Resignation provides rare opportunity to bring change

UK’s Coldstream Research Campus is due for a major change, and not just from the retirement of Tina Carpenter. Carpenter, the executive director of the campus, is slated to retire at the end of February after serving three years at the position.

In a Jan. 14 Kernel article, UK’s vice president for commercialization and economic development Len Heller said, “(Carpenter) set a new standard … Coldstream has been very inactive for the past 20 years. This is a major step forward.”

Coldstream currently comprises 58 companies, 33 of which joined under Carpenter’s watch — an impressive feat considering the budget crisis the state and the university have undergone, having to divert funds from the research campus to UK’s main proprieties.

“She has helped make Coldstream a top-tier campus in the Midwest,” Heller said.

With an opportunity to hire a new executive director, UK can take the next step and help forge Coldstream into one of the top-tier campuses in the country, not just regionally. UK must obtain the services of an innovative, forward-thinking individual who can build on the success Carpenter has represented during the past three years.

Not only must this individual be able to bring in new companies to fill out the 735 acre complex, the new director must also ensure the fiscal success of the facilities and find creative ways to bring in additional revenue to help alleviate any possible strain on the university.

With the Top-20 Business Plan placing emphasis on research, Coldstream should be a stalwart cornerstone of the growth. Ideally, Coldstream, both in name and in value, would be a huge asset to the university. And with that in mind, UK should pursue an individual who is best capable of meeting that goal.