Community engagement has been a guiding principle for the University of Kentucky for more than 150 years, uniting our campus and core missions of teaching, research, service, and patient care. The legacy we leave, aligned with our covenant to improve the well-being of those we touch and teach, provides the foundation for priorities that promote student, faculty, and staff engagement with communities across the state, nation, and world.
You see examples of this promise across our campus.
The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment (CAFE) – through the Cooperative Extension Network – provides UK with a physical presence in all 120 Kentucky counties. The College’s outreach extends to farmers, families, and small-business entrepreneurs; its research faculty have powerfully impacted key Kentucky agricultural industries and created jobs through the commercialization of discoveries.
The College of Education and six other UK colleges are shaping the future of PreK-12 education, its leadership and the teachers who mentor Kentucky’s youth. Whether through global initiatives supporting student and faculty research or our work in improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in rural Kentucky, faculty and staff across UK are engaged in the next generation of curriculum development and educator preparation.
Our College of Medicine was among the first in the country to create a curriculum that diagnosed and treated illness at a community level. Today, our full complement of health-related colleges serves urban and rural areas across the Commonwealth. From providing dental services in rural Appalachia to free medication through the Faith Pharmacy in urban Lexington, our health colleges are committed to improving the well-being of those we serve.
The colleges of Engineering and Design collaborated on the Houseboat to Energy Efficient Residences project to help revitalize the houseboat manufacturing industry in southeast Kentucky by repurposing factory lines to produce energy efficient homes. Today, the techniques our faculty and students developed are helping rebuild communities torn apart by natural disasters.
Faculty, staff and students in the College of Fine Arts have reached hundreds of thousands of people across the Commonwealth through performances, exhibitions, teaching and arts engagement.
As we continue an unprecedented public/private partnership to revitalize our residence halls, we are developing new Living-Learning Communities that encourage engagement and connect students with community and prepare responsible citizens. These communities focus on contemporary issues such as sustainability and the environment, global citizenship, and entrepreneurship. They bring together several high-impact practices so students develop socially and intellectually in a collaborative environment.
This is only a small sample of our ongoing community engagement at the University of Kentucky, and we continue to place a high priority on this work.
The University’s commitment to engagement – evident throughout our history – is central to our path forward. The UK Strategic Plan lists among its objectives, to “Leverage leading-edge technology, scholarship, and research in innovative ways to advance the public good and to foster the development of citizen-scholars.”
Our commitment to the people we serve is resolute. Our Strategic Plan enables us to further embrace and enhance our mission as our Commonwealth’s indispensable institution—the University for Kentucky.