Members of the University Community,
As you know, we have spent the last several weeks in a deliberative process to identify our next Provost. I am grateful to the approximately well over 100 people – trustees; deans; direct reports to me and to the Provost; faculty, staff, and student leaders; senior staff in UK HealthCare; the co-chairs of the various strategic planning committees; attendees at the recent candidate forums; and countless others - who have provided advice to me during this process. I also am very grateful to the members of the Provost Search Committee who committed long hours in a short time frame to review applications, interview candidates, and provide counsel to me. We implemented a time-sensitive, but thorough and thoughtful process.
I am pleased that Dr. Tim Tracy, Dean of our College of Pharmacy, has accepted my offer to be our next Provost. He will begin his formal service as Provost on Monday, February 23. As I have noted to you in previous correspondence, there are several pressing issues facing our University that require immediate attention:
- Strengthening our work in undergraduate student retention and graduation;
- Strengthening our graduate and professional education efforts;
- Advancing our research enterprise;
- Fostering with greater urgency an inclusive campus environment that celebrates the multitude of backgrounds, identities, and perspectives;
- Further refining and completing our next Strategic Plan;
- Implementing a new financial model; and
- Selecting deans for the colleges of Dentistry, Design, Medicine, and Public Health.
Dr. Tracy will begin immediately the conversation about interim leadership in the College of Pharmacy.
Dr. Tracy received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Ohio Northern University; his Ph.D. in clinical pharmacy from Purdue University; and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical pharmacology at Indiana University. After serving on the faculty at West Virginia University and the University of Minnesota (where he also served as department chair), Dr. Tracy became Dean of our nationally ranked College of Pharmacy in August 2010. From April 2012 until August 2013, Dr. Tracy served as our Interim Provost. He has published almost 100 scientific manuscripts, more than 15 book chapters and edited two books. He has been principal investigator and co-investigator on numerous grants funded by the National Institutes of Health and other agencies. He also holds two patents.
I know you join me in congratulating Dr. Tracy. I know you also join me in thanking Dean David Blackwell for his interest in the opportunity to serve as Provost, his willingness to participate in our public conversation about the position, and his tireless commitment to the Gatton College of Business and Economics and the University of Kentucky. I was gratified that nearly all of the feedback I received about our two finalists praised them both for their talent, commitment, and capacity to succeed in the role. This was not an easy decision.