Professional News

Wims Honored With Staff Emeritus Title

photo of Jim Wims
Jim Wims was honored with the title of staff emeritus by the UK Board of Trustees. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2020) The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees conferred upon retired administrator Jim Wims the title of university staff emeritus during the board's meeting Dec. 15. Wims was honored for “his many years of service, dedication and loyalty to the University of Kentucky.”

He came to UK in 1996 and has served in numerous leadership roles including director of Residence Life, assistant and associate vice president for student affairs, senior assistant provost in the Office of Student and Academic Life, interim dean of students and interim director of Dining Services. Most recently he served as acting assistant vice president for Auxiliary Services and interim executive director for the Gatton Student Center.

During an introduction of Wims at the board meeting, UK President Eli Capilouto described Wims as “quiet and unassuming” but always being a “strong voice and advocate for our students.”

“Throughout his career he has been recognized for his primary focus of serving students,” Capilouto said about Wims. “His philosophy includes a ‘take the high road’ attitude, coupled with the notion that you should always do the right thing, and students must always be the top priority in any decision-making.”

With Wims’ retirement, Andrew Smith will serve as interim assistant vice president for Auxiliary Services. He will oversee the Gatton Student Center, UK Bookstore, UK Postal Services, Housing and Dining. Smith most recently served in the Office for Student Success as assistant provost for student well-being.

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.