I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Christine Riordan has accepted my offer to serve as Provost for the University of Kentucky.
Dr. Riordan, who is currently Dean of the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, will begin her service with us at the start of the Fall semester, subject to approval of her appointment by the Board of Trustees at its May 14 meeting.
We had a rich pool of candidates for this critically important position, a reflection of your quality and our reputation for excellence at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Riordan’s candidacy stood out for so many people I talked with for a number of reasons: her compelling communications skills; her deep understanding of higher education’s future and how she has led a college to prominence; and the sense of excitement her candidacy generated as she discussed her commitment to working collaboratively as we build upon our missions of education, research and service.
I want to thank the search committee, co-chaired by Mike Reid and Charley Carlson. They labored for 10 months, and in doing so, they exemplified the best of what we are as an institution – a group of scholars, professionals and outstanding students, working in partnership to achieve an outstanding result.
So many others contributed observations and input on this important announcement, including members of our Board of Trustees, our Deans and senior administration, the Faculty Senate Council, the leadership of the Staff Senate, and our Student Government Association, along with many of you who participated in forums through your attendance and thoughtful questions.
I also want to thank Dean Tim Tracy, who for the last year has served as Interim Provost. Of course, Tim has been anything but an “interim” provost. In addition to his outstanding leadership and continued collaboration with deans, he has continuously provided wise and trusted counsel to me on every important issue confronting our institution. He also has continued to lead our efforts to develop a new values-based financial model and all the while, he has continued – along with his senior team – to provide leadership to the College of Pharmacy.
Dr. Riordan, among many things, was impressed by the vitality and sense of commitment she saw in our campus during both her research about us and her visit with us last week. As those of you who met her can tell, Dr. Riordan is already passionate about this institution – our responsibility to enroll Kentuckians and see that they graduate; our deeply rooted sense of commitment to service as part of our land-grant mission; and our potential as a first-tier research institution to play a leading role in public higher education at a time when, more than ever, we need to be at the forefront of addressing the incredible challenges faced by our state, country and world.
Dr. Riordan and her family are excited about joining our community in the coming months. I know you join me in welcoming them to UK.
It has been a year of tremendous accomplishment on many levels for our institution – from research that continues to push the boundaries of discovery; service that changes lives and transforms communities; and teaching and scholarship that helps fuel the imaginations and potential of outstanding student scholars.
We have much to be proud of and yet there is still much to do.
I am continually renewed and energized by the idea that it is work that we will do together.
Thank you and "see blue."