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

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.