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Dear Colleagues,

Serving as your provost is an honor. For the past two years, you have taught me, inspired me and reminded me why the University of Kentucky is truly a remarkable place.

Your dedication to our students, each other, your research, your service and this Commonwealth is unmatched.

For the past eight months, Dr. Eric Monday and I have served our health care enterprise as acting co-executive vice presidents for health affairs. As you know, President Capilouto asked us to expand our roles and continue serving in this capacity on a permanent basis, as well as our current roles. I also will continue serving you as provost.

As provost, I believe this appointment creates greater opportunity to integrate and align further our academic, research, service and health care missions, with a focus on continuing to advance Kentucky in all we do. Doing so will strengthen us for the good of the Commonwealth and beyond. To improve what we do to serve our campus, we have strengthened multiple areas.

In fact, we are enhancing our academic mission regarding the role of the provost as UK’s chief academic officer. We are expanding our ability to serve all colleges and faculty in a more timely and comprehensive manner. For example, we have charged our Office for Faculty Advancement to enrich our efforts in supporting all faculty development as well as leadership development. Additionally, a new role in our office will be the vice provost and dean liaison, which will provide more frequent connections to all colleges, ensuring you have the support you need to achieve our mission to advance Kentucky. I will continue to meet regularly with college leadership, and I will provide more opportunities for you to share your experiences with me through town halls for all colleges throughout this academic year. Enhancing communication will be a top priority. Also, we will strengthen key initiatives to expand what we do in our academic efforts.

As an example, our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), called TEK (Transdisciplinary Educational approaches to advance Kentucky), is a key initiative, focusing on our students and instructors. I will continue to oversee this program with its director, Dr. Susan Cantrell, as they increase opportunities to build critical employability skills; connect our students to industry partners; and provide opportunities for our faculty through the Faculty Fellows program.

Additionally, we are growing our academic mission within the university’s health system. As part of this strategic refresh, we have prioritized what we are as an academic health system and advanced subspecialty care, so no Kentuckian has to leave the state to receive care. We will work with all colleges, both health care and non-health care focused colleges, to develop collaborations for new educational, research and service opportunities with colleagues in the health care system.

These efforts will continue to transform our campus. The opportunity to bring together people from every corner of our campus in a transdisciplinary manner will ensure we enrich the Commonwealth through our education, research, service and clinical care.

As always, and especially throughout this time of transition, do not hesitate to reach out to your college leadership or the Office of the Provost.

Thank you for all you do.

Robert S. DiPaola, MD

Provost and Co-Executive Vice President for Health Affairs