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The role of vice president for land-grant engagement was established in August 2020 to help facilitate more purposeful collaboration across the campus. One year later, the Board of Trustees adopted the university’s new strategic plan—the UK Plan for Unprecedented Research, Purposeful and Optimal Service and Education (UK-PURPOSE)—which recognizes the important role of engagement in the areas of student success, health and well-being, innovation and diversity. Together, these shared goals represent a firm commitment to expanding and enhancing our service to the state. 

In the early months of this role, new partnerships were forged with colleges and administrative units across campus to bring more of the University of Kentucky into Kentucky communities, including a closer connection between UK enrollment management and 4-H Youth Development, oral health information distribution by the College of Dentistry through cooperative extension, and collaborative, community-based vaccine education with the College of Pharmacy, Institute for Rural Journalism and Kentucky State University.  

In 2022, recognizing the important opportunity creatively and collaboratively to think anew, the Vice President for Land-grant Engagement launched the UK Engage initiative to envision a bold future for the university’s engagement mission. The visioning committee, representing groups across and external to the University of Kentucky utilized a multi-month process that involved benchmarking, strategic thinking, and priority identification for land-grant engagement.  

A vision for land-grant engagement coalesced around the university’s strategic plan, competitive funding opportunities, new engagement partnerships, strategy development, and faculty and student resources is in final development. The vision and recommendations for bolstering land-grant engagement will be available via this website in the coming weeks.