U of L announces arrival of new health science administrator Monday, Mar 30 2020 

By Madelin Shelton —

The University of Louisville’s Office of Communications and Marketing announced the arrival of Cynthia Clemons to the position of Assistant Vice President for Financial Planning, Reporting and Operations for Health Sciences March 20.

Clemons was hired Nov. 1, 2019, and has over two decades of experience in clinical practice and revenue cycle management, budget and revenue planning and finance. She is experienced in maintaining financial security within education, biomedical research and healthcare.

Clemons’s role requires her to work with the deans of several U of L schools, including the schools of dentistry, public health, nursing and medicine, along with other units of the Health Science Center. In her collaborative work with these schools, Clemons provides operational strategic leadership.

She is also assigned to oversee the Health Sciences Center’s process for university-based budget planning and ensuring compliant and smooth operations. She works directly under the U of L Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Dan Durbin.

Prior to coming to U of L, Cynthia worked at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio as senior director for finance and administration in the Long School of Medicine.

She performed financial oversight of over 38 clinical and basic science departments that had a collective revenue budget of over $700 million. In addition, she worked as an executive partner to the Office of Human Resources.

Cynthia’s education includes a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration from Texas Women’s University and a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration from Texas Southern University.

She is currently a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Medical Group Management Association. Cynthia also serves as a big sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Photo Courtesy by The University of Louisville

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U of L announces summer 2020 classes will only be offered online Friday, Mar 27 2020 

By Eli Hughes–

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi announced March 27 that all classes for the summer 2020 term will be delivered online.

This announcement comes after U of L’s decision to move spring 2020 classes online for the remainder of the semester in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We have been working closely with all our academic deans to make sure we stay adaptive to change and that we continue to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all of our campus community,” Bendapudi said in the email announcement to students, faculty and staff.

Students who were planning on enrolling in classes that are traditionally held in person will be able to pay lower tuition for those classes. These new rates apply only to classes for the 2020 summer semester and can be found on a document attached to Bendapudi’s email.

Students who are already enrolled in an online degree program will not be affected by these changes. More information on the changes to summer classes can be found on U of L’s summer term website.

Enrollment dates will not be changed by this decision. Priority registration is still March 31 for both summer and fall classes.

The Delphi Center will continue to provide support to instructors as they change their in-person courses to online courses.

Bendapudi ended this announcement with words of encouragement to the campus community. “This continues to be a time of monumental change,” Bendapudi said. “We are grateful to be part of a community that continues to rally together to get the job done.”

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L suspends searches for provost and A&S dean Friday, Mar 27 2020 

By Eli Hughes —

Interim Dean of College of Arts and Sciences David Owen announced March 23 that the University of Louisville’s search for a new A&S dean and a new provost will be suspended until the fall due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Owen said in the email announcement that the searches are suspended because it is not currently possible to conduct in-person interviews for the jobs.

“I count myself fortunate to lead A&S during these trying times—you all have truly demonstrated the Cardinal spirit in the past few weeks, and it is this spirit that makes us a community of care, and a family,” Owen said.

Owen shared in the email that he would stay on as interim dean until a new dean is selected. John Karman, director of media relations for U of L, confirmed that Provost Beth Boehm will also remain in her position until the new provost is selected.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L suspends all nonessential research activity Wednesday, Mar 25 2020 

–By Eli Hughes

Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation Kevin Gardner announced in an email March 24 that the University of Louisville’s nonessential research will be required to temporarily stop all activity.

This announcement comes after Gardner requested March 15 that nonessential research projects slow down their activity.

Gardner expressed in the email that this decision would affect U of L’s research projects. “We recognize the significant impact that this suspension of non-essential research activities will have on the progress of your research programs,” Gardner said.

“However, it is critical that we minimize our on-campus research density at this time in order to prevent the continued spread of the coronavirus and to protect the health of ourselves and of our university and greater community.”

This suspension requires researchers to stay away from their on-campus workspaces and stop research activity completely by March 26.

Under these guidelines, researchers are not permitted to remove research materials from campus without permission from the dean or vice president of the department. Researchers are permitted to work from home using lab notebooks and data from computers.

Exceptions to this research suspension apply to research that would lose valuable data or pose a health or safety risk if suspended. A full list of criteria for suspension exceptions can be found on the College of Arts and Science’s emergency resource website.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L adds pass/fail option for the spring 2020 semester Friday, Mar 20 2020 

By Eli Hughes–

University of Louisville Provost Beth Boehm announced in an email to students March 20 that students now have the option to make any of their classes for the spring 2020 semester pass/fail.

A pass/fail system means that no matter the letter grade, a class that a student passes will not affect their grade point average but will be counted toward their degree progression. A failed class will affect their grade point average.

Undergraduate students who choose this option will earn a grade of “pass” for any class they get a D- or better in and a “fail” grade for any class they get an F in. Graduate students will earn a “pass” for any class they get a C- or better in and a “fail” for any class they get a D+ or below in.

Boehm explained the decision to offer a pass/fail class as a way to redefine what success means in a time where things are uncertain due to the spread of COVID-19.

“Success might mean something different this semester than it would in a ‘normal’ semester: it might mean not giving up when you are tempted to; it might mean finishing all of the courses you signed up for without stressing about grades; it might mean practicing social distancing to keep yourself and others safe and healthy; it might mean finding out that you are stronger than you thought,” Boehm said.

This decision came after students raised concerns about the switch to online classes for the remainder of the semester. One student, Chidum Okeke, started an online petition to persuade U of L administration to provide a pass/fail option.

That petition had 3,751 signatures at the time the decision was made. In his petition, Okeke explained why he felt a pass/fail system would be beneficial. “U of L students are driven and passionate, but under these circumstances, the amount of work and engagement can be exhausting and potentially detrimental to the success of our student body,” Okeke said.

“Giving students the option to make their classes pass/fail wouldn’t discourage students from doing well academically, but rather, would allow some cushion for those in tough situations.”

Boehm suggested that students talk to their advisors before deciding to switch to pass/fail or not. The decision can be made on a class by class basis and the deadline to switch a class to pass/fail is April 21, the last day of class.

Boehm attached the university’s official pass/fail policy to the email and said it will also be put on the U of L coronavirus website.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L in the midst of a hiring freeze during COVID-19 crisis Friday, Mar 20 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

Amid all of the craziness surrounding the COVID-19 virus, the University of Louisville has placed a faculty hiring freeze in place.

U of L spokesman John Karman confirmed this. “All hiring is paused except for special circumstances,” he said.

This hiring freeze was set in place for two reasons: The economic impact felt from the COVID-19 crisis and U of L is expecting enrollment in the fall to go down. Arts & Sciences Dean David Owen said that they will be preparing and planning for the consequences of both possibilities.

Any prospect where letters of offer have been sent will not be affected by this freeze. The freeze applies to term lines, including new ones, along with on-going lines that are being vacated or filled.

In addition, all hiring of staff will be suspended immediately and is subject to the review of Dean Owen. “I know that we are already running below necessary staffing levels, but I will have to balance the desperate need for adequate staffing with the increasingly dire budget forecasts,” he said in an email.

There is no set timeline for how long this hiring freeze will be in place.

“How long this is in effect depends on how long the pandemic affects us and what the budgetary impact ends up being,” said Dean Owen.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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Classes moved online until end of semester; Spring Commencement postponed Wednesday, Mar 18 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

The University of Louisville announced March 18 that classes will be operated remotely through April 28 and the Spring 2020 Commencement is postponed.

President Neeli Bendapudi said that U of L is taking the recommendations of health and local and state government leaders to move forward in their emergency response. She said that U of L’s main goal is to keep everyone healthy and informed moving forward.

Professional colleges are currently making decisions to help ensure the timely graduation of their students. They can expect to receive updates from their dean with further instruction.

In addition, all finals will be conducted remotely. Students will receive instructions and updates on how these finals will be served from professors.

Students living in Miller, Threlkeld, Unitas, Community Park, Kurz, Louisville and Billy Minardi halls are being asked to move out by March 29. Bendapudi said this is extremely important to increase social distance for health and safety.

Those living in these residence halls must complete a cancellation form. But U of L is making exceptions for students who must remain on campus. These students will have to fill out a housing exemption form for Spring 2020.

Along with that, students who have no outstanding balances may have a portion of their housing costs applied to Fall 2020. They can put the credit towards housing, tuition, or dining. Graduating students will have a portion of these costs refunded.

While Spring 2020 Commencement is postponed, May 9 is still the day for spring degree conferral. Students who are set to graduate in Spring 2020 are invited to the Winter 2020 Commencement in December.

“We know this is a tremendous disappointment to our graduates and their families,” said Bendapudi. “And we share that disappointment as well. We will invite all Spring graduates to our December 2020 Commencement ceremony to be honored for your achievements.”

Other campus closures include the Health Sciences fitness center and the Student Recreation Center, effective immediately.

Faculty and staff have also been directed to work remotely from home through April 28.

U of L has suspended all international and domestic university-sponsored travel through June 30. Any event hosted by U of L entity or facility will also be postponed or cancelled through April 28.

Bendapudi closed her email with this statement:

“Meanwhile I hope each of you takes care of your own physical and mental health. Despite all the busy-ness, I hope you will take a moment to pause. Slow down. Anchor yourself in what matters most to you. Reach out to someone for help. Whether it is your dean, supervisor or another leader on campus, let us know how we can support you best at this time. Reach out to see if someone else needs help. Let us be patient with one another. Together we will persevere through this tumultuous time and come out the other side a stronger, more unified university community.”

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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Provost Boehm shares update with faculty amid suspended classes Monday, Mar 16 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

University of Louisville faculty and students are returning from spring break to new territory: online classes. Amid this situation, U of L provost Beth Boehm shared an update and her thoughts on the situation.

Beginning March 18 all classes will be administered remotely, April 5 being the earliest date to return to in-person classes. For many professors, conducting online classes will be uncharted territory.

“I understand that many of you are stressed and worried about teaching remotely; honestly, I would be fearful too if I were teaching this semester,” said Boehm. “But we have an obligation to our students and our accrediting bodies to enable our students to complete their courses remotely.”

With faculty and students worried about the efficacy of these online classes, Boehm wants them to know that it will require patience on both sides.

“In a note to students, I asked that they be patient with their instructors, many of whom are teaching online for the first time,” she said. “Here, I am asking you to also be patient with your students, to be understanding of their anxieties, both about online delivery and the coronavirus itself.”

To reduce the stress of both parties, Boehm reiterated that faculty are being trained to properly administer their online courses to students. They have been working with the Delphi Center staff to ensure the online courses are a success.

In addition, Boehm reminded the faculty how important it is for the university to stay open during times like these.

“We are committed to staying open to help our most vulnerable students have food, shelter, and access to libraries and IT (and some other essential services) while they work to finish the semester,” she said. “Your leadership in modeling healthy social distancing practices, resilience in the face of stress and unfamiliar work conditions, and kindness and compassion according to our Cardinal Principles will help our students stay calm and healthy and will enable them to complete their semester successfully.”

She also urged faculty to provide students without internet access the information to receive a free 60-day period from Spectrum. “To enroll, students should call 1-844-488-8395,” said Boehm. “While we will be sharing this info with students, if you have students who indicate they are without internet access, please give them this information.”

In closing, Boehm said how this will be a stressful and difficult time for everyone. But with that in mind, administration, faculty and students all have to work together to make this transition seamless she said.

“I know we are a resilient institution, and I’m urging us all to call upon our best selves in the days ahead,” said Boehm. “We have a lot of work to do.”

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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Construction of new dorms set to begin May 2020 Friday, Mar 6 2020 

By Victoria Doll–

The University of Louisville will begin new residence hall construction May 2020, using $90 million of state funding. Two new dormitories will be built to replace Miller Hall and Threlkeld Hall.

John Karman, U of L’s director of media relations, stated these dorms have been chosen for replacement because they no longer represent what students want. The university is updating these dorms to better serve the needs of the students.

In May 2020, construction on a new residence hall will begin where the Miller Hall parking lot currently is. The new residence hall is set to open in August 2021, and the existing Miller Hall will be demolished in May 2022. There will be 170 parking spaces lost during the construction.

Gary Becker, U of L’s director of Parking and Transportation Services, commented on the loss of the Miller Hall parking lot.

“The greatest impact to campus will be the loss of visitor parking,” Becker said.

The construction will have minimal effects on faculty and students of U of L. There will also be no new parking added during the construction.

Despite the loss of parking, Becker and his team are excited to see the growth of the university and what new opportunities the construction can bring.

In May 2021, Threlkeld Hall will also be demolished and there will be a new residence hall built at that location. That new residence hall is slated to open August 2022.

Both of the new dorms being built in the next two years will have 450 traditional style dorm rooms.

During the upcoming construction, the Cultural Center will also be torn down and rebuilt to better serve the students.

Veronnie Jones, senior associate vice president for diversity and equity, stated the construction of the new Cultural Center is something she and her team have been looking forward to.

“This is an exciting time for our Diversity and Equity units. This has been a goal for many years, and we are glad to see it finally happening,” she said.

Jones has had members and some students helping with the formation of the project since fall 2019. They are excited about the new opportunities this construction will bring for the Cultural Center.

During construction, the Diversity and Equity Belknap units will be relocated to the first and second floor of Strickler Hall’s wings.

The Cultural Center, the Office of Diversity Education and Inclusive Excellence, the LGBT Center, the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Social Justice and the Women’s Center will be included in the relocation.

Jones and her team view this as a positive change.

“We are already exploring ways to work more collaboratively as a unit and also exploring the effectiveness of our current programs,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to foster great synergy across campus.”

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L comes away with twelve Fulbright Scholars in 2019 Tuesday, Feb 25 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

It was a big year for the University of Louisville alumni and students who applied for Fulbright Scholarships. Twelve U of L alumni and students received the prestigious award, with 30% of students who applied winning.

“We’re proud of the U of L scholars who represent our University abroad because they’re using their Fulbright awards to do exciting and worthwhile projects all over the globe–whether that means studying the modification of lipid groups in Belgium, researching interpretation methods in Spain, or teaching English in Taiwan,” said U of L fellowships coordinator Bethany Smith. “Their success is a testament to U of L’s mission of being a great place to learn.”

These 12 new scholars puts U of L’s total at 133 scholars over the last 17 years. Since 2003, U of L has been known as an outstanding producer of Fulbright Scholars.

U of L’s total number of Fulbright Scholars is more than all Kentucky public institutions combined. This is also the second most Fulbright’s for U of L in the last five years, with the highest being 14 in 2016.

“When I heard that we had so many winners of prominent awards—including a dozen Fulbrights—I marveled at how we are able to achieve such high honors year after year,” said U of L President Neeli Bendapudi. “We have an astounding track record as a producer of top scholars and I’m so proud of our incredible students, faculty and staff because they all work together to make this possible.”

Each of the 12 scholars graduated from U of L last May and are teaching or conducting research in: Europe, South America, Caribbean and Southeast, East, and South Asia.

Applicants for this scholarship are chosen based criteria of their training, background and experience. The career fields typically funded by this scholarship include artists, journalists, scientists and independent scholars.

Having this many winners, and consistently, is like winning in sports said Charles Leonard, executive director for the Grawmeyer Awards.

“We begin with great talent, and as coaches, we learn what it takes to win the fellowships,” he said. “The students who have succeeded in the Fulbright process inspire their friends and classmates, and in turn we get more successful applicants the next cycle.”

The Fulbright Scholars Ben Anderson, Noela Botaka, Seth Drake, Chelsea Flint, Eric Hahnert and Miranda Hale. Also receiving the Fulbright Scholarship  are Alexander Kaliannan, Samir Kušmić, Macey Mayes, Natasha Mundkur, Ethan Connor Libby Pelletier and Elizabeth Schaaf.

Students who are interested in the Fulbright Scholarship program can contact NISO@louisville.edu for more information.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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