

Once we have this information, we will look at where we want to go as an institution, particularly how we can continue to achieve the 2020 goals set for us in the Postsecondary Education Reform Act of 1997. We know that this will lead to some substantial changes, although we have no preconceptions of where or what those changes will be.

My commitment is to ensure that this will be an inclusive, collaborative, transparent process that will ensure input from throughout campus. We need your help and your involvement.

We already have begun the early steps of this effort, with interviews of key people on and off campus. We’ll begin working with the deans and vice presidents and with the faculty, staff and student leadership this month. We also will have open forums so each of you will have the opportunity to hear our plans and offer your input.

Provost Willihnganz will share more detail next week. Look for an email from her, as well as a web site and updates on UofL Today throughout this process.

We have so much to be proud of, but we have more to do. As I stated in this year’s State of the University address, our best days as an institution are still ahead.

Thank you for all you do for UofL.