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Ramsey announces ‘Meeting the Challenge’ celebration

August 20th, 2006

The University of Louisville is close to meeting every goal set out in the Challenge for Excellence, a 10-year strategic plan the school launched in 1998 as part of an effort to reform higher education in Kentucky.

The university is achieving the plan more than a year ahead of schedule, President James Ramsey said Sunday at a convocation at the School of Music welcoming entering students.

A key feature of U of L’s plan was to recruit better students, Ramsey said. This fall, the university’s 2,400 entering freshmen have an average ACT score of 24.2, which is nearly three points higher than the average ACT score of 21.5 held by entering freshmen in 1999.

“You are the best academically prepared entering class in our history,” he said.

Planning already has begun for a campuswide party Sept.15 on the Belknap Campus Oval to celebrate U of L’s meeting the Challenge ahead of time. The party is being held to say thank-you to faculty, staff and students for moving the plan along so quickly, Ramsey said.

“Accomplishing these goals has required an amazing amount of work, and we couldn’t have done it without the efforts of each and every member of the U of L family,” he said.

The celebration on the Oval “won’t be a formal meeting … we’re going to have fun.”

More details about the celebration will be available to U of L faculty and staff soon in U of L Today. Students should watch NetMail and the SGA weekly e-mail.

By the start of this school year, U of L will have met or exceeded all but one of the 11 goals it developed in response to Kentucky’s 1997 higher education reform law. The university hopes to achieve the last goal, attaining a National Cancer Institute designation for the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, sometime in the next year, Ramsey added.

Besides building a better student population and improving its undergraduate programs, U of L has more than quadrupled its federal research funding from $14.8 million to $74.5 million and has hiked its endowment from $255 million to $675.8 million.

In 2000, U of L was classified as a Carnegie Research I university. Since 1999, the university has earned national recognition for more than 20 of its programs, raised the number of its endowed chairs and professorships from 54 to 121, upped the number of its doctoral graduates from 78 to 144, increased its number of patents from 15 to 46 and created 18 new businesses.

“We’ ve also been recognized as a national leader for linking our resources with the community through partnerships such as Metropolitan College and Partnership for a Green City,” Ramsey said.

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