Campus News

Simmons College, UK announce partnership

Photo of Cosby and DiPaola
Photo of Cosby and DiPaola

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 19, 2023) — Louisville’s only historically Black college or university (HBCU), Simmons College of Kentucky, announced a partnership Tuesday, Jan. 17, with the University of Kentucky. The announcement came on the campus of Simmons inside of the Heritage Room. A space devoted to reflecting the rich history of the institution through photos.

Simmons College President Kevin W. Cosby and UK Provost Robert DiPaola sat together at a table and and signed a “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)” which outlines how this partnership will work.

"The magnitude of this partnership’s potential to make change is unprecedented," said DiPaola. "We know there is tremendous promise in the idea of the University of Kentucky and Simmons College of Kentucky working together, guided by our shared commitment to students and service. The collaborative, transdisciplinary, interconnected nature of this agreement stands at the core of how we will move forward together."

UK and Simmons College have entered into a dynamic “mission meeting moment” collaboration to open and broaden pathways for more students as they pursue educational and career goals as well as further professional and personal development, per the MOU.

Key focal points of the partnership include:

  • UK and Simmons College establishing collaborative opportunities for students of both institutions to further professional and personal development.
  • The collaboration will initially focus on educational and career opportunities for Simmons College students through programs with three UK colleges: The J. David Rosenberg College of Law, the College of Arts and Science and the College of Education.
  • Examples of potential collaborative opportunities for discussion with the J. David Rosenberg College of Law Include:
    • An exploration of a series of invited keynote speakers, live courtroom proceedings and selected student organization events with Simmons.
    • Hosting Simmons students for potential pre-law programming by the Law Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Student Advisory Board.
    • Participation in UK’s “Law Student for a Day” event.
    • J. David Rosenberg College of Law faculty and administrators’ attendance at Simmons for seminars and presentations on topics such as Civil Rights and Constitutional Law.

Simmons Chief of Staff J. Michael Brown, who also served as executive cabinet secretary under the administration of Gov. Andy Beshear and justice secretary for eight years under former Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration, will lead the pre-law and constitutional studies concentration at Simmons. He says the purpose of this collaboration is to not teach law, but to get students to start thinking about it.

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.