UofL is progressing despite ‘new reality’ in higher ed, Ramsey says


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville will not waver from its mission to be a force for positive societal change despite a “new reality” in higher education, UofL President James Ramsey said today in his annual State of the University address.

    Ramsey said the university continues to do more with less public funding at the same time it faces higher public expectations, a changing college education market and lower public confidence in the academy due to scandals at other institutions.

    Over the past year, UofL continued to improve its graduation rate and enroll “the very best students,” increased the number of Ph.D. degrees awarded, moved into the prestigious Atlantic Coast Conference and used research funding to offset shrinking federal funding and the loss of earmarks and stimulus money, he said.

    “We, individually and collectively, understand the importance of our teaching, our research and our work in the community” Ramsey said, adding that UofL would not “ring the bell” – a reference to a Navy SEAL in training ringing a bell to indicate a wish to give up.

    Ramsey praised UofL’s faculty, staff and students, promising the university would push forward with its “University of the 21st Century– initiative, a plan to identify niche areas of excellence, promote multidisciplinary collaboration and streamline administrative functions. He acknowledged that the changes might be frustrating at times, but encouraged faculty and staff to draw inspiration from students like recent UofL graduate Tracy Norman, who had little hope of going to college but was inspired by a chance meeting with Ramsey seven years ago.

    “We have not even met all the Tracy Normans that are counting on us,” he said, adding, “We will never forget that our students are why we exist.”

    The State of the University address is available in its entirety at stateoftheuniversity.com/

    Mark Hebert
    Following a 28-year career as a radio and television reporter, Mark Hebert joined the University of Louisville as the Director of Media Relations in 2009, serving as the main spokesperson. In 2015, Mark was named Director of Programming and Production. He’s now producing and hosting a radio show about “all things UofL”, overseeing the university’s video and TV productions and promoting UofL’s research operation. Mark is best known for his 22 years as the political and investigative reporter for WHAS-TV in Louisville where he won numerous awards for breaking stories, exposing corruption and objectively covering Kentucky politics. In 2014, Mark was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.