Grawemeyer Hall
Grawemeyer Hall

The University of Louisville continues to provide market-driven learning experiences for its students. At its Dec. 6, 2023, meeting, the university’s Faculty Senate approved the creation of four new academic programs. Pending approval by the university’s Board of Trustees and the Council on Postsecondary Education, these programs will be offered in the fall 2024 semester.

The Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry is a rebranding of the Bachelor of Science in chemistry – biochemistry track program. This four-year undergraduate program will continue the interdisciplinary nature of the current biochemistry track with altered chemistry and biology course requirements to give students more options than the current B.S. chemistry program. Program Director Craig Grapperhaus said the new program considers the increase in demand for biochemistry studies as well as the lack of competition for such programs within Kentucky.

Associate Professor Martin O’Toole reported that the Master of Science degree in artificial intelligence in medicine will be a joint program between the J.B. Speed School of Engineering and the School of Public Health and Information Sciences. The online program will appeal to students with undergraduate degrees in engineering or public health as well as health care professionals who want to learn how to manage complex amounts of medical and public health data sets.

To meet the increasing workforce demand in Kentucky’s industrial base, the Bachelor of Science degree in applied engineering will fill the gap between traditional four-year engineering and two-year technician programs. Program Director Thomas Rockaway said the program will emphasize applied math and science skills directly relatable to industry. Some common job titles for applied engineering graduates include product development, manufacturing, product testing, technical sales and field service.

Provost Report 

Interim Provost Gerry Bradley presented the following leadership search updates.

  • Dean of the College of Education and Human Development: Search committee appointment letters have been sent. The committee will be charged in mid-January.
  • Dean of the School of Nursing: Semi-finalists have been selected. Semi-finalist interviews are scheduled for mid-January.
  • Dean of the College of Business: This dean search has been rescheduled to begin spring 2024.
  • Dean of the School of Medicine & EVP for Health Affairs: Search firm recently conducted stakeholder interviews on campus. This will be a combined role where the dean will also serve as the next executive vice president for health affairs. Names of faculty elected to the search committee have been submitted to the provost.
  • Vice Provost for ITS & Chief Information Officer: The position profile has been posted. There has been significant interest in the position, and the search committee is reviewing candidates. 

Bradley also reported that the new Strategic Enrollment and Retention Committee (SERC), which was created in August 2023, now has 17 members representing several facets of university operations with more members to be invited once subcommittees are established. The SERC will determine how to best update the 2018 Strategic Enrollment Management Plan so that it covers all key actions needed for the university to reach its new and aggressive student growth plans.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to demand attention from higher education. Formally charged in August 2023, UofL’s Committee on the Use of Generative Artificial Intelligence in UofL Academics now has a full complement of committee, subcommittee and steering committee members. The committee is assessing the potential applications and impact of ChatGPT and generative AI in academics and undergraduate/graduate student research at UofL. Bradley said that the committee is expected to complete its work and submit final recommendations in spring 2024. 

Other Faculty Senate News 

  • Faculty Senate Chair Eugene Mueller reported that he and other faculty are exploring opportunities for formalizing Faculty Senate input on university budget decisions. University President Kim Schatzel said that she is fully supportive of this effort because it strengthens the university’s commitment to shared governance and transparency. Further details are forthcoming.
  • Kevin Gardner, executive vice president for research and innovation, reported that the Research and Innovation Strategic Plan is in development and expects the plan to be ready to present by March 2024. 

Due to the holiday break, the January 2024 Faculty Senate meeting will take place Wednesday, Jan. 10, rather than Jan. 3. See the Faculty Senate website for meeting minutes, committee reports and other information.