With more than 7,000 students,17 departments and 14 programs, the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences would be one of the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Yet its size and diversity is increasingly an advantage when it comes to creative and innovative ways to teach and conduct research, President Eli Capilouto believes.
"I was energized by my meeting with the College of Arts & Sciences," Capilouto said after meeting this week for more than three hours with Dean Mark Lawrence Kornbluh and leading faculty in the college. "They have an idea a minute, and Dean Kornbluh is doing an incredible job empowering our academic entrepreneurs."
One of the innovations being pioneered by the college is its transformation of 65-year-old residence hall, Keeneland, into a liberal arts residential college. Opening this fall, A&S Wired is offering students a true 2020 education with classes inside the residence hall, which has been renovated and wired for the latest in learning technology and infrastructure, including interactive smart boards, smart tables and wall displays streaming real-time updates.
A&S has also designed office space for faculty, staff and advisers to float in and out of during rotating office hours. A number of the college’s top and some new faculty are involved in the residential college.
"One of the things that resonated with me during our faculty meeting was when one professor commented about the incredible talent of our young faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences," Capilouto said. "He told me that they were the true change agents in the college, constantly challenging the status quo to improve the level of academic thought and discovery, not just in departments, but in the entire college.
"We need to harness the creative approaches being discussed by our faculty and staff in the colleges. That is what these trips are about and each visit has been incredibly rewarding."
The College of Arts & Sciences was the fourth stop on Capilouto’s Campus Conversations. Capilouto is visiting each college over the next several weeks, engaging faculty and staff in deep conversations about the future of the university. Capilouto will take ideas gleaned from the conversations to a retreat of the Board of Trustees in early October. The idea is to advance ideas for the future, based on a shared agenda and vision for UK.