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By Ralph Derickson

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The tour is designed to acquaint newcomers to Kentucky with the diverse range of the state's economy and culture.

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May 21, 2001 – (Lexington, Ky.) – Thirty-three new University of Kentucky faculty members began a bus tour today that will span the Commonwealth this week.

The faculty members, representing most of UK's colleges including engineering, agriculture, arts and sciences, business and economics, fine arts, the medical school and Lexington Community College will visit many Kentucky towns and state parks during the tenth UK Faculty Tour of the Commonwealth.

During the bus trips between tour sites, the faculty members will engage in discussions about the geography, history and culture of Kentucky with the "dean" of the faculty tour, UK geography Professor Karl Raitz, who has accompanied the faculty on all 10 tours.

The tour is sponsored by the Lexington Campus Chancellor's Office and is staffed by the Office of University Extension.  Tour director this year is Michael Kerwin, associate dean, University Extension.

UK President Charles T. Wethington Jr. greeted touring faculty members this morning at UK's Carnahan House on Newtown Pike where they will board the tour bus for their first day of travel, which will take them to Earlington, hometown of incoming UK President Lee Todd, Madisonville and Gilbertsville.

In Madisonville, they will visit the Loman Trover (Clinic) Foundation and hear from the clinic's staff about the rural health programs offered there.  In the afternoon, the faculty tourists will hear from a panel at Madisonville Community College about the partnerships between education and government that promote economic development in Western Kentucky.

Panelists will be Madisonville Mayor Karen Cunningham, Hopkins County Judge Executive Richard Frymire and Muhlenberg County Judge Executive Rodney Kirtley.

At Gilbertsville, the group will tour Kentucky Dam and stay at Kentucky Dam Village State Park.  Dinner guests at the park will include Fred Paxton, publisher of The Paducah Sun, a daily newspaper.

On Tuesday, May 22, stops will include Calvert City, Paducah, Tri-City and Cadiz.  The group will tour the Museum of the American Quilter's Society in Paducah and participate in an afternoon program on Kentucky's changing agricultural economy moderated by Bill Green, Graves County Extension Agent.

An afternoon tour of Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green will conclude with a picnic at the WKU president's home.

On Wednesday, May 23, the group will tour Lost River Cave, and make a stop at Glendale.  Later, the group will travel on to Louisville for an architectural tour of the city.  In the evening, the faculty members will spend an evening at Actors Theatre.

On Thursday, May 24, the faculty members will visit the Falls of the Ohio and Central Magnet Career Academy in downtown Louisville.  UK has an academic partnership with Central Academy.  The academy's principal, Harold Fenderson, will address the tour group Thursday morning.  A panel at the academy will talk about ways to enhance university engagement with the African-American community.   Panelists will be State Senator Gerald Neal, Jefferson County school board member Ann Elmore and Louisville YMCA Director Kenneth Barnes.

In the afternoon, the group will visit the Toyota Headquarters in Northern Kentucky to learn about economic development in Kentucky.  Panelists include Mark Berger, UK economics professor; Dan Tobergate, a vice president of Tri-ED Corporation; and Jim Wiseman, a Toyota Motor Manufacturing vice president.

That evening, historic preservation consultant Alexandra Kornclowicz-Weldon will conduct a walking tour of Covington.

Friday, May 25, the tour group will learn about Kentucky history and government during a visit to the State Capitol in Frankfort.    After a history presentation by Melba Hay from the Kentucky Historical Society, the tour group will attend a panel discussion on educational governance.   Panelists will be Daniel Rabuzzi, Kentucky Council of Postsecondary Education; Jim Ramsey, state budget director; and Lee   Todd, UK president-elect.  Todd will take the reins of UK July 1.

The tour will return to Carnahan House Friday afternoon.

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