SALutations! Newsletter Archives



High Impact Practices

“High impact practices shrink the psychological size of
a campus, and they have salutary effects for students from
historically underserved populations.”

—George D. Kuh

We were honored to host  George Kuh on the UK campus last week. He spoke on the importance of high impact practices (HIPs), which are widely tested educational practices shown to benefit students in terms of their persistence and success in college. The American Association of Colleges and Universities has published a report that explores the connection between HIPs and student success, with a focus on underserved students. See Assessing Underserved Students’ Engagement in High-Impact Practices by Ashley Finley and Tia McNair.
Dr. Kuh’s keynote address considered the importance of service-learning as a HIP. This was followed by an outstanding panel discussion on service-learning, moderated by Associate Provost Kathi Kern, that included community members, UK faculty and students. Dr. Kuh subsequently hosted a group of campus partners interested in promoting student employment as a HIP. The quote above is from that meeting.
If you are involved in the development of a course offering for the fall term, or if you will employ students, I encourage you to incorporate what has been learned about making service-learning and student employment high impact practices. We have created offices on campus to help you with this, as described in more detail below.


I have previously written about the Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Center at UK. As you plan your courses for the upcoming academic year, I encourage you to consider the ways in which service-learning and civic engagement might be integrated into your pedagogy. To learn more how to incorporate service-learning into your instruction as a HIP, please reach out to Katherine McCormick, a Senior Provost Faculty Fellow and the James W. & Diane V. Stuckert Endowed Professor in Service-Learning, or Todd Stoltzfus, Program Director for Service-Learning and Community Partnerships.

Student Employment

SAL recently created an office, led by Tony Ralph, for student employment and professional development. As Director of Training and Development, Tony coordinates training and development opportunities for both full-time staff members and student employees. For full-time staff, this office works with the SAL Development and Appreciation committee and is also creating an orientation program for full-time staff members who are new to SAL. For student employees, this office, in conjunction with other units, develops initiatives that will make student employment a HIP that increases skill development and prepares students more for work after graduation.

Recently, the Training and Development office has been piloting a student employment initiative called UK GROW® (which stands for Guided Reflection on Work). TheGROW® program , which was developed at the University of Iowa, uses brief, structured conversations between student employees and their supervisors to help make the learning that is occurring through student employment more “visible” to the students. The guided conversations that supervisors have with their student employees provide opportunities for students to reflect on what they’re learning in their jobs and help students better articulate what they have learned in interviews and beyond. For more information about the UK GROW® program, or about opportunities to get involved in development and appreciation activities, please contact Tony Ralph.


Student Conduct

Nick Kehrwald, our Dean of Students, has often told me that “student conduct is a HIP.” More specifically, conduct-related actions, when effective, lead students to contemplation that may induce life-changing behaviors that also positively impact student success. As a faculty or staff, you have the opportunity to participate in this process via a Presidential appointment to the UK Community Hearing Board . To be eligible for this appointment, you must attend an initial half-day training. Hearing board members have opportunities to interact with students who have alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct. During hearings, there will be opportunities to engage in a meaningful educational process designed to hold students accountable and repair harm to the community. If you agree to be a hearing board member after the training, you will be asked to participate in hearings based upon your availability.
Dates for hearing board training are:

  • Monday, September 2, 2019, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 5, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Friday, September 6, 2019, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you are interested in serving as a hearing board member please email Dominick Williams by Friday, May 17 with your preferred training time.

SAL Awards

On Wednesday, April 17, SAL held its annual awards breakfast to recognize outstanding students, faculty and staff members. Carl Nathe—the voice of UK Football—hosted the ceremony, where attendees enjoyed breakfast and the chance to win dozens of door prizes and giveaways. Thanks to the SAL Appreciation subcommittee, including Lynn Hiler, Lindsey Woods, Russell Aivazian, special guest Karen Slaymaker, and subcommittee co-chairs Jimmie Jones and Jessica Chandler for organizing the event.
Congratulations to the following outstanding faculty, staff and students who were recognized:

  • Outstanding Undergraduate Students: Jeremiah Wayne, Kayla Dougherty, Maggie Tuckey and Brooke White
  • Outstanding Graduate Assistant: Bailey Ubellacker (Transformative Learning)
  • Outstanding New Staff Member: John Caldora (Community of Concern)
  • Outstanding Staff Members: Dr. Pat Whitlow (Office of Nationally Competitive Awards), Chance Davenport (Transformative Learning) and Nicki Jenkins (Student Services Center)
  • Outstanding Supervisor: Libby Hogan (Residence Life)
  • Outstanding Faculty: Dr. Liz Debski (Dept. of Biology)
  • Friend of SAL – Community Partner: Hannah Crumrine (Commerce Lexington)
  • Friend of SAL – Campus Partner: Dr. Sonja Feist-Price (Vice President of the Office for Institutional Diversity)
  • Collaboration Award: Disability Resource Center and Transportation Services for the Door-to-Door Program

Spirit of UK Award: Terri Runyon (SAL Administration) and Marcia Shrout (Student Services Center)



SAL Professional Development Updates

There’s still time to join the SAL Summer Book Club! We’ll be discussing Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead (a #1 New York Times bestseller and one of Bloomberg’s best books of 2018) on May 10, June 14 and July 12 during the lunch hour in 435UV Gatton College of Business & Economics. SAL has four free copies of the book remaining; RSVP here to claim one. Contact Kasey Borchardt  with the SAL Professional Development subcommittee with any questions.
Be on the lookout for the summer edition of Coffee with the Chronicle. Details to come soon!
Contact subcommittee co-chairs Rachel Hoover and Nancy Stephens with any questions or ideas related to SAL professional development.

SAL Student Employees Recognized

Each year, the Student Employment Office in Human Resources recognizes outstanding student employees from around campus at their annual Student Employee of the Year Banquet. Out of all of the nominations submitted, 10 finalists are recognized at the awards ceremony. This year, five finalists were from SAL! Congratulations to the outstanding student employees from SAL:

  • Adam Blevins – Parent and Family Association/Student Services Center
  • Candace Bone – Residence Life
  • Hannah Rice – Transformative Learning
  • Adrian Sanchez – Residence Life
  • Maggie Tuckey – Campus Recreation and Wellness 


In future issues of SALutations, we want to recognize outstanding accomplishments or contributions of SAL staff and students. If you want to submit any items for recognition, please send your SALute to Tony Ralph (

Thank You, 


Greg Heileman
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life

I welcome any feedback you’d like to provide. Once again, my hope is that every complaint is accompanied by proposed solutions, and that we always remember to celebrate our successes. Please feel free to send your comments to


Student Wellbeing

It is with profound sadness that I write these words, as we come to terms with the recent deaths of two students during the first few weeks of this semester. President Capilouto released a message that expresses the shared loss we have experienced, along with his hopes for how we might move forward. A key takeaway is that deaths in our family affect every member of the UK community, and addressing the issues involved requires a campus-wide approach that includes all of us.

If you suspect that someone is at risk due to feelings of anxiety or a sense of depression, you should:

take it seriously (don’t leave them alone),

talk with them (don’t be afraid to ask if they are considering suicide), and

offer help and hope in any form (e.g., offer to escort them to the UK Counseling Center or the emergency room).

If you are a faculty or staff who works with students, please consider attending the Brownbag Teaching Workshop entitled Working with Distressed and/or Distressing Students, offered by Therese Smith, Director of UK’s Community of Concern, and Mary Bolin, Director of the UK Counseling Center, on February 15, from 12 to 1 p.m.

First-year Experience

Over the past year, more than 200 faculty, staff and students worked collaboratively to examine the first-year experience at UK, under the guidance of a Wildcat Foundations steering committee. This effort led to the creation of a self-study document that is now available for your review. This self-study forms the basis for an action plan that various UK teams are working to implement. Katherine McCormick , Senior Provost Faculty Fellow, is leading the coordination of these implementation teams.

Paint UK Green

Chelsey Reid, interim director of the UK Violence Intervention & Prevention (VIP) Center, let me know that April is recognized nationally as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The VIP Center is hosting a challenge to bring awareness to the importance of being an active bystander. Specifically, the Green Dot Campus Challenge is a month-long competition between the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University to see who can collect the most Green Dots. As a part of this competition, members of the UK community will be invited to share their favorite way to practice being a Green Dot, or to explain why being an active bystander is important to them. Participation on both campuses will be tallied at the end of April to declare a winner.
The Green Dot Active Bystander Intervention Program was developed right here at UK and we are asking for engagement from across campus to lead us to victory. Getting involved starts now; you can prepare your team, office or student organization for the Green Dot Campus Challenge by requesting a Green Dot Overview from the VIP Center. Once April arrives, members of the campus community can attend a VIP Center event or engage online by telling us how you #FindYourGreenDot to officially submit your Green Dot for the challenge. By entering the competition, Green Dot Challenge participants will have the opportunity to win prizes. If you have questions or want to learn more, contact the VIP Center at or (859) 257-3574.

Thank You, 


Greg Heileman
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life

I welcome any feedback you’d like to provide. Once again, my hope is that every complaint is accompanied by proposed solutions, and that we always remember to celebrate our successes. Please feel free to send your comments to


I’m happy to be on the spring side of my first Kentucky winter. I’ve been told by many that this winter was atypical – I’m going to hold them to that next winter!

Higher Education Funding

As a newcomer, it was interesting to witness Kentucky’s 2018 biennial legislative session. The state budget process, in particular, was incredibly challenging for higher education as a whole, and I was impressed by the manner in which UK’s leadership team navigated through the myriad difficulties it posed.

An email from President Capilouto summarizes the overall impact of the final state budget on UK, and mentions that the president was set to talk with the University Senate on April 23 and the Board of Trustees on May 1 to provide more detail on UK’s budget for 2018-19 and beyond.

A report recently released by the State Higher Education Officer’s Association (SHEEO) puts our state’s financing of higher education in context. First, consider the following figure, taken from the report, that details state appropriations nationwide over the past 25 years. The amounts shown in this figure are adjusted for inflation to the value of the dollar in 2017.

publicFTEenrollment.pngNotice that the overall cost of higher education, when adjusted for inflation, has not changed much over the past 25 years, increasing by only about $3,000. What has changed is who is paying. This figure shows that in 1992, state education appropriations covered 71 percent of the cost of a student’s education, but in 2017, state appropriations only accounted for 54 percent of the total cost. The 17 percent difference has been covered by tuition increases. The red line in the figure shows that enrollment growth peaked in 2011, and has been trending down since, a challenge our enrollment management team is confronting.

Finally, the report notes a turning point: for the first time in 2017, more than half of the states in this country covered less than half the cost of their students’ education.

Service Learning and Civic Engagement

Service Learning and Civic Engagement: An important objective in UK’s Strategic Plan involves outreach and community engagement. The university’s aim is to leverage leading-edge technology, scholarship, and research in innovative ways to advance the public good and to foster the development of citizen-scholars. UK has a long history in this area and our work was recognized in 2015 when we became one of 361 Carnegie-classified community engagement institutions. One initiative that increased UK’s community outreach and impact was the creation of the Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Center.

The positioning of this center within both student and academic affairs (i.e., SAL) reflects the dual nature of the field, and therefore, includes learning that occurs both within the classroom and through activities that take students into the local community.

As you plan your courses for the upcoming academic year, I encourage you to consider the ways in which service learning and civic engagement might be integrated into your pedagogy. To learn more, please reach out to Katherine McCormick, the James W. & Diane V. Stuckert Endowed Professor in Service-Learning, or Todd Stoltzfus, Program Director for Civic Engagement.

Student Center

I had the opportunity to tour our new Student Center last week as we prepare for its grand opening. Impressive and amazing are words that don’t quite do justice to the space that will soon be available to our students. A few weeks ago, a plaque containing the poem “Seedtime in the Commonwealth” was installed near the gateway entrance. You can read this poem and learn more about its background here.

First-Year Experience

Work on the self-study portion of the Wildcat Foundations effort will be wrapping up shortly. The committees formed around the nine foundational dimensions associated with improving the first year at UK are providing their reports, and these will be integrated into a final self-study that will be shared with the UK community. This self-study will form the basis for an action plan that we will implement beginning with the incoming class next year.

Happy Spring!

Thank You, 


Greg Heileman
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life

I welcome any feedback you’d like to provide. Once again, my hope is that every complaint is accompanied by proposed solutions, and that we always remember to celebrate our successes. Please feel free to send your comments to


I hope everyone is well on their way to a highly successful and enjoyable spring semester. The University of Kentucky campus is currently celebrating Black History Month with a wide variety of opportunities for everyone to participate. 


Now that the drop/add date for this semester has passed, we can report a fall-to-spring semester retention rate of 93.7 percent for the first-year cohort that started at UK last fall. A tremendous campus-wide effort went into reaching this student success milestone. We should all take pride in this achievement as we all play a role in student success.
At the same time, we still have work to do.
Historically, a larger percentage of the first-year cohort fail to return for the following fall term.  Last year, our fall-to-fall retention rate for the 2016 first-time full-time freshman cohort was 83.3 percent (their fall-to-spring retention was 93 percent). 
The University of Kentucky has a goal 90 percent fall-to-fall retention for the 2019 first-year cohort, so the next few months will be critical as we continue our work together.

Freshman Experience

On January 19, we hosted a Student Success Summit to launch the Wildcat Foundations effort. Drew Koch, President and Chief Operating Officer at the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, provided a keynote address titled Redesigning Foundational Experiences for More Equitable First-Year Student Success
Drew provided a copy of his slides, and given the overflow audience, we also live streamed and recorded the talk. Following the talk, the more than 200 attendees broke up into subcommittees around the nine foundational dimensions associated with the Foundations of Excellence process that form the basis of the Wildcat Foundations effort.
If you’d like to participate, there is still time to get involved, please contact project director Grace Hahn.

College Party Culture

On college campuses around the country, including the University of Kentucky, there are ongoing conversations around how the college party culture affects the health and well-being of our students. Jason M. Lindo, Peter Siminski, and Isaac D. Swensen are economists who recently studied the mechanisms through which partying may increase the incidence of sexual assault.
Their results are presented in the paper College Party Culture and Sexual Assault. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 2018, 10(1): 236–265. 

CPR Training Saves Lives

In the case of cardiac arrest, the earliest intervention is crucial, and it’s something anyone can do. Campus Recreation and Wellness is offering free training that includes basic first aid, hands only CPR, along with an overview of the use of the automated external defibrillators (AEDs) located throughout campus. This training is intended to provide basic skills related to managing emergency situations; it does not lead to certification. Three identical training classes are scheduled for 8:30 am–10:30 am on Feb. 14, Feb. 28 and April 4.  All classes will be in Seaton Center, Room 119.
Please register using your Link Blue ID.  Classes are limited to 20 participants, so departments that want to do this as a group should register early for the same class. If you have any questions, please contact Ron Lee, Director, Campus Recreation and Wellness.

Verbal Judo

In Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion, Thompson and Jenkins describe this de-escalation training technique as a “martial art of the mind and mouth that can help you defuse confrontations and generate cooperation.”  They further note that “when you react, the event controls you. When you respond, you’re in control.”  Major Nathan Brown , a member of UK Police Department, will coordinate this training being offered to all SAL employees (but open to anyone) on Thursday, Feb. 15, from 9-11:30 a.m. and on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 8:30-11 a.m. in 200 McVey Hall. At the very least, if you operate a reception desk as a part of your unit, I hope that you will consider sending those who staff the desk to this training, but please feel free to send others as well.  Please RSVP your spot and indicate which session you plan to attend.


Thank You, 


Greg Heileman
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life

I welcome any feedback you’d like to provide. Once again, my hope is that every complaint is accompanied by proposed solutions, and that we always remember to celebrate our successes. Please feel free to send your comments to

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

- Margaret Mead


We Made It!

As with all good things, a semester must come to an end. I bid you warm salutations as we depart campus during this holiday season. May you experience a restful and joyful break with your friends and family. I look forward to working with you in the new year.

Student Success Summit

Mark your calendar, the Division of Student & Academic Life (SAL) will be hosting a campus-wide Student Success Summit on Jan. 8, 2018, 8 a.m. to Noon in the Hilary J. Boone Center. At this meeting, we will launch Wildcat Foundations , an effort that will re-examine the first-year experience at UK, and make recommendations on how we might further improve it. As a part of this meeting, we will gather the subcommittees (foundational dimensions) that will inform this effort throughout the remainder of the academic year. I encourage you to investigate the philosophies behind each of these foundational dimensions, and choose the one you believe best fits your skill set and interests. To reserve your spot at the Summit, please RSVP

Mental Health

The Student Health & Well-Being Unit within SAL is working with campus partners to establish training and educational outreach initiatives to address stress, anxiety, and depression among UK students. This initiative will begin by providing Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) certification opportunities to SAL staff, SAL student leaders, and campus partners.  MHFA empowers its participants with the skills “to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.”  The first round of full-day and half-day certification workshops will be held during Spring Break (March 12-16, 2018). 

Additionally, we are working to provide the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) full-day workshop to faculty, staff and student leaders.  MBSR helps people manage both daily stress and stress from chronic conditions, both physical and emotional.  We hope to have at least one faculty member from each college volunteer to receive MBSR and MHFA training. Further information and additional wellness projects will be discussed in future SALutations briefs, in emails from the Student Health & Well-Being Unit, and via social media outlets.  If you would like to get involved or contribute to these initiatives, please reach out to Assistant Provost Drew Smith:   

Student Center Co-Curricular Programming

We were gratified to receive a large number of responses to call for proposals. We’ll be working with the proposals teams within the colleges on the next steps in the design thinking proposal development process. You can follow our progress here

Feel free to send your comments to


Greg Heileman
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life

"Salutations!” said the voice.
Wilbur jumped to his feet. “Salu-what?” he cried.
"Salutations!” repeated the voice.
"What are they, and where are you?” screamed Wilbur. “Please, please, tell me where you are. And what are salutations?”
“Salutations are greetings,” said the voice. “When I say ‘salutations,’ it’s just my fancy way of saying hello or good morning.”
—E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web 


Living Learning Communities

At a recent meeting of the UK Living Learning Program (LLP) directors, Heather Carpenter reminded me of the timeless life lessons contained in E. B. White’s classic children’s book, Charlotte’s Web, and it also brought back fond memories of reading this book to my own children. 

Our LLP places students with similar interests or a common major together as “themed communities” within our residence halls. These students receive special programming adapted to each community. Studies have shown the efficacy of these residential communities in building belonging and fostering academic success. At UK, students participating in an LLP community are 8% and 15% more likely to be retained after their first years, as compared to students living in the residence halls or off campus, respectively.
Given this success, Nick Kehrwald, our Dean of Students, is working with Trisha Clement-Montgomery, Assistant Director for Academic Initiatives to investigate the possibility of extending LLP experiences beyond the first year. We will keep you updated as this work progresses.


It is with a mix of sadness and well wishes that we bid farewell to Provost Tim Tracy. I’m thankful for the brief opportunity I had to work with him, and for the groundwork he laid around the four pillars of academic excellence and student success. I’ve been impressed with the manner in which this framing of the student success imperative has been adopted across campus. The student success vision that Provost Tracy articulated was a compelling factor in my decision to come to UK, and I look forward to furthering his work in this area. In short, Provost Tracy leaves his office, and the institution, in a far better place as a result of having been here. As President Capiluto put it, the impact of Provost Tracy’s work is “deep and lasting.” The president is consulting with various constituents on campus, and will be announcing his plans for the Provost position shortly.

Events and Opportunities

Phil Harling, Director of the Gaines Center for the Humanities, is recruiting next year’s class of Gaines Fellows (the application can be found here). If you know of any 2nd-year students who might benefit from this opportunity, please encourage them to attend the information session from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 30 at Commonwealth House (226 East Maxwell Street). 

Call for Proposals

A call for proposals for the development of innovative student center programming went out this week. In efforts to foster empathetic student-centered designs, we also hosted a design thinking workshop that we hope will guide your efforts. Please view the highlight video to learn more. You can learn more about submitting a proposal here.

Continuing Conversations on Immigration

The Office of Institutional Diversity and the Provost Office are hosting a Continuing Conversations on Immigration, open to all, that will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14 in the Woodward Hall (Rm. 307) at Gatton College.   The event will consist of a series of concurrent sessions dealing with topics such as debunking stereotypes, DACA, immigrants as citizens, and compassionate cities. The event will conclude with a student panel moderated by Associate Provost Kathi Kern. 

Reaching Out

As we all know, the end of the semester can be a mentally and physically taxing time for both undergraduate and graduate students. It’s a good time, then, for us to reach out to them. Many students, when stressed, revert to ineffective coping mechanisms, such as defensive avoidance of studying or substance abuse, while others may operate at a significantly reduced capacity due to anxiety or negative emotions. Akgun and Ciarrochi demonstrated that students with high capabilities in “learned resourcefulness” are more effectively inoculated against academic stress, allowing them to earn higher grades. 
Faculty, too, can foster stress inoculation by managing their courses so that students have a clear idea of course expectations, by giving feedback on progress, and by providing students a degree of control over course activities. You may also wish to refer students to the broad range of services provided by the UK Counseling Center, if you feel it might benefit them.
Finally, keep in mind that even a small act of kindness can make a big difference in a student’s life, not to mention your own. Indeed, a timeless lesson found in many religions is that compassion itself is a source for your own happiness, or as Charlotte put it …

“… By lifting you, perhaps I was trying to lift my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”
—E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web 

Feel free to send your comments to


Greg Heileman
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life

“In the end, our goal must not be only to prepare students for careers, but also to enable them to live with dignity and purpose; not only to give knowledge to the student, but also to channel knowledge to humane ends. Educating a new generation of Americans to their full potential is still our most compelling obligation.”
—Ernest L. Boyer
President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (1979-1995)



Teaching and Research

We are approaching the 20-year anniversary of the Boyer Commission Report that sparked significant controversy in higher education. A number of high-profile faculty refused to endorse the report, and the president of the American Association of Universities was highly critical of its recommendations. The reflections of the surviving commission members are quite interesting, revealing how much undergraduate education has changed at research institutions over the past two decades.   
What was so controversial about the Boyer Commission Report?  It called for the “radical reconstruction of undergraduate education at research universities in the United States.”  The report contained essentially a student bill-of-rights, and urged research institutions to embrace their distinctive missions by making research an integral part of the baccalaureate experience by creating a new kind of undergraduate experience only available at research institutions. Specific recommendations included making research-based learning the standard, and constructing an inquiry-based freshman year, along with a number of other ideas that are now routinely practiced on our campus.
Today, the Office of Undergraduate Research at UK provides a wide variety of programs and activities in support of research-based learning across the disciplines. I encourage you to make your students aware of the grants and scholarships available to them, and faculty, please consider providing mentorship to undergraduate students as a part of your research agendas.
Regarding an inquiry-based freshman year, in my last brief, I mentioned the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. John N. Gardner served as the first director of that center, and he subsequently founded the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.  The Division of Student and Academic Life has engaged with the Gardner Institute, and will implement their Foundations of Excellence self-study improvement process over the next year. Grace Hahn will serve as the project director for this effort. Many of you have already offered to participate. We will make sure to include you as committees are organized over the next few months.

Curricular, Co-curricular, Extra-Curricular

What do these terms actually mean? Curriculum is a Latin word that means “the course of a race,” derived from currere, meaning “to run.” Today we use this term to refer to the specific set of degree requirements a student must complete to receive a degree. I’m sure our students sometimes feel the original definition is more appropriate. In my view, co-curricular activities must be an extension of the learning experiences associated with degree requirements. In other words, to be so-named, a co-curricular activity must be directly tied to the learning outcomes associated with a curriculum. Examples include undergraduate research opportunities, service learning, and internships. Extra-curricular activities, on the other hand, are activities that contribute to the development of the whole student, but are not directly tied to a given program’s learning outcomes. Examples include athletics, honor societies, and fraternity/sorority life.  I welcome your feedback and am interested to hear if you agree with my interpretation of these words. As always you can email me directly at

Design Thinking

Companies in Silicon Valley are employing design-thinking methodologies to spur the creativity necessary to generate innovative products. At Stanford University, the was built around the notion that people can use design to develop their creative potential. Design thinking is human-centered approach to problem solving that integrates the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for success necessary to generate innovative solutions. 

Design Thinking & Our New Student Center

We are taking a design thinking approach to facilitate the creation of co-curricular activities in UK’s new student center. We are actively seeking participation from those who have responsibilities within UK’s academic programs, and have set aside $200,000 to support their work. An information session on October 26 will include an introduction by Professor John Nash, director of UK’s Laboratory on Design Thinking in Education ( dLab ), to the design thinking methodology that will be used . In order to better understand the capabilities of the new student center, we have set up opportunities to tour the construction site on October 16 and October 24. Use this form to sign up and reserve your place on the tour, and the first design-thinking meeting.

Feel free to send your comments to


Greg Heileman
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life

Merriam-Webster.  Salutary [săl′yə-tĕr′ē]. Promoting or intended to promote an improvement or beneficial effect.

Salutary neglect was a term used in the 17th and 18th centuries by the British to refer to their policies of ignoring strict enforcement of parliamentary laws that were created to exert control over the American colonies. The end of salutary neglect was a major impetus for the American Revolutionary War.


First-year Experience

In higher education, the first-year student experience was historically characterized as one of salutary or benign neglect—the programming received by incoming students was thought to be helpful, but not much effort went into coordinating the overall experience or assessing its effectiveness. Salutary neglect of the first-year experience is no longer practiced at many colleges, serving to instigate an American student success revolution; however, one characterized more by cooperation than conflict. The roots of this revolution can be traced back to the 1970s, a time period of unrest and protest on college campuses around the country. At the University of South Carolina, President Thomas Jones sought to counter the divisions created by this turmoil through the creation of a new course designed to bond students to the institution and transform undergraduate teaching. A more intentional approach to the first-year college experience grew out of this vision, and today the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition continues to operate at the University of South Carolina.
A tremendous amount of work has gone into creating a more intentional first-year experience at UK, and the success of this effort speaks for itself. We are on track to report record retention and graduation rates this year.  Complacency, however, does not align with UK’s aspirational student success goals . There is more work to be done. The Student and Academic Life Division will be launching an effort to re-examine and further improve the first-year experience at UK. This work will incorporate the outstanding efforts that are already taking place in this area, while working to better coordinate them across campus. It is important to recognize that the first-year experience involves everyone at UK—anyone who interacts with first-year students, in any way, plays a role in their success. Thus, we will work to include faculty, staff and students from across campus in this endeavor. If you would like to be a part of this campuswide effort, contact us at, and please feel free to offer suggestions, resources and comments.


Our Influence

One of the most gratifying experiences for a faculty or staff member occurs when we are reminded that we made a difference in a student’s life. This sense of gratification is most tangible when a student reconnects after many years—to thank you for a class you taught, the mentorship you provided, or the kindness you showed. Sometimes your influence can profoundly change the course of a student’s life.
John Thomas Scopes was a student at UK during the 1920’s, providing him firsthand exposure to the efforts at UK (led by Professors William Funkhouser, Arthur Miller and Glanville Terrell, as well as President McVey) to preserve the right to teach evolution discussed in my last brief (link to last brief). Following graduation, while Scopes was working as a substitute teacher in Tennessee, he volunteered to be prosecuted under an anti-evolution law that was established there, leading to the eponymous “Scopes Monkey Trial.”  In Defending Darwin, current UK Biology Professor James J. Krupa cites a stirring homage to Professor Funkhouser taken from Scope’s memoir:
“Teachers rather than subject matter also rekindled my interest in science. I saw Dr. Funkhouser … was a man without airs, who could have passed for a grocer or some other businessman, but he taught zoology so flawlessly that there was no need to cram for the final examination; at the end of the term there was a thorough, fundamental grasp of the subject in bold relief in the student’s mind, where Funkhouser had left it.”
The Funkhouser Building is situated across from McVey Hall and houses UK’s Undergraduate Admission, Registrar, Financial Aid and Student Billing Offices.


Earlier this month the Trump Administration announced it will rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows those who entered the United States as minors to receive deferred action from deportation, along with eligibility to work. Congress was asked to develop a legislative solution before DACA is set to expire in six months. Please read President Capilouto’s message reaffirming The University of Kentucky’s commitment to and continued solidarity with our “DACA students” and their families during this time of uncertainty. In addition, the Dean of Students Office has created a central repository of resources available to those who might be impacted by these events.

Emergency Assistance 

If you know of any UK students whose lives have been significantly impacted by the multitude of hurricanes this year, please make them aware of the Emergency Assistance and Relief Fund that has been established to assist students facing financial emergencies. Please direct these students to the MoneyCATS team.

Feel free to send your comments to


Greg Heileman
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life

Merriam-Webster. Salutation [sal-yuh-tey-shuh n]. An expression of greeting, goodwill or courtesy.

Welcome to the first edition of SALutations, a bi-weekly brief from the Division of Student and Academic Life (SAL) at the University of Kentucky. As a part of the university’s commitment to openness and transparency, I will use these briefs to keep the university community informed about the work of SAL, and to solicit feedback regarding matters of student life and academic success.


On August 1, 2017, I began serving as the Associate Provost for SAL, reporting to Provost Tim Tracy. I came to UK from the University of New Mexico, where I spent 27 years on the faculty, moving from assistant to full professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. My last administrative appointment at UNM was as the Vice Provost for Teaching, Learning and Innovation. In this role I was responsible for leading and supporting strategic priorities related to teaching and learning, including a wide variety of student success initiatives. 

Why did I come here & what does SAL do?

A key objective in UK’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan is undergraduate student success, as measured by lofty retention and graduation rate goals. These goals also include a commitment to significantly narrow the graduation gap between the student population as a whole and select groups, including under-represented minorities, students who are the first in their family to attend college, and students who have significant financial needs. In order to reach these goals a number of strategic initiatives were articulated. UK leadership felt that in order to most effectively address these initiatives, a reorganization of the student-focused groups within the Provost Office was required ( see Transforming Academic Excellence). Provost Tracy described the need for the reorganization as follows, “today, we have too many islands of effort, where instead we need a seamless and integrated organizational structure among all our units in support of students and their success.” The full Herald-Leader story is here . The reason I chose to come to UK is simple, I believe in the student success vision that has been articulated, I recognized that the resources necessary to achieve it back the vision, and I was challenged by the bold goals that were set. Attainment of these goals will place UK among the top public universities in the United States.

In future briefs I will describe in more detail each of the units that comprise SAL, as well as the philosophies that guide our work.


The more things change, the more they stay the same. While reading a wonderful book about the history of Lexington, Lexington: Queen of the Bluegrass , by our very own Randolph Hollingsworth, I was intrigued to learn a few interesting facts about the name of the building I’m housed in, McVey Hall. Frank L. McVey was the third president of the University of Kentucky, serving this institution for 23 years, from 1917-1940. In 1921, a movement led by William Jennings Bryan attempted to pass a law making it illegal to teach evolution in Kentucky universities. President McVey put his job on the line by weighing in on the subject. His efforts contributed to the defeat of the anti-evolution bill by a 42-41 vote in the state legislature. Prof. Arthur Miller from the UK Department of Geology submitted an account of the proceedings that appeared in Vol. 55, Issue 1421 of Science on March 24, 1922. Contentious politics and razor-thin voting margins are not unique to our time. 

Academic Alerts

Early feedback is critical for students’ academic success, particularly first-year students. For students who miss a number of classes or have poor performance on a test or quiz, the submission of an alert is a critical part of that feedback. The new alert management system, ACT, allows UK to align students with academic resources, track interventions, and partner with offices across campus. Learn more. 

Hurricane Harvey. If you or your family have been impacted by this catastrophe, please visit this link for a list of the UK and non-UK resources available to you.

Thank you! The UK community has been incredible in welcoming my wife, Jeri, and me to Lexington. The warm and generous Wildcat welcome we have received makes it clear that UK is a very special place. We look forward to growing friendships and a life in Lexington. I welcome any feedback you’d like to provide. My hope is that every complaint is accompanied by proposed solutions, and that we also remember to celebrate our successes. Please feel free to send your comments to



Greg Heileman
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life