Category Archives: News

The News page is your source for everything you need to know about university administration, the Student Government Association, health, housing and much more!

Map courtesy University of Louisville Office of Communications an Marketing. (Note: The map depicted is still in the design phase and is subject to change.)

$31-million road project to boost access to research development

By Baylee Pulliam–

The University of Louisville has secured around $31 million to preempt access problems to a new development project on the Belknap campus’ south side.

The Belknap Engineering and Applied Science Research Park, a project of the U of L Foundation, will go on the nearly 40-acre plot stretching from the J.B. Speed School of Engineering to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

But the railroad tracks that surround the triangular plot threaten to stymie road access, said U of L spokesperson Cindy Hess.

Hess said the university plans to build “flyover” ramps over the railroads, to avoid the potential traffic headache.

“That’s why this road project is so important,” Hess said.

The ramps will cost around $31 million, and branch from the research park to bordering Brook and Iowa Streets. The Iowa Street ramp is expected to pull double duty as a decorative entrance to the Belknap campus.

About $6.2 million of the total budget comes from the U of L Foundation, said university spokesman Mark Hebert. An additional $24.8 million comes from the recently approved state transportation budget.

The roads are slated for completion around two years from now, Hebert said.

The university will begin planning and design later this year, when funds become available in the 2012-2013 budget. Hess said $11 million of the initial budget would go to establish right of way, relocate utilities and design the road system.

The remaining $20 million would go toward a “contractor and bridge and road” construction, but that money isn’t scheduled to be available until 2014, according to the state’s 6-year road plan, Hebert said. But the university would “like to get that timetable moved up a year, if possible.”

Hebert said the date of completion for the research park itself is still hazy. “It’s safe to say we hope the entire site is fully developed in 10-15 years but we’re not sure what types of companies or U of L-related projects will wind up there,” he said.


Map courtesy University of Louisville Office of Communications and Marketing. (Note: The map depicted is still in the design phase and is subject to change.)


Over 2,000 students walk at spring commencement ceremonies


“You are ready to face this changing world,” University of Louisville President James Ramsey told graduating students at last weekend’s spring commencement ceremony.

Over 2,000 students participated in two ceremonies May 12 at the KFC Yum! Center. Around 2,734 students graduated following the spring semester.

You can see President Ramsey’s commencement address here.

Graduates also heard addresses by business professor Van Clouse – this year’s Trustees Award winner -  and students Tara Schapmire and Deep Aggarwal.

At the afternoon ceremony, U of L junior Brett Trager Kusman, accepted honorary public service doctoral degrees for his grandparents, Bernard and Jean Trager. Bernard died earlier this year, and Jean was not able to attend.

For more photos from the ceremonies, visit U of L’s Flickr page.



Photo courtesy University of Louisville Office of Media Relations.

Hail-battered U of L facilities will need expensive repairs

Several University of Louisville facilities are a little worse for wear after a hail storm pummeled south Louisville in early May.

Repairs to U of L’s Belknap campus will cost an estimated several thousand dollars, to be covered by insurance, The Courier Journal reported.

Among the casualties are the roofs of at least 16 buildings, including Grawmeyer Hall, Ralph Wright Natatorium and the Brandeis School of Law, which were the worst hit. Some air conditioning units, a greenhouse and at least 40 cars, will also need repairs or even replacement.


U of L Board of Trustees approves 6% tuition increase

President James Ramsey hears the recommendations of Vice President of Finance Mike Curtin during Thursday's meeting of the U of L Finance Committee

By Rae Hodge– 

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Thursday to approve a 6 percent tuition increase for undergraduate students, beginning in the fall semester. This marks the twelfth consecutive year of tuition increase at the university.

Vice President of Finance Mike Curtin and President James Ramsey said in reports to the Finance Committee that the increases in tuition would generate $10.5 million additional revenue to offset the $9.7 million in state funding cuts the university received this year. Both also noted that the university would absorb 100 additional students next year which they estimate would generate $1.3 million.

A 6 percent tuition increase means that graduate and undergraduates, regardless of residency, will see their tuition rise an additional $536 per year, bringing in-state undergraduate tuition to $9,466 per year for a full class load. The same increase will apply to out-of-state law students. In-state law, dentistry and medical students will bear a 7 percent increase, while 4.5 percent tuition increases go to out-of-state medical students, and 3.2 percent to out-of-state dentistry students.

Curtin said that the 6 percent reflects the maximum allowable increase in tuition as set by the Council on Postsecondary Education for undergraduate students, and the Board’s recommendation will be submitted to the CPE for final approval in June. Once approved, the university’s operating budget will be implemented on July 1 of this year.


Spring 2012 commencement information

All graduates earning a Bachelor’s, Master’s or JD can pick up their garb in the Red Barn on Thursday, May 10 from noon until 7 p.m. or on Friday, May 11 from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Students must pick up apparel by that time, because it won’t be available on commencement day.

Students who got approval to late purchase apparel can do so on Friday. Cash and checks can be accepted, but not credit cards. The same applies for souvenir tassels and honors cords (if you qualify), which will be available for purchase on distribution days.

All commencement apparel for bachelor’s, master’s, MD and DMD graduates is purchased, not rented, and can be kept after the ceremony.

Rehearsal for the 10 a.m. ceremony graduating Arts & Sciences, dentistry, law, medicine, music, nursing, public health and SIGS master’s students will be held 5 p.m. on Friday, May 11.

Rehearsal for business, education, Kent School of Social Work and Speed School of Engineering students will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 11.

Rehearsal is required if you intend to walk at commencement. Students should enter the downtown Yum! Center arena from Main Street, and follow the escalators on the building’s east side.

Students should check in at the Yum! practice basketball court to line up. Students should see school banners in the lineup room, then proceed to their school banner and look for their place in line. Students will receive their name/number lineup card in the packet with their graduation apparel.

President’s Reception
Following the ceremony, President James Ramsey will host a cake and punch reception for graduates and their guests from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the main concourse of the Yum! Center. Family and friends are welcome to join.

Lineup for 10 a.m. graduates will be at 9:30 a.m. sharp on the day of the ceremony, May 12. Students will line up on the lower level of the Yum! Center.

Lineup for afternoon graduates will be at 1:30 p.m. sharp, on the day of the ceremony, May 12, also on the lower level at the Yum! Center.

Commencement generally lasts about 2 and a quarter hours per ceremony. Both ceremonies will be live streamed here.

Diplomas will not be given out at the ceremony. Graduates can pick them up at the Belknap Campus Registrar’s office about 6 to 8 weeks after commencement. The registrar’s office will notify students of when their diplomas are available.


Grant program prepares students for college

By James El-Mallakh–

If you ask a freshman in high school what year he or she will graduate, one would answer 2016. But according to Kim Millard the answer is 2020, which is the year that student will graduate from college.

“We’re providing services for this first class that we’ve called the class of 2021, which is the year they’re graduating college,” said Kim Millard, the Communications and Outreach Coordinator for the GEAR UP Kentucky program, when referring to a class of eighth grade students.

GEAR UP stands for ‘Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.’ Part of the mission of GEAR UP is to create a “college-going culture” and increase the number of secondary education students that enroll in college. Beyond the re-naming of a group of underclassmen, the GEAR UP program does this in several ways.

Starting at the seventh grade level going all the way to the first year of college, students are prepared for going to college through academic advising, campus tours and finding the scholarship application process. There is also a parental component to the program which seeks to increase parents’ participation in their child’s education.

“I think it helped me tremendously,” said Nandi Thomas, a member of one of the GEAR UP classes and currently a biology major at U of L. Thomas says the GEAR UP office at her high school in Covington, KY was, “a place for me to just go and talk to them if I had problems with grades at school or anything that would hinder my performance.”

Thomas says that she worked consistently with one counselor throughout her time in high school. During a trip to U of L’s campus, Thomas was able to speak to faculty in the biology department and she decided that U of L was the best choice for her, “there’s so much nature here and I was looking for that when picking a school.”

Thomas also notes that the GEAR UP program at her high school was mostly used at the behest of the students rather than of GEAR UP counselors. “[In] our high school, I wouldn’t say a lot of people used it but a good number of my graduating class used it.”

The GEAR UP program measures its success through students’ test scores on tests like the EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT tests as well as college and high school graduation rates. According to a written statement from Program Coordinator for GEAR UP, Mark Wiljanen, “students at GEAR UP schools were consistently posting greater gains on test scores than the state average – a 31.9 percent improvement in Reading scores, for example, compared with a state average improvement of 23.8 percent in Reading.”

GEAR UP also actively targets families below the poverty line, “in one of the rural [GEAR UP Kentucky II] high schools, 85 percent of the students came from impoverished families,” said Wiljanen in a statement. GEAR UP serves 29 schools across 21 Kentucky counties.

GEAR UP is funded by the US department of education. The department awards competitively earned six-year grants to states to increase college enrollment. Kentucky was recently awarded a third grant which will fund the program for another six years.

Thomas describes that two or three months into her first semester at U of L, “Ms. Lindy, who is our GEAR UP coordinator at our high school, she came down to visit me and four other girls that came down to Louisville as well to check up on us and things like that.”

“That really shows there was a bond and it wasn’t like she helped me because she had to, but it was because she wanted to see me personally succeed in life.”
Photo courtesy GEAR UP KYgr


Changes coming in fall 2012

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

As a student at the University of Louisville, you will quickly notice that campus construction, improvements and policy changes are as common as coffee at an 8 a.m. class. Here is a list of some of the ongoing changes to keep you up to date.


The new freshmen live-on campus policy taking affect fall 2012 isn’t the only upcoming change to U of L housing.  Renovation to the lobby in Louisville Hall will bring more student based spaced with the style of a college student to the suite style dorm. Students living in University Tower Apartments will have new elevators added to their hall. In addition, phase II of Cardinal Towne is expected to be open for students as the newest living option for upperclassmen. Phase II will add an additional student housing building which will contain underground student parking. The freshman live-on policy is expected to add an additional 500 new students living on campus in the fall semester of 2012.


With the growth of intramural sports and campus recreation, the new $38 million student recreation center is expected to enhance student life with its opening in the fall of 2013.  Until then, the construction, which officially begins in early May 2012, will be located on Fourth Street between Minardi and Kurz Halls.

The north entrance to Belknap Campus from Cardinal Boulevard is being “enhanced.”

The re-designing of the entrance will add landscaping, decorative walls and a water feature. Bicycle lanes will also be added to either side of Cardinal Boulevard. Construction of the entrance has already begun and will continue until its expected completion around mid-August.

Student Engagement Programs

Starting in the fall students can use ULink to track their involvement outside of the classroom with volunteering, extracurricular and other activities.  Student engagement record keeping provides the university with hard data and compiles information in one place for when students write a resume.

Academic Programs

For all incoming students who are undecided majors, the list of academic programs is expanding. The academic programs for a PhD in Pan African Studies, PhD in Justice Administration and Business Essentials in the College of Business have all been approved for the 2012-13 academic calendar. These along with several other proposed programs, such as peace studies, public health, Asian studies and others, that have yet to be approved are expected to widen the academic choices and experience of U of L students.
Photo: Michelle Eigenheer/The Louisville Cardinal


Campus police have your back (but you should too)

By Michelle Eigenheer–

When choosing the University of Louisville, a lot of parents worry that their newly collegiate children will not be safe on a campus in the big city.

Many have their minds set at ease when they see the dorms with limited access, the well-lit sidewalks and the abundance of emergency calling posts. In addition to this, the U of L Department of Public safety keeps students and parents informed with RAVE alerts – e-mail and text messages that let readers know information about crimes and inclement weather.

However, U of L administrators can only do so much to keep their student body safe – much is left up to the individuals who live on or around campus. In order to prevent becoming a victim, students must take their safety into their own hands.

“There’s something about college students that makes them more prone to victimization,” said Ted Hughes, Director of U of L’s Southern Police Institute and Associate professor of Justice Administration. These things that make college students easier to victimize include lifestyle choices and accessibility.

Check the door before you open it
Some of the RAVE alerts from the past year have been to tell people about home invasions of tenants being forced to the ground while their stuff is stolen. Don’t answer your door for someone you don’t know. Ask who it is and look through the peep hole. If you don’t think that person has any business in your home, don’t let them in. If they persist, it’s okay to call the police.

Lock up your stuff
Crime experts agree that crimes of opportunity are definitely some of the most common. A burglar is more likely to steal from a car with an unlocked door than bust out the window of a locked one. Lock your doors, close your windows, and don’t keep valuables in plain sight, if at all. Dorm rooms are also a place where things can be stolen. While you might feel that you can trust your roommate, there are other people who can gain access to your room. Lock your door or hide your valuables – even if you’re just taking a quick trip to the bathroom.

Prepare for the night out
Set up a designated driver. If nothing else, save the campus escort’s number in your phone (502-852-6111). Be sure that you go out with people you know and trust – ones who’ll do their best to make sure that no one tries to take advantage of you. The main thing to remember while in college is that, while there are plenty of opportunities to have fun, you must always be responsible.

Use the campus escort service
The escort service provided by DPS is in place as a way to protect students and staff. If you find yourself studying in the library later than expected, take advantage of the service instead of walking across campus alone and unprotected.

Check out the CardSafety App
The CardSafety App is a tool that provides information on what to do in case of an emergency. It covers crises from fires and floods to active shooters and earthquakes. The app also contains an extensive collection of campus maps, tips on how to prevent crime, and links to call for DPS or escort services.

The University of Louisville and the Department of Public Safety work to promote a safe environment for its community, but, ultimately, the individual is most responsible for their own welfare. While going to college is exciting for students fresh out of high school, it’s important to remember that this is the real world now and the big city is a lot different from any hometown.
Photo: Caitlin Williams/The Louisville Cardinal


Q & A with Avery Kolers, U of L professor of philosophy

By James El-Mallakh–

Often times the learning experience in college is different than it is in high school and knowing how to interact with the class can be crucial to how well a student does. To better understand how students can succeed in class, The Cardinal spoke to Avery Kolers to get some perspective on what he thinks are the best ways for students to do well.

Dr. Avery Kolers, a professor of philosophy at U of L, has been teaching graduate and undergraduate classes for 12 years at the University of Louisville. The following are excerpts from his conversation with the Cardinal.

Q: What should students expect to be consistent among all the professors of the classes that they take?
A: “I think every teacher will expect they have read the syllabus and that they know what their responsibilities are, that they meet their responsibilities and that it’s clear that they are trying to succeed. So people who waltz in and say, ‘I didn’t notice that something was due, I haven’t started it, can I have an extension,’ they will get a fair hearing, but it won’t be a good hearing.”

Q: Every professor is different, so in what ways can students adapt to those differences to do best in class?
A: “Having a sense of what the particular professor expects is important and so spending the time it takes to look at the syllabus and figure out what your responsibilities are is going to be important… Remember that some faculty are part time and have very little time and are running back and forth between campuses sometimes and their availability is going to be different.”

Q: If a student is struggling in a class, what should he or she do?
A: “The first thing is talk to their peers and talk to the professor. It would be really good to know classmates who are in the same class and who are doing the same work, and then talk to them about what you’ve missed on a given day or talk about the reading outside of class… Most of the learning for a class is outside the class… if you’re falling behind or if you’re not succeeding in the class… talking to your friends and finding out how they’re experiencing the class will be really helpful.”

Q: If a student is not particularly interested in a class, what are some of the ways they can better engage the course material?
A: “In some cases there’s a learning disability issue and… if they need help with that, they need help with that. In other cases, it’s exposure to something they’ve never been exposed to before, and sometimes there are defenses people put up, I know speaking about philosophy, people sometimes put up defenses about trying to figure out what’s really right when you though you’d known all along what was right… In other cases, you’ve always believed yourself to be bad at something like math and so your performance fulfills your expectations… Being open to new material and not doubting that you can master it are really important.”

“One thing I think students should always try to do is… figure out not just what the content is that they’re suppose to learn… but figure out what makes the content the content, what makes it true… if you understand the point of thinking, then the thinking is much easier.”

Q: Other Advise?
A: “One thing about choosing a major: the job market these days really isn’t very friendly in general so it’s really important to choose classes that are going to get you a general, deep education not just direct you towards a particular job because it may or may not exist four years from now.”

“So the idea that you should choose a course that will get you to a particular job that is waiting for you, there aren’t particular jobs waiting for you. So it’s a time of great upheaval but great opportunity too, but it really matters to have a deep, critical education.”
Photo: James El-Mallakh/The Louisville Cardinal


Romney vows to shrink department of education

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

At a closed fundraising event on April 15, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney vowed to shrink the Department of Education.  Romney said that if elected, “I will either consolidate it with another agency, or perhaps make it a heck of a lot smaller.”

Although Romney also said, “I’m not going to get rid of it entirely,” response to these comments has sparked controversy within the political arena and the education world. “Romney is out of touch. He doesn’t get it,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a statement.

One of the reasons Romney cited to keep the agency is to have a federal role in pushing back against teachers’ unions.  Weingarten said, “If all he wants to do is use the Department of Education to go after union, then he’s clearly not interested in using it to help kids.”

This year, the Department of Education with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which Romney has also mentioned shrinking or consolidating, will total expenditures equaling $155 billion.

At the time of the comment concerning the Department of Education Romney was unaware that reporters were listening.  Representatives for Romney told CNN, “He was tossing out ideas, not unveiling policy.”

When asked how Romney’s comments affect her view and vote, Jessie Halonen said, “I would have to consider what impact those changes would have.”

Halonen, a fifth year accounting major, also said, “I don’t think that most people look at a candidate as a whole,” and that has the potential to harm Romney’s race for the White House.

This is not the first time that Romney has commented on cutting the department.  In 1994, Romney suffered a blow to his senate campaign when democratic opponent Robert Kennedy ran a political ad quoting his plan to consolidate the Department of Education.
Photo courtesy Steve Deace