Campus News

Blue Ribbon Committee on Graduate Education to Hold Two Forums

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 16, 2017) —  Through the leadership of a faculty-led development committee, the University of Kentucky is undertaking a dramatic effort to re-envision and enhance graduate education and the graduate student experience.

As part of this continuing process, the Blue Ribbon Panel on Graduate Education will hold two forums Tuesday, Oct. 24,, with faculty and graduate students.  These forums will be held from 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and 4–5:30 p.m. in the Lexmark Public Room of Main Building on UK's campus. 

The Blue Ribbon Panel has been charged by the provost and the University Senate to evaluate the graduate student experience and develop a vision for UK’s mission in respect to graduate education for the next 10-15 years.  Their work aligns with the university’s Strategic Plan objective to: “strengthen the quality and distinctiveness of our graduate programs to transform our students into accomplished scholars and professionals who contribute to the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world through their research and discovery, creative endeavors, teaching, and service.”

To accomplish this, the panel has focused on four themes: the Graduate Student Experience, Assessment & Evaluation, Infrastructure, and Growth & Innovation.  

“The purpose of these forums is two-fold,” said Blue Ribbon Panel Co-chairs Carl Mattacola (Health Sciences) and Brett Spear (Medicine). "Our first goal is to provide an update on panel activities and summarize several areas of focus that are being discussed and evaluated. These foci have come from (1) meetings with directors of graduate studies, (2) analysis of graduate programs at benchmark and peer institutions and (3) results from the survey that took place last spring.”

The results from the survey can be found at:

According to Mattacola and Spear, the second goal of these forums is to gain feedback, particularly in regard to how UK can: 

  1. Improve analytics capacity.
  2. Streamline program evaluations for improvement (including a greater role for Graduate Council).
  3. Improve resources for the Graduate School to more effectively impact the graduate student experience.
  4. Enhance nimbleness (decrease barriers) to foster innovation and interdisciplinary initiatives.
  5. Increase opportunities for professional development.
  6. Improve student funding (housing, health care) to enhance student quality of life and be more competitive in attracting students.

If you have any questions about the forums or the Blue Ribbon Panel’s work, please reach out to the co-chairs, or visit the website, which includes a form for gathering important feedback: