The APLU on June 24 named UofL and 17 other public universities to its 2015 class of “Innovation & Economic Prosperity Universities.” The designation acknowledges universities working with public and private sector partners to support economic development through innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, workforce development and community development.

Each university received the designation after conducting a thorough self-review with outside stakeholder input and submitting an application that went through an independent review process. Clemson University, University of Arizona and University of South Florida are among the designees. For a list of all the universities in the class, go to

“This designation shows the role that the university plays in our community in fostering economic growth, job creation, innovation and commercialization of research,” said UofL President James Ramsey. “It underscores what it means to be a metropolitan research university.”

Eugene Krentsel, UofL’s associate vice president for research and innovation, added that the designation makes the university “a partner of choice in innovation and economic development for our community – local, national and global.”

Each of the 18 university designees identified three areas of strength in economic development and described programs in these areas. For UofL, the economic engagement enterprise consists of three aspects: community collaboration to identify university and regional strengths, such as health care talent and innovation; investment in research, clinical and academic programs that build on these strengths and generate research funding; and support of a network of units that help to commercialize innovations discovered by our researchers and to develop products that benefit society.

“Public universities serve as economic engines for their local communities and states by conducting cutting-edge research to reach new breakthroughs and developing the talent to help existing businesses grow stronger and enabling new ones to develop and thrive,” APLU President Peter McPherson said.

John Karman, III
John Karman joined the Office of Communications and Marketing in 2014 after a 20-plus year career as a Louisville journalist. He has served as director of media relations since 2015. In that role, he answers reporters’ inquiries and is the university’s main spokesperson. John was a reporter for Business First of Louisville from 1999 to 2013. There, he won numerous awards from the Louisville chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists and American City Business Journals, parent company to Business First. John can die happy after seeing the Chicago Cubs win the 2016 World Series, although he would also enjoy another title.