Academic Brand Initiative

What makes the University of Kentucky special? What makes our institution stand out from other large public universities in the country? What differentiates us from others when a student, professional or faculty member is considering where to make their university home?

Put another way, what is the University of Kentucky's academic brand?

UK is filled with incredible stories, stories about the people and ideas that make this institution special -- faculty conducting research and providing service that extends and enhances life and changes communities for the better … staff deeply engaged in supporting student and faculty efforts, while deeply involved in their communities … students from undergraduate and graduate schools who compete with the best in the country and go on to careers at world-leading companies like Google and in the highest ranks of public life.

Those stories reflect who are people are and what they do. But they also reflect what our institution is about and what that stories convey to policymakers and donors who support us as well as faculty, staff and students who consider joining us.

Ultimately, we want to enhance UK's academic excellence as we seek to help transform Kentucky in ways that are nationally significant. In doing so, we want to enhance UK's brand and academic reputation as well.

As we moved through the Strategic Planning process this past year, Provost Riordan also led a discussion with stakeholders across the campus about the institution's academic brand as well.

Groups of faculty, staff and students  convened to discuss and identify those differentiating attributes that make UK stand out among institutions of higher learning and which offer the greatest potential for growth and development in terms of an institutional brand.



  • 18 focus groups were held, consisting of 231 participants
  • Most resonant platforms will be tested more broadly on campus