President Kim Schatzel addresses the campus community on Sept. 5 at the UofL School of Music Comstock Concert Hall.
President Kim Schatzel addresses the campus community on Sept. 5 at the UofL School of Music Comstock Concert Hall.

University of Louisville President Kim Schatzel made her first campus-wide address Sept. 5, outlining eight priorities that she and her leadership team will tackle as she begins her first full semester as president. Many of these top goals are the direct result of more than 40 listening sessions she hosted during her first months in office.

“More than 1,200 people — students, staff, faculty, alumni, donors, business and community partners, legislative leaders in Frankfort and D.C. — participated in those sessions,” said Schatzel, who began her tenure at the university in February and will be inaugurated Sept. 29. “I hope that you take away from my remarks that I did not just listen, but that I heard from you during my listening sessions and that I’m committed to these eight presidential priorities.”

The eight priorities are:

  1. To improve communications on our campus and trust in our community;
  2. To enhance UofL’s research and innovation enterprise;
  3. To advance inclusion and institutional equity;
  4. To realize student success inclusive of all students;
  5. To establish “systemness” by standardizing and centralizing key systems and processes throughout the university;
  6. To retell UofL’s contemporary story. “We are no longer a commuter school,” she said, calling UofL a “university with international impact and influence, an anchor institution for Louisville and Kentucky, and renown for our excellence in collegiate athletics.”
  7. To create a coordinated community engagement plan to focus efforts for the best impact and become the foundation of UofL’s 2024 application for recertification as a Carnegie Community Engaged Institution.
  8. To begin addressing concerns from the recently released faculty/staff compensation study. Reiterating that she is firmly committed to a deadline of Oct. 1 to present an initial plan that will address some concerns, she said, “Despite how we got there, addressing those concerns is now my responsibility.”

Schatzel also pointed to three items from the 2023-25 Strategic Plan approved by the Board of Trustees earlier this year.

The first is the five-year Undergraduate Success Plan to advance inclusive student success and raise UofL’s six-year graduation rate from 62% to 70%. The plan also focuses on eliminating completion gaps for several demographic groups, such as Pell-eligible students who graduate approximately 10 percentage points below the overall student population.

The second is to complete and begin implementation of an Institutional Equity and Inclusion Plan that emphasizes UofL’s commitment “that all members of our community — inclusive of all identities, demographics, life experiences, abilities and ideologies — will be welcomed and supported so they can thrive and reach their fullest potential.”

Finally, she highlighted the new Five-year Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Plan. It is aimed at retaining UofL’s coveted status as a Carnegie R-1 Doctoral Institution with very high research activity by using benchmarks from other members of the Association of American Universities (AAU). The AAU is made of the nation’s 71 leading research institutions.

“This is indeed one of the greatest universities in our nation and has created tremendous opportunity for thousands of students through the transformative education UofL offers,” she said. “… UofL graduates teachers, police officers, doctors, legislative leaders, entrepreneurs, pastors, engineers, accountants, artists, musicians and farmers. All our neighbors. … There is much to be proud of here at UofL and working together, there is indeed further greatness in our future.”

View photos from the Sept. 5 campus update event on UofL’s Flickr.

Watch the entire address: