A&S Dean search put on hold after candidate declines offer Monday, Jan 18 2021 

By Eli Hughes–

The University of Louisville announced last week that it would be putting the search for a new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on hold. This decision comes after the candidate who was selected for the job during the first search declined the offer.

“Given the current complexity of the Arts and Sciences role and the need for a leader with a demonstrated history of success in a similar role, we have made the difficult decision to conclude this search process, to recalibrate and to restart a new search sometime after Provost Gonzalez begins her new role this spring,” U of L President Neeli Bendapudi and Provost Beth Boehm said in a Jan. 13 email.

David Owen, the current interim A&S dean, will continue in his role until the search is able to resume again and find someone long-term for the position.

The announcement concluded by thanking the members of the search committee for their efforts during the first search.

In an interview on Jan. 13, the Editor-in-Chief of The Louisville Cardinal Joseph Garcia asked Bendapudi if the decision to pause this search would be good in the long-term for the university community.

“I think so, and I’m 100% on that,” Bendapudi said. “Because leadership is something where it’s not about a good person or a bad person, it’s about best. And I really believe that. Meaning, that at any given point in time making sure that the person we get aligns with our priorities and where we need to go.”

File Photo//The Louisville Cardinal

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The Louisville Cardinal launches new interview series with campus leaders Thursday, Jan 14 2021 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The University of Louisville’s student newspaper, The Louisville Cardinal, kicked off its “Louisville Cardinal Conversations” series Wednesday with U of L President Neeli Bendapudi and Cardinal Editor-in-Chief Joseph Garcia. The series will consist of live interviews by the Cardinal’s student editors with high profile individuals on the university’s campus.

Garcia and Bendapudi talked about a range of university issues over Facebook Live including the university’s anti-racist agenda, the NCAA allegations, the A&S Dean Search, COVID-19 and tuition.

When discussing the university’s anti-racism initiative, Bendapudi detailed what anti-racism is and what it looked like in practice.

“Anti-racism is the premise that nobody is superior or inferior to another person just because of the color of their skin,” she said, “One way for us to think about being anti-racist is doing everything we can to allow each person to succeed.” Bendapudi went on to convey the importance of investing in and fostering equity to ensure the success of everyone.

In relation to COVID-19, Bendapudi expressed her praise of the tenacity of U of L students during the pandemic. “All of you as students, I am so appreciative of all of you and I am so grateful for the resiliency you’re showing,” she said.

Bendapudi then relayed that by the end of next week every healthcare worker in the U of L system will have been given the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. She also said that, with authorization, the university hopes to give every faculty member, staff member and student the opportunity to receive the vaccine by the end of the semester. However, U of L is not legally allowed to require the vaccine since it was given provisional emergency use.

Garcia also asked Bendapudi whether students should expect another tuition hike in the upcoming academic year. She was not able to give a definitive answer but pointed to the competitiveness of U of L as compared to other state institutions in terms of student debt. According to her, U of L students have the lowest college debt as compared to students from every other public university in the state of Kentucky. She mentioned that any rise in tuition would be offset by trying to develop more need-based aid.

The recording of the full interview can be found here. Be sure to follow The Louisville Cardinal on social media @TheCardinalNews to be informed of the next “Louisville Cardinal Conversations” interview.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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University concludes interviews for new A&S Dean Thursday, Dec 3 2020 


By Madelin Shelton — 

The University of Louisville has concluded its campus visits with finalists for the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) dean. The candidates consisted of four individuals who met with A&S stakeholders.

Candidate one, Georita Frierson, visited U of L Oct. 29-30. She is the current Dean and Full Professor of the School of Arts, Science and Education at D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY, where she oversees a school of over 60 faculty and seven departments.

Candidate two, David Owen, is the current Interim Dean of U of L’s College of A&S. He met with A&S stakeholders Nov. 5-6. Prior to this role, Owen was the Chairperson of the Department of Philosophy here at U of L from 2015-2019.

Candidate three, Christopher Snyder, visited the university Nov. 17-18. He is currently serving as the Founding Dean of the Shackouls Honors College at Mississippi State University where she oversees the honors college’s curriculum, recruitment, admissions, budget, student activities, housing and fundraising.

Candidate four, Deanna Dannels, visited campus Nov. 19-20. Dannels is the current Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at North Carolina State University. In this role, she is responsible for academic leadership, management, strategic planning, policy development/regulation and administrative academic oversight within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The last candidate, Ronald Jackson, visited U of L Nov. 23-24. Jackson is a Professor of Communication at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and has previously served as the Dean of the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences at UC from 2012-2013.

The U of L College of A&S Search Committee is expected to meet this Friday, Dec. 4 to decide who will fill the position.

File Graphic// The Louisville Cardinal

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Four finalists remain in U of L’s search for next Provost Wednesday, Dec 2 2020 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The University of Louisville has concluded its campus visits with finalists for the Executive Vice President and University Provost (EVPUP) position.

The finalists included four candidates who had to answer the open forum question: “Why Provost? Why now? Why U of L? How will you define short-term (1 year) and long-term (3-5 years) success as the next Executive Vice President and University Provost at the University of Louisville?” during their respective campus visits.

Finalist number one, Donald Hall, visited campus Oct. 26. He serves as the Dean of Faculty of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering at the University of Rochester, located in Rochester, NY. In this role, Hall acts as the chief executive and academic officer of the largest academic unit on the University of Rochester’s campus and oversaw the largest fiscal entity of that university, aside from their medical center.

Finalist number two, Laurence Alexander, visited campus Nov. 5. He currently serves as the Chancellor, or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), where he provides leadership for the whole institution. As CEO, Alexander has broad responsibility for a wide range of operations, including leadership and articulation of UAPB’s mission and goals. Prior to this position, Alexander served as the Associate Dean at The Graduate School at the University of Florida for 13 years.

Finalist number three, Lynn Okagaki, visited campus Nov. 9. She is the current Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Delaware, located in Newark, DE. As a part of this role, she is a member of the Provost’s senior leadership team focused on academics. She is also responsible for academic enrichment programs to improve access, retention and graduation of all students, with a special emphasis on students from low income and historically under-represented groups.

Finalist number four, Lori Gonzalez, visited campus Nov. 12. She serves as the Vice Chancellor for Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, in which she provides leadership and oversight for the offices of Academic Affairs, Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation, Equity and Diversity, Student Affairs and Community Engagement. She has previously worked as the Dean of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Kentucky from 2005-2011.

Further information about the candidates and access to the forum recordings can be found here.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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University releases Strategic Plan progress report Wednesday, Nov 25 2020 

By Madelin Shelton — 

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi recently announced U of L’s progress on their Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan, released in fall 2019, was launched to make U of L a great place to learn, to work and in which to invest. According to the progress report, “the three-year plan focuses on key initiatives, gauges the effectiveness of specific actions and measures the university’s progress toward achieving its overarching goal.”

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of LMPD, which both required significant attention from the university, U of L was able to make necessary changes and make great strides on the goals it originally set in 2019.

“These challenges meant some of our strategic plan goals had to be paused or reworked, but our determination to overcome never wavered,” U of L said in the progress report.

Most notably, the university’s total enrollment reached above 23,000, a milestone it has not reached in over 20 years.

Graduation rates also peaked during this time and research funding hit a record-breaking $152 million. The university doubled the percentage of need-based aid for first-time freshman and increased the number of patents awarded to U of L for its innovation.

The report also highlighted the university’s response to COVID-19, pointing to U of L’s swift move to online instruction, addressing the significant financial ramifications and providing U of L health care workers and researchers with necessary resources.

It also mentioned the potential of the Co-Immunity Project, funded in part by U of L as an effort to learn how COVID-19 moves through populations.

“Results from the study will help Kentucky restart its economy and create safe plans to return to work and school,” the report said.

In addition, the report detailed the university’s Cardinal Anti-Racism Agenda, which serves to advance U of L’s goal to become the nation’s premier anti-racist metropolitan research university.

The university included initiatives to further this effort, including, but not limited to, developing an educational series for faculty and staff focusing on diversity and inclusion, providing a list of resources to help the campus community learn more about the legacy of slavery and racism and having the U of L police department host open forums discussing racial issues that impact U of L and the broader Louisville community.

Finally, the report incorporated information on its three Grand Challenges of empowering communities, advancing health and engineering the future economy.

These challenges are being used by the university as priorities to dedicate its research and scholarship towards. Progress has been made by U of L on these challenges through the convening of the Grand Challenges subcommittee and recruiting researchers and scholars to join the challenge.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Provost recommends that professors move in-person classes online Friday, Nov 20 2020 

By Eli Hughes–

University of Louisville Provost Beth Boehm recommended that professors move in-person instruction for Nov. 23 and Nov. 24 online where possible due to the rising COVID-19 cases in Kentucky. The announcement was made over two emails, one sent to faculty and one sent to students.

This recommendation comes after Governor Andy Beshear mandated that K-12 schools switch to online learning after Nov. 20 until at least Dec. 7 for elementary schools in green zones and Jan. 4 for all other schools. He did not issue a mandate for colleges, but he commended universities who chose to switch to online-only instruction after Nov. 20.

“Like many other institutions, U of L already had planned to end face-to-face instruction next Tuesday, and so I know that some of you have final, in-person meetings and assessments scheduled for Monday and/or Tuesday,” Boehm said in the email to faculty.

“We agreed to ask faculty to consider whether what you have planned for those two days next week can be delivered remotely, and if so, to please make arrangements to be remote next week.”

Faculty who have plans for instruction that are best delivered in-person can still choose to meet in person but should contact their students to inform them that class will continue in person as planned.

The final two days of undergraduate class on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 should be delivered remotely as well as any finals scheduled during finals week.

File graphic// The Louisville Cardinal

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University leadership responds to sociology department’s July letter Tuesday, Nov 17 2020 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The University of Louisville recently issued a statement in response to the sociology department’s July 7 letter that brought concerns of systemic racism at U of L to university leadership. The statement, sent out Oct. 15, was signed by U of L President Neeli Bendapudi and University Provost Beth Boehm.

The sociology department’s letter addressed inequitable treatment of Black faculty at U of L, including the marginalization of their teaching and research, biased student evaluations, and a lack of opportunity to move into leadership positions. It also challenged the university to go into further detail about its efforts to uplift Black members of U of L and to ensure the fair treatment of Black students, faculty and staff.

The statement reiterated that the university is currently developing the Cardinal Anti-Racist agenda with faculty, staff and student input. This agenda includes many objectives, including recruiting and retaining more students, faculty and staff of color, building intentionally anti-racism curriculum across all disciplines, ensuring boards, committees, and the search and hiring processes are intentionally diverse developing institutional and unit-level budgets that reflect the priority of diversity and equity and more.

Addressing the original concerns the letter brought up, the university detailed how its leadership is working to mitigate disparities among Black faculty by highlighting their scholarly contributions via social media, printed publications, advertising and marketing prowess.

“The provost’s office is currently reviewing how we execute teaching evaluations, and promotion and tenure reviews to identify systemic shortfalls,” the statement said.

In regards to the letter’s accusations of a lack of promotion among Black faculty to leadership positions, university leadership detailed recent efforts to provide leadership training to Black faculty through the VP Faculty Affairs and the Delphi Center.

The statement detailed several other elements of its efforts to ensure a more equitable U of L for Black community members including diversity trainings and university-sponsored minority support groups and associations.

University leadership repeated their commitment to dismantling racism at U of L throughout the statement. They said that they will demonstrate their success in dismantling systemic racism at U of L by replacing old policies with new anti-racist policies, increasing the number of faculty and staff of color, increasing the student of color population and retention rates and by expanding diversity and inclusion efforts, outreach and influence.

University leadership was clear that U of L still had a lot of work to do in this area.

“In closing, it is certainly the case that our beloved university has a lot of work to do to become the premier anti-racist metropolitan research university,” the statement read. “We owe it to our students and our community to create opportunities, break glass ceilings and be bold in our actions to be anti-racist.”

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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University selects finalists for Executive Vice President and University Provost position Monday, Nov 2 2020 

  • By Madelin Shelton —

The University of Louisville has selected finalists for the Executive Vice President and University Provost (EVPUP) position. Each candidate will participate in an open forum and a Q&A open to the campus community.

The candidates will respond to the following prompt for 15 minutes: Why Provost? Why now? Why U of L? How will you define short-term and long-term success as the next EVPUP at the University of Louisville? The forum will then open up to 45 minutes of Q&A.

For those wishing to attend, the forums will be available in-person, via livestream or by watching the recordings afterward. Virtual attendees can participate via Microsoft Teams Live Event.

Those attending in-person will be required to wear masks and follow social distancing and other COVID-19 guidelines. Seating will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

There are four candidates, each with separate dates and times for their open forum. Their identities, resumé and cover letter will be made available on the Search for EVPUP website shortly before their visit.

Candidate one participated in an open forum Mon., Oct. 26. The recording can be found here. Candidate two will have theirs Thurs., Nov. 5 from 10:00 to 11:10 a.m. in the Ballroom of the Student Activities Center (SAC).

Candidate three’s open forum will take place Mon., Nov. 9 from 10:00-11:10 a.m. in rooms 101 and 102 of the Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research Building on the Health Sciences Center (HSC) campus.

Candidate four’s open forum is Thurs., Nov. 12 from 10:00-11:10 a.m. in the Ballroom of the SAC.

Members of the U of L community are invited to fill out the feedback survey for each provost candidate after hearing from them during their campus visit.

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U of L searches for new College of A&S Dean Monday, Nov 2 2020 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The University of Louisville has selected five finalists out of a pool of 30 applicants to interview for the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences (A&S) position.

The candidates will be visiting campus on various dates to interact with College of A&S stakeholders.

Four candidates will have hybrid in-person/virtual visits, while one candidate has opted for an entirely virtual visit.

The candidates’ information will be made public on the A&S Dean Search Website one week prior to their visit. The first candidate, Georita Frierson, visited campus Oct. 29-30. Candidate two will visit Nov. 5-6.

The second candidate, Interim College of Arts & Sciences  Dean David Owen, will interact with A&S stakeholders on Nov. 5-6.

Candidates three, four and five will visit on Nov. 17-18, Nov. 19-20 and Nov. 23-24, respectively.

More information about the search can be found here.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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University to host drive-in movie night for employees Wednesday, Oct 28 2020 

By Victoria Doll —

The University of Louisville is hosting a free Employee Appreciation Drive-in Movie Night at the Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass in Simpsonville, KY. This is the first time the university has hosted this event.

The university views it as an opportunity to show their appreciation and support for their employees during these difficult times.

The drive-in will take place over three nights, Oct. 23, Oct. 30, and Nov. 1., all at 7:00 p.m.  The movies Zootopia and 42 will be shown.

“The animated movie Zootopia and inspirational film 42 were carefully selected not only because they are entertaining, but also because of their focus on diversity and inclusion – an important Cardinal Principle,” U of L President Neeli Bendapudi said.

Health precautions will be enforced to abide by COVID-19 guidelines. For example, tickets will need to be ordered ahead of time to ensure adequate space for social distancing between attendees. Masks are also required while sitting outside the vehicle.

There will be hand sanitizing stations located by the public restrooms and concession, no cash will be accepted on site, and all purchases must be made via app purchase.

Attendees may bring lawn chairs to sit in but will be required to maintain physical distancing from others. Food will be able to be purchased at the Outlet Shoppes via app and individuals are allowed to bring their own food and drink.

Furthermore, kids are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes along with their Cardinal gear to show team spirit.

“We appreciate you,” Bendapudi said in the email to employees. “And can’t wait to see you under the stars…from our cars. Go Cards!”

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