By Sam Combest —


College of Arts and Sciences Dean Kimberly Kempf-Leonard gave her annual 2018 Dean State of the College Address to a faculty-filled auditorium. She discussed the short-comings going on behind the scenes as well as new advancements for the college this upcoming year.

Topics included lack of student enrollment and budget cuts, and how this affected morale among faculty and administrators.

“It’s been very challenging for us. We have had several significant budget cuts; many of our policies and procedures have changed as quickly as the administrators in charge of our major offices,” said Kempf-Leonard.

President Bendapudi has been transparent in her three pillars that will guide all her decisions. Bendapudi said she wants to make U of L a great play to learn, work and invest as she mentioned in her chat on Sept.17.

She opened with transparency to her faculty and staff saying she is “cautiously optimistic” going into the 2018-19 academic year.

A big advancement for A&S is a new building set to open next month in the historic Portland Neighborhood on Rowan St. This new building will house several fine arts classes including Studio Art & Design, the archaeology labs and the Urban & Public Affairs urban design studio. While the building opens in October, the goal is to move classes to the Rowan building – as its being referred to for the time being – in January.

She said the new building is a potential game changer.

Faculty and staff publications are on the rise from 2016 with 611 book chapters and journal articles being published in 2017 as compared to the 564 from 2016 and 25 books compared to the previous 18.

According to a report run June 28,  the A&S Fiscal Year budgets are on a steady decline, and A&S has yet to use all money in the budget despite the sheer amount of budget cuts they have faced over the years.

Along with the decline of funds in the budget is the decline of faculty and staff numbers.  The college is down seven full-time faculty members from the 2017-18 academic year and 32 permanent staff members from 2017-18 academic year.

Despite several layoffs, there were 27 faculty promotions, nine new staff positions, the addition of 21 new faculty members and five new staff members.

In 2018 there were seven staff and 20 faculty retirees. Two members of the faculty and staff passed away, and Kempf-Leonard made sure to memorialize them in her address.

U of L is currently classified as a Carnegie R1 for research, and with cautious optimism, she reminded faculty and staff to continue to apply for research grants and scholarships.

Photo by Sam Combest / The Louisville Cardinal