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Office of the President

Remarks by President Zimpher to the Board of Trustees, June 24, 2008

 


I, too, want to thank our able and steadfast Alumni Association President, Bob Dobbs, for everything he has done over the last four years for our great Bearcat Nation.  Bob is closing in on the final days of two very full terms. He may be thinking that June 30th can’t come quickly enough…But seriously, this may be one of my last chances to say in a public forum, “Thank You, Bob,” on behalf of the University of Cincinnati family, for making UC such a huge part of your life. And thank you to his wife, Kim, for being willing to share him.

On Saturday, June 14, the University of Cincinnati awarded a total of 4,617 degrees to 4,555 graduates (some, obviously, earning more than a single degree).  This total includes 537 associate degrees, 2,511 bachelor’s degrees, 1,036 master’s degrees and 533 doctoral degrees. UC’s Office of Institutional Research reports the number of UC students reaching graduation is at its highest in 20 years.

Among the graduates was Lekeisha Sherman, the first person in her immediate family to go to college. She was among the first UC students to graduate from a pilot program aimed at keeping talented, high-demand teachers in urban school districts. Supported by Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America, Inc., the “African American Initiative for Math and Science” provides full tuition to participants. As part of her obligation to the program, Lekeisha will teach at least five years in an urban school following her graduation.

An idea from a UC student, backed by UC research, will improve the appearance of Cincinnati’s parks. The student discovered some innovative trash cans while conducting research for the Cincinnati Park Board, and the Park Board worked with UC’s electrical engineering department to develop a wireless system that not only transmits a signal when the cans need to be emptied, but generates a map and calculates a route schedule for these pickups.

On June 10, UC was the site of the Cincinnati Streetcar Forum with the theme of “Promoting Growth & Mobility.” Planners presented information about Cincinnati's proposed streetcar system from the riverfront to Uptown. Experts from Portland, Ore.; Little Rock, Ark.; Charlotte, N.C., and Seattle described strategies, benefits and obstacles to building streetcar lines, and answered questions.

 Eight colleges and schools of pharmacy and their practice partners – including UC’s James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy and our partner Community Pharmacy Care – were awarded the 2008 AACP Crystal APPLE (that stands for “Academic-Practice Partnerships for Learning Excellence”) Award for achieving excellence in experiential education. The award recognizes the contributions of faculty and administrators at colleges and schools of pharmacy, and the pharmacist practitioner educators and administrators who are their practice partners in supporting quality experiential education in clinical teaching environments.

 Following an unannounced, comprehensive on-site evaluation, University Pointe Surgical Hospital was awarded the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval accreditation. The accreditation process evaluates quality and safety within health care organizations, and identifies opportunities for improvement for organizations to continuously provide safe, high-quality care, treatment and services. University Pointe Surgical Hospital is a joint partnership between UC Physicians and the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati.

 UC College of Applied Science construction science faculty recently led a week-long workshop in Hanoi regarding modern construction-management practices. A joint effort between Hanoi University of Civil Engineering and UC's College of Applied Science, these workshops offer concentrated sessions in current construction management techniques, methods and practices.

UC is earning national and international headlines. In May 2008, the university’s research efforts were recognized in the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Reuters, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report and more. The stories were wide ranging in both scope and prominence and included coverage of university research studies regarding the coming shortage of geriatric experts; the increased incidence of certain knee injuries among young, female athletes; the potential dangers of certain plastic bottles; and a promising viral therapy weapon against cancer.

Of particular note, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, the Washington Post and other international media featured a longitudinal study by UC researchers from the College of Medicine and the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services that followed lead-exposed children from birth into adulthood, finding that even relatively low levels of lead permanently damage the brain.

The Planetizen 2009 Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is just out and the newest rankings of the nation’s top master’s degree programs ranked the University of Cincinnati’s graduate planning program fifth in the Midwest region and 20th in the nation. Planetizen ranked UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning ninth in providing student financial aid and sixth for providing training to international students.

State of Ohio representatives and senators were able to sniff, drive, test and try some of the University of Cincinnati’s first-rate research projects during a special event held at the Statehouse in Columbus on May 27. That’s when researchers from UC were on hand to display applied research and technology projects now coming out of the university, exemplifying the institution’s standing among the nation’s top research universities.