UK sparks conversation for improving campus: New intiative allows students, faculty and staff to offer input

By Nicole Schladt

UK is seeking campus input for how to better the university.

Students, faculty and staff are rallying together in what President Lee Todd, Provost Kumble Subbaswamy and the rest of the Executive Team at UK describe as a “call to arms” against obstacles that stand between the university and innovation.

This “call to arms” initiative, titled ThinkUK 2.0, is essentially a community conversation aimed at improving effectiveness, lowering cost, expanding reach and enhancing revenue of the university.

“ThinkUK 2.0 asks faculty and staff to question current practices and policy and suggest innovations,” Subbaswamy said in a presentation.

If implemented, innovations suggested by the UK community will then be listed on the ThinkUK 2.0 website.

“The university’s Executive Team has urged the whole campus to offer ideas and to begin to implement innovations, and already a number of great ideas have been put into place,” Assistant Provost Carol Jordan said in an e-mail to the Kernel. These ideas include a newly automated book voucher process and an office supply cost containment program.

Many other ideas emphasize technology and introduce new virtual components to UK’s education system, including online classes, online direct deposit and online course catalogs. One particular pilot project initiated by Provost Subbaswamy, titled Enterprise 2.0 for Higher Education, aims to apply online techniques to improve interdepartmental communication across campus.

“One way to think of it is that (Enterprise 2.0) will implement a multiparty conversation that would integrate faculty and student interaction and create academic conversations for all,” Jordan said. “The model would not only share information but could inspire the generation of new knowledge.”

The Provost’s Office is encouraging students, faculty and staff to submit more ideas and suggestions through the ThinkUK 2.0 webpage ( and Twitter account (

“We can either be victims of the current financial landscape or we can exert deliberate and creative efforts to control it,” Subbaswamy said. “Our choice will be evidence of our measure as a flagship institution and our determination to continue on the path to greater achievement and national prominence.”