Graduate Responses to 21st C. Initiative Forum

    21st Century Initiative: Graduate Student Responses

    Strengths and Opportunities:

    Devotion to academic and professional development

    Diversity initiatives

    Support research and have notoriety for some of our research departments

    Reward initiative towards academic and research development

    Support for international students on a central level (SIGS and Int’l Center)

    Community connection

    Building peer mentoring

    Good outreach to local businesses

    Building a larger community with Cardinal Towne, etc.—extending the campus

    Health and Wellness programs

    Business partnerships (esp. downtown) –creates opportunities for students

    Internship and Externship opportunities

    Some departments are very good at keeping students informed about funding

    opportunities and getting them funded—overall, we provide many funding opportunities

    Strong endowments



    Public awareness

    Some unique facilities

    Professors’ and students’ abilities to do interdisciplinary research

    Faculty research and their ability to have time to do their work

    Work with alumni, career development

    Partnerships with industry

    Affordable cost-of-living

    Access to grants

    Law, medicine and dental’s ability to work with the community

    Strong professors and labs

    Strong support for international students

    Scholarship programs




    Geographical location, middle of US, big city with low cost of living

    ACC conference

    Support interdisciplinary through shared spaces and to support more collaborative projects

    Good fellowships

    Internationally acclaimed programs

    Good research

    Approachable faculty

    Opportunities to work for community and UofL

    Expansion of the zone of influence—beyond the region

    Development of residence halls and research labs

    Can increase technology

    Advertise faculty credentials more- update info on websites


    Weaknesses and Threats:

    Low visibility of the university, except for sports

    Actual diversity on campus—in terms of number of students and especially faculty (versus

    support for diversity in theory)

    ADA compliance/accessibility

    Lack of multiple departmental relationships to do research- red tape (slows down

    dissertation process)

    More relationships between different departments

    Forming agreements and systems (university-wide) about how students who want to cross

    disciplinary boundaries can do this

    Lack of shared space to interact with other graduate students, other departments

    Campus too spread out- health clinic too far from campus

    Divide between HSC and Belknap

    Students don’t have any knowledge or information about the other campus (the one they’re

    not on)

    Some departments don’t have orientations

    IT department

    Inequity across departments and buildings

    Prioritization of certain building and improvement projects

    Having to wait until there is mold in the building before they do anything to improve it


    Hidden charges- deceptive, without notification- inconsistent- lack of transparency

    Charges being offloaded onto students that used to be responsibility of institution-

    university gets to advertise low tuition but students get slammed with unexpected charged when they arrive

    Alumni (or engagement office?) pushing for funding certain projects over others


    Reliance on Part-time and adjunct labor, as well as graduate student labor, without

    adequate recognition of their role as labor

    Students taking on costs that used to be responsibility of the institution

    Training on how to respond to safety threats


    Food market is expensive- a monopoly

    Unsafe buildings

    Unsafe to walk between campuses


    reputation as a commuter school

    lack of advertisement for facilities and events to community and other universities

    low research connections with surrounding community

    lack of architectural connections with building projects

    no communication between programs happening on diff. campuses- duplicate

    lack of global web presence- out of date

    large class sized

    use of old lectures, materials—professional development of older professors

    lack of accountability and oversight

    unbalanced funding across depts.- should be based on need as well as recognition

    national funding cuts

    educational exportation

    increase academic output, modernizing teaching methods

    lack of awareness of research opportunities

    lack of accommodation of non-traditional students

    lack of recognition of what graduate students do –especially their misrepresentation as

    “students” (read undergrads) without acknowledgement of teaching and research responsibilities—students in many departments are the lead teacher of courses, but are not recognized in conversations about faculty interests and concerns

    lack of recognition of existing interdisciplinary opportunities

    lack of support for travel expenditures

    dwindling governmental support

    lesser known school

    cost-benefit ratio of a graduate degree

    competition with UK