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.

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.