Professional News

UK to Present at 2021 Association for Institutional Research Forum Virtual Event

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 19, 2021) — The University of Kentucky Institutional Research, Analytics, and Decision Support (IRADS) team is sharing its expertise internationally next week with other universities that will allow new student admissions without ACT and SAT scores.

UK made the decision earlier this year to implement a test-optional policy for admissions to accommodate those students who may have challenges completing standardized tests due to COVID-19. This policy required alternative data to be considered for a variety of decision points including admissions, academic readiness, prerequisite determination, institutional aid, and more. Using criteria like high school GPA, a new model needed to be created for the student admissions process. 

The IRADS team developed a predictive model for which levels of high school GPA and which high school courses are best used to compare to previously relied on data like standardized test scores. This model, with collaboration from other teams including Enrollment Management, Transformative Learning, and various academic colleges, was implemented for the Fall 2021 admissions cycle. 

This new model was presented at the Kentucky Association for Institutional Research (KAIR) in November 2020 and will be offered again as an on-demand presentation at the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) Forum Virtual event May 25-28. The presentation, given by Adam Lindstrom and Chris Thuringer, will detail UK’s predictive model at one of the largest global gathering of higher education professionals working in institutional research, assessment, planning, and related postsecondary education fields. 

For more details on the AIR Forum Virtual event, visit their website at

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.