Students give advice for improving UK

By Kelsey Caudill

Students can now create their own agendas for improving the university and maybe win some money in the process.

The Quality Enhancement Plan, a program that targets UK’s academic advancement, is taking advice from the community on ways to improve learning at the university.

Dr. Deanna Sellnow, QEP co-chair, stressed the importance of getting student feedback on the issue.

“Since this is about improving student learning, who best can help inform us about what that might look like but students?” Sellnow said.

To voice their suggestions, students, faculty, staff, alumni and even parents may submit proposals outlining their ideas based on six major themes chosen earlier this year: “Developing Engaged Citizenship;” “Expanding Global Awareness and Involvement;” “Fostering a Supportive and Vibrant Campus Culture;” “Enhancing Scholarship: Critical Thinking, Effective Communication and Academic Integrity;” “Advancing 21st Century Teaching and Learning;” or “Navigating Successful Transitions.”

Proposals must contain contact information, identification of theme(s) and a 500-word essay describing the innovation.  8-10 proposals will be selected as finalists—the authors of these will receive a $1,000 prize and the opportunity to resubmit their topics for the final rounds of selection in February 2011.  The deadline for submissions is Oct. 1.  To submit a proposal or to learn more about the QEP competition, go to

A QEP is necessary for UK to reaffirm its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  Though it is a SACS requirement, President Lee Todd sees the QEP as a way to rally community support.

“We feel that this process provides us the opportunity to engage the entire University community in a healthy and open conversation about the future of education at UK,” Todd said in an email to students. “I view this as a transformational moment, providing us the opportunity to harness the innovation and creativity alive and well in all corners of this campus to create a more dynamic University.”