From the President’s Desk
First, and most importantly, thank you for your support during the recent session of the Kentucky General Assembly. Across the nation these are unprecedented times, and you helped our state leaders make a bold and encouraging statement about what Kentucky values—its citizens and education.
At the start of the legislative session, higher education in Kentucky was facing a 6 to 7 percent budget reduction. This would have been devastating, stopping dead in its tracks the momentum UofL has gained in becoming a premier metropolitan research university as mandated by the state. During the session, the legislature minimized the budget cuts for higher education and we appreciate your help in communicating the importance of higher education and specifically the University of Louisville.
Now it’s our turn to come through. I want to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that every deserving Kentuckian has access to a quality education. And I want to reaffirm our commitment to recruiting the best minds to teach our students and conduct research focused on improving the quality of life for all our citizens.
It’s all about accountability.
There are so many things this institution can do to make Kentucky’s economy prosperous again. There are so many different ways we can be accountable to our students, our community, our commonwealth, our nation and our planet. We understand UofL’s place in this grand scheme of things; the interconnectedness of our institution with society and its greater goals.
Lately, the university has garnered attention for our efforts to develop clean-energy technologies and reduce our dependency on dwindling fossil fuels. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced that we will be the home of the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research and Environmental Stewardship, which recently was given a major boost by the financial commitment of Speed alumnus Henry Conn and his wife, Rebecca. The center enhances UofL’s already vital energy research programs.
Professors and students here are conducting cutting-edge studies into solar power cells, hydrogen power, biofuels, improved engine design and more.
Also, UofL has contributed in countless ways to community and in-house “greening” via the Partnership for a Green City and through its own independent sustainability initiatives. You will hear more about these as we move UofL to a truly green campus.
One thing we’re currently working on is how we distribute UofL Magazine. We are looking at new ways to deliver the publication to readers—ways that both reduce our carbon footprint, which is so important to the future of our globe, and our production costs, which is a necessity in this down economy. We don’t plan on totally eliminating the print version of the magazine—we know some of you prefer to receive university news this way. But we do plan to reduce the number of copies we print each issue by offering a new interactive website for those who are digitally inclined, with many entertaining and informative features beyond what the limits of what a printed version allows. We also will update and deliver news all the time not just on the print schedule.
Being green is not always easy, but the rewards are worth the effort.
James R. Ramsey