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By Ralph Derickson

Photo of Molly Corbett Broad

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"Never lose touch with your historic roots."

-- Molly Corbett Broad, president,
University of North Carolina system

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Feb. 14, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Molly Corbett Broad said an advertisement seeking a leader of a major university in today's world might read, "Walks on water; doesn't disturb the fish."

After appreciative laughter from an inaugural convocation audience of about 400 in UK's Singletary Center for the Arts, the University of North Carolina System president then presented an outline of ways she believes the University of Kentucky can compete for a top rung on public university research ladder.

First, she said with a wry nod to UK President Lee T. Todd Jr., "There must be a strong and growing fundraising, Mr. President, from alumni, friends and corporations."

To compete with the UNCs, Broad said UK also must:

-- Engage in entrepreneurship.

-- Diversify the university's sources of revenue.

"It is no secret," she said, "that universities are supplementing their state funds with private giving." She said UNC system attracted $160 million in private giving last year and now has an endowment of $1.1 billion.

-- Recruit top professors through endowed chairs. She noted that the gap between the salaries of professors in public universities and private colleges is now $22,000 per year. UNC, she said, received its first major private gift for endowed professorships in 1997 and has now grown that to 330 endowed professorships. "And we want 200 more."

-- Demonstrate to state leaders that support of the university is imperative for both the university and the state's success. Invest in innovative research in key areas that could lead to economic growth in the state.

-- Seek partnerships to enhance the university's research and economic development efforts. As an example of such efforts, she said UNC recently partnered with IBM and is developing a "biogrid" that combines the computing power of IBM and UNC to handle the "massive" information being generated in the area of genomics.

UNC would also welcome a collaboration with UK, Broad told an audience that included Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton and Gordon Davies, president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

To additionally assure its academic success, UK should also promote equality and promote a liberal education for the state's citizens.

Lastly, she advised, "Never lose touch with your historic roots."

Broad's convocation remarks launched a two-day inaugural celebration at UK for President Todd that will include Friday's formal inauguration ceremony in Memorial Coliseum.

Broad, has been president of the 16-campus UNC system that includes UNC-Chapel Hill, since 1997. She was introduced at the convocation, following greetings from President Davies, by Michael T. Nietzel, UK Acting Provost.

Other Thursday inaugural activities included receptions, tours, literature readings and music. The King Alumni House, Stuckert Building (Career Center), Lucille Caudill Little Library, and the UK Art Museum all featured special offerings.

An Inaugural Gala Concert featuring faculty and students from the UK Opera Theatre and the UK Symphony Orchestra was held in the afternoon at the Singletary Center.

At 9 p.m., a Presidential Inaugural Student Gala was set to begin in the Grand Ballroom of the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Lexington.

More than 1,200 students, faculty and staff and the members of UK's first family were expected at the semi-formal event.

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