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Click here to listen to President Todd

By Dan Adkins

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"The campus of the University of Kentucky is the Commonwealth of Kentucky."

--Lee T. Todd Jr.,
University of Kentucky

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July 2, 2001 – (Lexington, Ky.) – University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr. launched his administration today by exhorting UK’s faculty and staff to show passion for the university's mission to serve its students and the state.

“Someone asked me if this was the last day of my administration, what would I like to say about my legacy.  What I’d like to say is that the University of Kentucky did more for the state of Kentucky than any state university did in the country.  I could go to sleep with that,” Todd told a gathering of students, faculty and staff on the plaza outside UK’s Patterson Office Tower.

He recalled his meetings with students, faculty and staff during his interviews for the UK presidency in January and since the UK Board of Trustees elected him to the post.  “As I met all of you and as I met the students, the passion that I have for education just continued to grow,” he said.

“As we look at our aspiration of moving forward and as we drive toward our top-20 goal, we’ve got to create some victories around this state in education.  We’ve got to create some victories in our economy.  And we’ve got to create victories with the children who can see that higher education really is the key to the future of this state,” Todd said.

Todd urged UK’s faculty and staff to approach the university’s goal to become a top-20 public institution with ambitions beyond merely increasing the amount of federal research dollars.  “(If the university only increases research funding), we could fail the state of Kentucky … We do have a responsibility throughout this state.  The campus of the University of Kentucky is the Commonwealth of Kentucky and we need to take that into consideration.”

Instead, UK officials will develop analytical goals measuring federal research dollars, faculty quality and student quality, he said.

However, UK’s greater success will be measured by a “higher purpose list” regarding how it helps Kentucky solve problems in education, health care and economic development, Todd said.

“We have an opportunity to change this state,” he said.

To hear Todd’s remarks in their entirety via the World Wide Web, click here.

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