Over the past two decades, information technology has revolutionized our world and our work, as small, fast, cheap and interconnected digital devices make previously unimagined innovations possible. What was once intractable and unthinkable is now commonplace and can be done in the palm of the hand. Computers and information technology now play an indispensable role in every aspect of our lives.
Writing in the final days leading up to the 2012 presidential election, I am struck both by the importance of higher education to the presidential contest and the deep engagement of our College faculty and students with the election. As our nation debates its future, it is no surprise the future of higher education has become a key issue. Our future depends on increasing access to college; affordability of a college education and the availability of student loans are thus essential. Funding for research is equally essential.
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting all of our entering A&S students during the University’s K Week events, wherein we welcomed our largest undergraduate class ever. The official numbers are not in yet, but the University was set to enroll as many as 4700 new first-year students, up from 4100 last year. The total number of A&S majors is also set to achieve an enrollment high. As the College teaches 85% of all UK Core and 60% of all undergraduate students credit hours we will see almost all these new first-year students in our courses this fall.
The start of the new academic year has arrived. I am pleased to welcome our returning students back to UK’s College of Arts & Sciences.
And I am thrilled to have so many new students joining us.
The College of Arts and Sciences is the home of knowledge. It is the home of Aristotle and Plato. It is the home of Einstein and Galileo. It is the home of DuBois and Skinner. It is the home of Darwin and Goodall. It is the foundation of all professions, it is home to the scholarship, written communication, and quantitative reasoning of all major discoveries.
As the 2011-12 academic year comes to a close let me thank you for all the incredible work, dedication and commitment you have exhibited throughout the year. Without a doubt, our faculty and staff rival those at the most prestigious institutions in the country.
Students - don’t forget to check out and register for A&S summer classes. A&S is offering nearly 200 courses both online and campus-based for summer 2012. These courses are designed for students who want to make progress toward a UK degree over the summer, gain extra credit hours, explore new topics, and have flexibility with busy summer schedules. With courses ranging from anthropology and chemistry to political science and statistics, A&S has something for everyone.
The courses will be offered in two summer sessions:
I would like to remind everyone about the upcoming A&S Distinguished Professor Lecture on Thursday, April 12. This year’s lecture, “Seeking the Good Life in America: Lessons From the Appalachian Past,” will be given by Ronald Eller from the Department of History. The lecture will begin at 7:30pm at the W.T. Young Auditorium with a reception immediately following in the W.T. Young Gallery.
Please join us in honoring our 2011-2012 Distinguished Professor Ron Eller.
Greetings! UK basketball fever has hit campus and everyone is looking forward to the Final Four games. I was in China visiting Jilin University and Shanghai University and missed the first couple games of the NCAA tournament but managed to link my portable computer to my desktop in Lexington so I could watch them online. The computer kept me connected but for the Final Four games, I’m heading to NOLA to catch them live.
GIS (Geographic Information Services) is empowering new ways faculty can teach in their classrooms and the way students interact and learn. Nowhere is that more evident than in the Department of Geography. Jeremy Crampton and his class surveyed part of UK’s campus with a camera, 2-liter soda bottle, a balloon, rubber bands and string. Find out more about how a do-it-yourself project like this makes it easy to be an active participant in data collection.
Looking for some extra credit hours this semester? Don’t forget to check out our mid-semester, 2 credit-hour courses. This spring A&S is offering Passport to China, which is part of the larger Year of China programming, Community 101, Composing with Visuals, and the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
These classes are a great way to explore new topics and gain extra credit hours – for more information, contact your advisor.