Home » Trustees say UK needs to focus on Kentucky’s most pressing needs

Trustees say UK needs to focus on Kentucky’s most pressing needs

Should grow research enterprises

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 20, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees on Saturday adopted a sweeping statement of principles, directing President Eli Capilouto to focus on the “most pressing” needs of Kentucky by determining how best to grow UK’s research enterprise through strategic investments in facilities and talent.

uk_logo_wordmark_4x6_32“The challenges are overwhelming, but we can be up to the task of making a difference,” Capilouto said. “These are not easy issues, but they must be our issues. The University of Kentucky represents the greatest hope in making progress against these issues, but it will take focus.”

The resolution, adopted unanimously at the board’s two-day annual retreat, directs Capilouto to take the steps necessary recognizing “the essential nature and value of all scholarly and creative activity” to:

  • Align resource commitments to optimize efficiency and facilitate faculty, student and staff success;
  • Recruiting and retaining additional world-class scholars and research teams;
  • Strengthening the commitment to interdisciplinary exploration; and
  • Confirming and detailing the critical need for additional research infrastructure.

“These principles reflect who we are as a people and as an institution,” said Keith Gannon, chair of the trustees. “These principles synthesize the depth of the challenge we face and what must be the approach as we honor the mission that must be — and is — uniquely ours at the University of Kentucky.”

Kentucky has mortality rates above national averages in most major health indices  ̶̶ ̶ challenges that are particularly acute in the state’s Appalachian region.

Capilouto described for trustees how UK is “uniquely positioned to help answer” the most fundamental challenges confronting the commonwealth through:

  • An extension network and clinical programs that reach all of the state’s 120 counties.
  • 170 clinical outreach practices.
  • 17 colleges and professional schools supported by a campus-wide research library system.
  • The fact that UK is one of only eight universities in the country with the full range of health, professional and undergraduate programs on one contiguous campus.
  • UK is one of only 22 institutions in the country with a trifecta of federal designations of excellence in three key areas of health — cancer, aging and translational science, the idea that discoveries can be taken from the laboratory into communities where they have an impact.