I hope you are staying safe and healthy this afternoon and weekend. I would like to provide you with several updates.
We have learned, several times already this winter, that weather can rapidly change our plans.
I am so appreciative of the efforts of thousands of unsung heroes across UK who have worked to keep our campus safe during multiple bouts of inclement weather this winter season.
Facilities and grounds crews; student support teams; doctors, nurses and hospital staff; our safety and emergency operations teams — all of them have rallied to do remarkable work under trying circumstances.
I also know that, even when our campus is closed or on a delayed schedule, the daily work that is our mission continues — teaching and research, service and care. All those vital missions move forward, during both good and challenging weather.
Thank you to all those who keep our campus safe and functioning.
We also are working to communicate more regularly and more quickly about weather conditions. We will continue to keep you informed as conditions change or as inclement weather threatens. You can find the latest on our operational status at the UK home page or www.uky.edu/alerts.
The UK Story
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to do the thing I enjoy most — telling your story, a story of promise and progress you make possible for our Commonwealth.
In Atlanta, I met with donors and alums who love this institution and want to invest in the work you do in teaching, learning, research and care. They have left our state to live and work in other places, but Kentucky — and the impact of UK — has never left them.
Vice President for Student Success Kirsten Turner and I also met with regional and national reporters to talk about some of our specific efforts to help students succeed.
Initiatives such as UK LEADS — which targets unmet financial need — and the increasingly integrated support we provide to ensure the health and wellness of students are attracting national attention.
But more important than the attention is the fact that it signifies our efforts to help students — no matter who they are or where they are from — are working.
We are the university of, for and with Kentucky. The future we help create for our state — represented by the students we educate and prepare for life beyond our campus — is making a difference.
You make that possible.
The meetings were another reminder to me that we are many people. We come from many places. But we are one community working toward shared goals with a powerful purpose — to advance our state.
I also continue to be heartened by the efforts across our campus to keep our community healthy, safe and well.
To that end, please take note of the following important reminders:
The science is clear that booster shots are the best mechanism for warding off serious illness from COVID-19 and the Omicron variant.
We reached a more than 90 percent vaccination rate on this campus without a vaccine mandate.
We reached this important level of safety by working together and incentivizing healthy behaviors. We are taking the same approach with boosters. An incentive campaign with regular cash prize drawings began this week.
Anyone who is part of our campus, and has proof that they have been boosted, can enter. Here’s how:
Student Booster Incentive
Employee Booster Incentive
Masks continue to be required in all indoor campus spaces. You can learn more about the proper way to wear your mask here. If you see that people are not compliant with mask-wearing and want to report it, you have several options. Learn more here.
If you have not received your first vaccine, please make an appointment as quickly as possible. The vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 have occurred among the unvaccinated. Please take this crucial step to protect yourself and those around you.
Our campus continues to maintain a strong vaccination rate. This week’s numbers:
UK Community: 91.5%
Schedule your flu shot.
Health experts encourage everyone to get a flu shot. The flu is particularly harsh this season. Sign up for your flu shot today if you haven’t already. Learn more here.
I’m reminded each day of our commitment to each other. Thank you for playing your role in protecting our campus and advancing our mission.
This community gives me hope.
Eli Capilouto President