Todd Delivers State of University Address
Media Contact: Kathy Johnson, 859-257-1754/559-5396
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 18, 2008) In his State of the University Address today, University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr. recounted the accomplishments the school has made despite deep budget cuts experienced over the last year. And he thanked members of the campus community for their hard work and encouraged them to keep pushing toward the goal of becoming a Top 20 public university.
Todd described the budget cuts as a "punch to the gut. But the thing that kept me going during those tough days was the will and resolve of our students, faculty and staff."
Noting UK's capacity as a Top 20 university to improve the state's economic success and improve the social and physical health of its citizens, Todd urged the campus community to not let recent financial setbacks distract them from the goal.
"We cannot use current conditions as a license to shrink from the responsibility that has been placed upon our shoulders. We cannot give in to the temptation to sit idly by, waiting for better days," Todd said. "I thank you for resisting the temptation and for reaching out to transform the Commonwealth."
Todd highlighted the achievements of many students, faculty members and staff. Among the many accomplishments cited were:
- Record high freshman African-American enrollment this fall at 341;
- Record number of Governor's Scholars and Governor's School for the Arts Scholars at 389;
- Record high rate of freshman to sophomore retention this fall at 81 percent;
- UK had 20 research papers accepted to last year's National Conference on Undergraduate Research;
- Forty UK graduates are working for Teach for America, which recruits college graduates to teach in urban and rural public schools to eliminate educational inequity;
- UK's total research expenditures for fiscal year 2007 increased to a record high $332 million;
- Last year 55 local companies received $64.5 million in venture funding with 32 of those companies having UK connections;
- UK unveiled 13 new Commonwealth Collaboratives, outreach projects that engage top faculty members in helping solve some of Kentucky's most intrinsic economic, health and environmental problems; and
- UK continues its strong leadership in the health care arena as construction continues on its new $700 million Chandler Hospital and for the new College of Pharmacy Building.