U of L Strategic Plan update shows improvements in diversity, investment Wednesday, Feb 23 2022 

By Joe Wilson — 

On Feb. 22, U of L published an update to its 2019-2022 Strategic Plan, outlining the progress the university has made in improving education, employment and investment.

The Strategic Plan Implementation Report cites changes made at the university in 2020-2021, year two of the overall strategic plan.

Among its many developments, the report highlights changes to the university intended to attract a talented and diverse student body. The report touts new academic programs such as a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Science in General Studies, which will be offered beginning in Fall 2022. Additionally, the report announced that enrollment in U of L’s online programs for fall 2021 increased by nearly 20 percent compared to the previous year. The report also mentions that students from Southwest Ohio are now eligible for in-state tuition.

Other achievements noted in the report include an increase in the undergraduate graduation rate from 43 percent to 61.6 percent over the past 15 years. The report further praises U of L for producing more Fulbright scholars than any other Kentucky public higher education institution. 

The report also provides an update to the university’s commitment to make U of L a better workplace. UofL’s progress in making the workplace more diverse and equitable is shown by pointing to the creation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) handbook and implementing mandatory DEI training for employees. The report additionally notes that the university has offered sign-on bonuses, referral bonuses and adjusted minimum qualifications for 42 job positions that have been difficult to fill.

Finally, the Strategic Plan report outlines improvements in investment at U of L. With the goal of increasing innovative research and productivity, the report highlights the $23.4 million increase in annual research expenditures compared to the 2018 baseline. The Strategic Plan update also notes the $61.8 million in total donations to U of L’s academic and athletic programs in 2021.

Originally announced in 2018 by former University President Neeli Bendapudi, U of L’s 2019-22 Strategic Plan was created to generate recommendations from faculty, staff and students to strengthen the university’s mission, vision and values.

“We are 7,000+ employees strong – each offering their personal and professional gifts to a vital ecosystem that creates thriving futures for our students, our community and our society. The gratitude I feel for all who commit their time and talent to our university’s success cannot be overstated,” said Interim President Lori Gonzalez. “Looking ahead, I am excited about a strong finish to the current Strategic Plan. Our Cardinal Community is laying the groundwork for sustainable success.”

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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The Real Pros and Cons of Investing Friday, Nov 5 2021 

By Jacob Maslow–Branded Content

Everyone talks about how important it is to have a portfolio of investment opportunities set up for your future. However, no one ever discusses investing as a genuine opportunity, with both pros and cons to consider. Like any opportunity, investing has a lot of positives to consider, but there are negatives to be aware of too. If you’re planning on starting an investment strategy, the best thing you can do is assess the marketplace and learn more about what it takes to succeed as an investor. Knowing the truth about growing a portfolio of assets will help you make better decisions about your future. Here are the actual pros and cons of investing. 

The Benefits of Starting a Wealth Building Strategy

The most important benefit of investing in something is turning the cash you have into more money in the long term. If you invest around $5000 over ten years, you’re more likely to get a higher percentage back than if you kept the same amount of money in the bank. Today’s savings accounts don’t have the best interest rates but investing can give you real growth to look forward to. This is why so many people get started small and keep building their portfolios. 

Depending on how successful you are at reading the market and how much you can understand the changing dips and trends of trading, you might even consider looking at more fast-paced options, like day trading. This involves moving in and out of multiple positions a day, and you can review a day trading guide if you’re interested in it. However, this strategy does require a lot more work than simply spending cash on some bonds and waiting for them to mature. Ultimately, the value of money decreases over time, which means you’re losing cash the longer it sits in your bank account. However, this doesn’t mean you should never consider having any savings. 

The Downside of Investment

While there are many exciting ways to get involved in the stock market, they are not all sunshine and roses; most financial advisors will always recommend saving at least some of your cash for an investment strategy if you can manage it. However, because there’s no guarantee you’ll make a fortune from your portfolio, you’ll always be advised to do a few other things first. 

For instance, it’s essential to make sure you’re free from debt before you start spending your cash on potential wealth-building strategies. As the money you earn from your investment may not outweigh the cost of loan interest. It’s also essential to ensure you have at least some money put aside for a rainy-day fund. For instance, if something goes wrong and you lose your job, you’ll benefit from having some extra funds in your bank account – just in case. 

However, once you have a decent emergency fund, you’ve paid your bills, and you’ve still got money left over, it becomes more and more important to consider putting your money to work. With an investment strategy, you can begin to grow your cash over time, creating new opportunities as a result. The more you learn about the market, the more effective you’ll become at choosing the right options too, which can help to improve your income over time.

Image courtesy of Jacob Maslow//Cosmic Press

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