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. Public research universities, including the University of Kentucky, are responsible for more than sixty percent of the nation’s academic research and educate over seventy percent of the scientists, engineers, doctors, and professionals that we produce in this country. Continued public investment in our basic and applied research is therefore essential to the health, prosperity, and technological advancement of our nation.
The College of Arts & Sciences encourages our students to learn, grow and challenge themselves studying abroad. Education Abroad at UK offers students the opportunity to choose from dozens of programs - and to go almost anywhere in the world. No matter the continent or country, education abroad is the experience of a lifetime. There are programs to match every personality and budget, too. Traveling abroad has had a profound impact on my life, and I know that exploring the world will do the same for our students.
A recent article released by the Associated Press and featured in the Lexington Herald-Leader highlights the work of Dr. Bill Jansen and the United States Agency for International Development in Zimbabwe. Dr. Jansen, an anthropology graduate and A&S Hall of Fame inductee, is currently working as a senior American advisor in Africa to combat the AIDS epidemic. A growing problem in both Zimbabwe as well as South Africa, Jansen’s group is part of a program funded by the United States which is promoting circumcision to reduce the number of new AIDS cases.
Jansen’s work is a prime example of the social responsibility we hope to instill in future A&S graduates – both to their local communities and beyond – as they move forward in their own lives and careers. To read more about the Zimbabwe program and Jansen’s work, click here.
This semester, distinguished alumni from the College of Arts and Sciences shared their thoughts on how current and prospective UK students can get the most out of their college experience. To hear what they have to say, listen to their podcast on our Envision 2020 website.
To begin, on Wednesday, October 20th, Distinguished Professor Ernie Yanarella will be giving a lecture. The following Friday, October 22nd, marks the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which celebrates the accomplishments of the A&S family.
Finally, A&S is hosting a Tailgate party before the kickoff against the Georgia Bulldogs. Join us for food, fun, and live music as we mark the midpoint of another productive semester.
There are going to be a lot of opportunities to foster international understanding this year. "South Africa & Kentucky: Different Lands, Common Ground," will provide the campus community as well as the general public with a closer look at the two societies’ rich histories and present-day conditions. The South Africa and Kentucky program covers topics across disciplines and formats: there will be a series of films shown, book reading groups, lectures and other presentations are slated for the 2010-2011 academic year, in addition to a course on South Africa and Kentucky.
The connections between South African history and the history of Kentucky will be explored throughout the coming year. South Africa has undergone one of the largest and most recent revolutions in our time. During this academic year, some of South Africa’s greatest social and political heroes will come to campus to interact with our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community.
I am thrilled to welcome a high caliber class of new faculty to the College this fall. Arts & Sciences is fortunate to have 42 new faculty (professors and lecturers) joining us as the semester starts. Over the next few blogs, I hope to acquaint readers with some new additions to the A&S team.
Allow me to introduce these new faculty members in the Department of Philosophy.