Campus News

UK Campus Walk: How Dean Arnett is Growing the College of Public Health

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 24, 2019) – Light bulbs turned on in Donna Arnett’s head when she discovered the field of epidemiology. Since joining the University of Kentucky in 2015 as the dean of the UK College of Public Health, Arnett has led faculty and staff who have turned on the light bulbs of the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in their programs.

Growth is important to Dean Arnett. Since coming to UK, she’s seen the field of public health grow in popularity and has seen the college outgrow its current space. “We have the fastest growing undergraduate program at UK,” she said. “I think the reason public health is so popular is that it’s a broad field that encompasses very basic science in the form of toxicology and genetics, mathematics and statistics, to things like policy and how we create the right financial structures to support health systems in the country.”

Soon, this college and its students, faculty and staff will have a new home in the middle of campus in Scovell Hall. Currently, faculty and staff offices are in various places on- and off-campus. For the first time, the college will have a building meant for their needs that can house everyone. “We’ve been existing in many different buildings on campus. This is going to bring us all under one roof for the very first time, where we have classrooms with our students and our faculty all together in one place,” Arnett said.

By growing its space, the College of Public Health is growing the number of people who can address health issues affecting the Commonwealth such as addiction, cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke and a host of other illnesses.

Watch the video above to learn how Arnett and her staff hope to contribute to a public health work force that is dedicated, capable and passionate about serving others.

This video is part of a bi-monthly UKNow series called "Campus Walks." The idea is to get out of the office and onto campus with members of the UK community, so UKNow can have in-depth, authentic conversations about the university with the people working so hard to advance its mission of education, research and service.

If there is someone on campus you would like to see featured in a future "Campus Walks," email us

This is a photo of UK College of Public Health Dean Donna Arnett.
This is a photo taken from the Campus Walk with Dean Donna Arnett
This is a photo of UK College of Public Health Dean Donna Arnett
This is a photo from a College of Public Health event focusing on substance use recovery.
This is a photo of students attending a College of Public Health event focusing on substance use recovery
This is a photo from a Public Health event focusing on substance use recovery

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for," and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.