Welcome to the University of Kentucky -- the flagship, land-grant university of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and a national leader in teaching, research and service. Since our inception in 1865, the University of Kentucky has been more than a public research university; we have been home to the state’s greatest aspirations - an idea of a new and brighter tomorrow.
This is our covenant with the Commonwealth - honored through groundbreaking research, community outreach, intellectually rigorous education, sophisticated health care, and technological advances that contribute to the betterment of the state while also fostering a cultural quality of life through our museums, libraries and special events.
Birthed as a land-grant institution adjacent to downtown Lexington, UK is nestled in the scenic heart of the beautiful Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. From its early beginnings, with only 190 students and 10 professors, UK’s campus now covers more than 918 acres and is home to more than 29,000 students and approximately 14,500 employees including nearly 2,300 full-time faculty and librarians.
UK is one of a small number of universities in the United States that has programs in agriculture engineering, medicine and a full complement of health colleges on a single campus. This diversity of scholarship is leading to groundbreaking discoveries and unique interdisciplinary collaboration.
We are a home away from home for a diverse community of student-scholars from all 120 Kentucky counties, each of the 50 states, and 100 countries worldwide. The University continues to attract the best and brightest from Kentucky and beyond, and was 11th among public institutions in the number of National Merit and National Achievement Scholars in the fall 2012 first-year class. UK students compete successfully for prestigious scholarships and awards such as the Astronaut, Fulbright, Truman, Goldwater, Marshall, Udall and Gates. UK had its 14th Astronaut Scholar named in the 2012-13 academic year. Additionally, five Truman Scholars and 10 Goldwater Scholars have been named since 2000 and two Gates Cambridge Scholars have been awarded in the past five years.
In Fall 2013, the University opened Central Halls I & II, adding 601 modern residence hall beds, new academic learning space and administrative offices for the Honors Program. Currently, Phases II-A and II-B of a multi-year public/private partnerships with EdR are underway. Eight additional facilities across campus will add nearly 4,000 beds and 156 active learning spaces by 2015. The investment thus far - nearly $265 million - will transform the way we house, educate and mentor our students.
Our investment in a modern campus environment complements the benefits of direct student support, the growth of quality academic programs, and our efforts to expand access and ensure affordability. As testament to the commitment, the University is self-financing three capital projects essential to our future:
- A dramatic renovation and expansion of the Gatton College of Business and Economics, which is made possible through the generosity of our donors.
- A new Academic Science Building that will accommodate the next century of scientific learning, research and discovery. UK Athletics is funding nearly two-thirds of this project - $65 million - illustrating their unwavering support for our academic mission.
- And a renovation of Commonwealth Stadium and Nutter Training and Recruiting Center; financed completely by Athletics. The investments we made today ensure our place as a premier, self-supporting program in the future - one that provides nearly 500 scholarships to students from all walks of life and throughout the country.
Our capital priorities are a critical component of our future, but our campus is more than bricks and mortar - it is the faculty, staff and administrators who foster opportunities for our students and the programs that comprise the comprehensive college experience we offer. The University’s wide variety of academic opportunities are complemented by exciting extra-curricular activities that add richly to what our students learn inside the classroom and encourage them to actively participate as part of a global community.
The University of Kentucky has a vibrant fine arts program and is a cultural hub for arts engagement in the Commonwealth. UK English professor and director of the African American and Africana Studies Program, Frank X Walker, was recently named Kentucky Poet Laureate. The School of Music’s Opera Program and Symphony travel across Kentucky, performing at middle and high schools.
Our land-grant mission is as important today as it was at our founding. With agents in every Kentucky county, the College of Agriculture boasts the nation’s third largest Cooperative Extension Service. As community leaders, UK extension agents made 7.1 million contacts in 2012 - impacting family farm practices, providing health-care access and teaching financial literacy, among other initiatives.
UK continues its ascent as a major public research institution with a bold and visionary plan to meet the needs of its students, faculty, staff and the state it serves. In 2013, the UK Markey Cancer Center announced its designation as a National Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. This designation places UK among an elite group of 22 research universities with the triple crown of federal research awards: NCI-designation, the Clinical Translational Sciences Award and a federally supported Alzheimer’s Disease Center.
UK HealthCare has strategically developed an incredible capacity to serve the Commonwealth through our state-of-the-art patient care pavilion and emergency rooms, advanced biomedical and biological research, and a network of affiliate health care agencies throughout Kentucky. Our passion for people and our vision for a medical campus of the future have inspired leading physicians and researchers from across the United States to join us. Since their arrival, they have balanced a research agenda with outreach to our affiliate and partner hospitals, so Kentucky families can receive quality health care at home and travel to Lexington for only the most advanced, complex medical care and procedures.
We are in a time of tremendous opportunity and daunting challenge for higher education. Colleges and universities are the economic engines of our country, the foundation of prosperity in our communities and the greatest asset for long-term global competitiveness. At the same time, more is being asked of us -- and more is expected from us -- in terms of ensuring affordable access to the education we provide -- an education that produces a differentiated graduate who is ready to compete and thrive in a complex world.
Because of the lives we touch, the improved general welfare of our society and the betterment of our way of life, we will never step back from our obligation as the Commonwealth's flagship and land-grant research university.
We can, we must and we will honor and extend the legacy of the last 150 years for another generation.