A new semester and new beginnings

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting all of our entering A&S students during the University’s K Week events, wherein we welcomed our largest undergraduate class ever. The official numbers are not in yet, but the University was set to enroll as many as 4700 new first-year students, up from 4100 last year. The total number of A&S majors is also set to achieve an enrollment high. As the College teaches 85% of all UK Core and 60% of all undergraduate students credit hours we will see almost all these new first-year students in our courses this fall. Educating such a large number of students can be exhilarating. On this issue, I am continually impressed, at the innovation and dedication of the A&S faculty. Over the last several months many departments have taken on curricular revisions. For just a few examples I offer the following: the Department of Mathematics offered a calculus boot camp for incoming students two weeks before classes started. Dubbed FastTrack, first-year students came to campus in early August for an intensive, two-week, 8-hour a day calculus study, and by all measures this pilot program was a success with plans for further expansion next year. The Chemistry Department has completely reimaged their General Chemistry courses, which is the most populous course in the entire University. It functions as a gateway and linchpin course for all the STEM majors. The Department’s work on this will be felt throughout the campus. Both English and Anthropology have completely redesigned their undergraduate majors. A&S Wired, a large living-learning community for all UK first-year students, entered its second year, and added on a sophomore class component. Fall isn’t often associated with renewal, but for those of us in higher education, it’s the time of year for rebirth and new beginnings. I want to take this opportunity to invite you back to the campus, whether in person or virtually, to explore the College and its offerings, renew your relationship with a favorite faculty member or dive into a new topic of study. We are your college. Yours, Dean Mark Kornbluh