10 years of leadership marks progress

Letter to Editor by Elijah Edwards

I am writing to publicly thank President Lee Todd for his 10 years of dedicated service to the students of UK.

He deserves to be commended for his leadership abilities and smart financial skills that have kept this university running during hard times.

President Todd was always a leader who tried his hardest to put the students first. He knocked down the giant fence surrounding his house and opened it up to the students.

Who doesn’t enjoy walking to class and being given cookies by the first lady?

I remember hearing him speak at Big Blue U my freshman year and finally feeling like I was part of something amazing. He really made me feel like the University of Kentucky was my home.

Not only has President Todd done a lot for the students, he has also done a lot for the university as well.

Enrollment has increased significantly since he took office. It has grown from 23,853 students to approximately 27,000 students currently. The amount of students graduating within six years has also increased, with one year reaching an all time university and state high of 61.4 percent.

Since 2001, UK’s research expenditures have more than doubled, jumping from $159.9 million to $337 million in 2008.

Even during the recession he managed to keep the university afloat and improving. UK’s annual budget has grown from $1.2 billion during his first year to more than $2.4 billion today.

Of course, with any leadership position, President Todd has been wrongfully scolded by his students and staff when things didn’t exactly go their way.

Every year that he was forced to increase tuition and freeze salaries so the university could run daily operations he went from being a hero to a villain. For those who complained that it was unfair, I would like you to ask the students and teachers at EKU, WKU, UofL and countless other universities what they thought about their tuition increases and salary freezes.

Overall, I think it is fair to say Todd’s performance as president of UK should be applauded. I’m not sure what the future holds for UK without Lee Todd in command, but I know UK just won’t feel the same without him and our biggest fan Patsy Todd.

Thank you again, President Todd, for everything. Thank you.

Elijah Edwards

secondary education sophomore