Every 10 years, the University of Kentucky undergoes a process of reaffirmation from The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the body that accredits institutions of higher education in the southern states. This week, a “site visit team” responsible for UK’s review will be on campus, discussing with me and many others the goals and aspirations we have for our University as well as evaluating the specific programs and processes we use to achieve them.
The process of reaffirmation is a critical one. As a practical matter, without accreditation the University of Kentucky cannot grant degrees, enroll students, or offer federal financial aid. Moreover, for UK this process provides an opportunity to engage in serious self-assessment. In an important sense, then, reaffirmation of our institution offers a point in time to reflect – reflect on what we have done and what we are planning to do as we seek to further our commitment to education, research and service during exciting, but challenging times.
One of the most important efforts that the accreditation team will be reviewing is our Quality Enhancement Plan or QEP -- one of 12 core mandatory requirements we have as part of this process. Our QEP is called "Presentation U.” It represents our commitment to work across the entire curriculum – from the liberal arts to the sciences – to provide students with opportunities to enhance their communications skills across a growing number of platforms and mediums.
In an increasingly complex, global economy, the ability to effectively communicate – through oral, written, visual and multimedia forms – in an integrated and resonant manner is a critical element in success. While many of our students utilize services throughout the university that can help enhance their skills in each of these areas, the idea of Presentation U is to bring greater collaboration and cohesion to our efforts. You can learn more about our QEP or Presentation U at: http://uknow.uky.edu/content/students-promote-presentation-u-uks-quality-enhancement-plan-0
A large number of people throughout our campus community have contributed time and energy to preparing for this review. I am deeply appreciative of their commitment, and I am looking forward to discussing with our important guests what we are doing to honor our Kentucky Promise as we approach 150 years of dedicated service to this state.