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University of Kentucky College of Law 2021-2026 STRATEGIC PLAN

Mission: The University of Kentucky College of Law strives to be an outstanding public law school. To achieve this end, we prepare students to be lawyers and leaders to serve the country and the Commonwealth, produce widely-recognized legal scholarship, and contribute to the advancement of justice.

Goal 1: Develop and maintain a high-quality program of legal education


Assessment methods/Measures of Progress

1.1. Review curriculum to determine appropriate reforms by mapping learning outcomes to curricular offerings

1.1.1.  Prepare a curriculum map

1.1.2. Identify curricular misalignments and gaps

1.1.3. Apply curriculum map to assess learning outcomes in accordance with ABA Standard 315.

1.2. Increase awareness of a variety of teaching methodologies in the classroom


1.2.1. Work with librarians to flag appropriate literature of law teaching methods

Compare answers to LSSSE items 3a-3e: mental activities engaged in: memorizing, analyzing, synthesizing, making judgments, applying theories.

1.2.2. Conduct faculty teaching surveys

1.2.3. Increase emphasis on “brown bags” on teaching

1.3. Explore the feasibility of training in Law Practice Management for a new solo or small practice

1.3.1.  Survey offerings or programs at benchmark institutions

1.4.2. Identify relevant current course offerings

1.4. Evaluate participation in joint degree programs, and investigate interest in additional new programs, including a joint JD/Ph.D.

1.4.1. Determine and articulate faculty concerns regarding issues associated with joint degree programs

1.4.2. Identify possible new joint degree programs and consider viability and student interest

1.4.3. Survey past joint-degree students to gauge experiences and satisfaction

1.5. Consider enriching our degree offerings with new non-JD programs.

1.5.1. Report from Executive Committee containing benchmarks and options

1.6. Consider adding a second legal clinic to enhance experiential training

1.6.1. Task existing or ad hoc committee with developing written proposal regarding second clinic

1.6.2. Move written proposal through committee and faculty review process

1.7. Evaluate ways to best incorporate distance learning into the curriculum

1.7.1. Survey students on their satisfaction with experiences in online coursework during Fall 2020-Spring 2021

1.7.2. Program robust faculty discussion on underlying issues:

  • What kind of law school do we envision distance learning promoting: Regional, or national, informing to whom distance learning would be targeted;
  • What form of distance learning best suits our abilities (e.g. synchronous or asynchronous);
  • Would a part-time asynchronous program fill a gap in legal education within Kentucky?
  • Beyond the J.D., what about certificates and single courses?



Goal 2: Attract a Strong and Diverse Student Body


Assessment methods/Measures of Progress

2.1. Review and assess admissions priorities

2.1.1. Admissions Committee to determine how we can increase our yield of resident applicants.

2.1.2. Dean to determine how to increase scholarship funds available for incoming students, and if so, how a strategy should be implemented.

2.1.3. Establish schedule of targeted improvements in GPA and LSAT of incoming classes.

2.2. Attract and enroll a student body diverse in traits such as sex, geographic origin, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, and income.

2.2.1. Calculate and post on website admissions diversity annually.

2.2.2. Establish a more formal exit interview or similar process to learn why the College was unsuccessful in its recruitment efforts and, in particular, to determine if diversity played a role in the student’s decision.

2.2.3. Clarify optimal deployment of relevant student organizations in recruitment.

2.3. Report data on faculty and alumni involvement in recruiting students.

2.3.1. Develop a plan for more formally involving alumni and faculty in admissions and recruitment efforts.

2.3.2. Collect and report data annually on alumni, faculty, and student organization participation in recruitment activities.


2.4. Identify new ways to attract students with high academic potential

2.4.1. Analyze the results of the 3+3 program with the College of Arts and Sciences and their subsequent law school performance.

2.4.2. Determine how the 3+3 program should be expanded to include other undergraduate majors at UK or other four-year colleges in Kentucky.

2.4.3. Evaluate results of KLEO program and other “pipeline” programs in attracting students or potential students.



Goal 3: Support students in their pursuit of career opportunities


Assessment methods/Measures of Progress

3.1.  Explore ways that the changing law school landscape may impact career opportunities by:

a. Identifying trends in practice of law; and

b. assessing preparation of students to participate fully in emerging niches


3.1.1 Library to synthesize annual literature on expectations of new hires

3.1.2. Analyze currently available data to determine the impact on hiring of student participation in clinics, externships, pro bono activities and other extra- or co-curricular activities.

3.1.3. Analyze LSSSE items regarding employment rates:

1m.  talked about career plans with faculty or advisor

10b.  acquiring job or work skills

             10m.  developing career goals

3.2. Improve faculty ability to advocate student hiring by raising awareness of current practice needs and perspectives.


3.2.1. Conduct faculty discussions with CDO and hiring attorneys to discuss practice needs and perspectives.

3.2.2. CDO brownbag for faculty on ABA hiring data.



Goal 4: Provide a robust environment for research 


Assessment methods/Measures of Progress

4.1. Promote engagement with scholars from other law schools


4.1.1. Host regular lectures by scholars from other law schools

4.1.2. Host lectures by distinguished visiting scholars from other law schools

4.1.3. Engage distinguished scholars to teach at the law school as visitors

4.1.4. Support symposia with scholars from other law schools

4.1.5. Encourage the Associate Dean for Research to publicize our visiting lectures to national readers.

4.2. Establish administrative support for research


4.2.1 Explore whether position of Associate Dean for Research receivers adequate support (e.g., release from additional committee work).

4.3. Assess progress on support for faculty scholarship


4.3.1. Provide consistent summer research funding.

4.3.2. Facilitate faculty workshops and presentations of scholarship at all levels of development, both within the College and outside.

4.3.3. Assure that the Library receives all faculty scholarship, both print for the faculty archives, and electronic for the College’s digital institutional repository.

4.3.4. Organize workshops that provide an opportunity for junior faculty to discuss early writing ideas.



Goal 5: Provide a strong and sustainable infrastructure, including: a strong, improved digital presence; an improved physical environment; stable & diverse revenue streams; and increased efficiency in operations


Assessment methods/Measures of Progress

5.1. Assess effectiveness, currency, and usability of website.


5.1.1. Evaluate both user observations and website focusing on appearance, accessibility, usability, and content

5.1.2. Report results of data regularly in monthly Administrators’ Reports.

5.2. Maintain relevant social media accounts to connect to potential students and the community at large. Identify relevant media platforms and assess effectiveness in connecting with students, alumni, and potential applicants.


5.2.1. Regularly measure the frequency of information disseminated through the various social media accounts of the College of Law and the Law Library.

5.2.2. Regularly measure the “alt metrics” (e.g. Facebook “likes”) of the various social media accounts of the College of Law and the Law Library.

5.2.3. Report results of data regularly in monthly Administrators’ Reports.

5.2.4. Formalize flow of information from faculty to Communications Office about their activities.

5.3. Involve faculty of all levels and series in alumni engagement and development opportunities.

5.3.1. Involve interested faculty in planning and scheduling events.

5.3.2. Motivate higher faculty participation in alumni and philanthropy events.

5.5. Investigate the potential benefit of adjusting faculty DOE [distribution of effort] in light of operational needs

5.5.1. Discuss feasibility of allowing the expansion of range of required DOE percentages.


5.5.2. Discuss what should constitute “research” for purposes of DOEs.

5.6. Develop best practices when education cannot occur in situ for any reason, such as pandemic or natural disaster.

5.6.1.  Update RCoL’s emergency plan with instructions concerning transition and execution of off-site education.



Goal 6: Provide a positive environment for students, staff, and faculty


Assessment methods/Measures of Progress

6.1. Foster a climate that values inclusivity.

6.1.1. Mine LSSSEE for baseline changes over time of students’ perceptions of inclusion.

6.1.2. Asst. Dean of Diversity will report on plans to address issues raised in LSSSEE data.

6.1.3. Review UK Work/Life faculty/staff survey for trends in perceptions of inclusion.

6.1.4. Asst. Dean for Finance and Admin. will evaluate and propose responses to identified work/life issues.

6.1.5. Enquire if LSSSEE data can be cross-correlated with respondent demographics to identify if particular subsets of student population encounters unique obstacles.

6.2. Enhance funding from Dean’s Office for student groups and activities, making this resource available on a publicized and equitable basis.

6.2.1. Asst. Dean for Finance and Admin to analyze student activity expenditures over last three years and report to faculty any trends or concerns.

6.2.2. Asst. Dean of Student Services to analyze denied requests for student funding and report to faculty any trends or concerns.

6.3. Foster a climate that values integrity and professionalism.


6.3.1. Provide orientation meetings that stress professionalism to new students, reinforced with additional events for students introducing volunteer opportunities, lawyer assistance programs, and co-curricular competitions and activities.

6.3.2. Recognize and publicize instances of integrity and professionalism both within and outside the classroom.

6.3.3. Asst. Dean for Student Services to track all professionalism events through the year and use results to plan events for the next year.

6.4. Create a transparent faculty evaluation process

6.4.1. Modify communications about evaluations to assist faculty in making decisions about time investments.

6.4.2. Ascertain whether faculty satisfaction with the evaluation process improves as measured by inclusion on periodic faculty meeting agendas.

6.4.3. Clarify role of Executive Committee in evaluation process.

6.5. Clarify status of different faculty series and simplify relevant faculty rules


6.5.1. Determine needed changes to faculty rules or title series to assure compliance with University regulations.

6.5.2. Determine whether clinical faculty should be tenure-eligible under appropriate title series.

6.6. Formalize policies and practices concerning work-from-home

6.6.1. Identify those positions which can be performed out of office, and memorialize that determination in appropriate documents.



Goal 7: Promote meaningful impact by the College


Assessment methods/Measures of Progress

7.1 Increase student pro bono participation


7.1.1  Create annual report of student participation in pro bono activities to be included in the Administrators’ Report.

7.1.2 Engage with community to market, both externally and internally, reasons and opportunities for pro bono participation.

7.2 Update and refine standards for student engagement with community


7.2.1. Engage with community to market, both externally and internally, reasons and opportunities for community service opportunities. 7.2.2. Create formal systems to collect instances of student participation by both individuals and organizations in community service.

7.3 Clarify and promote faculty engagement with community:



7.3.1 Survey faculty regarding extent of community service and pro bono work.

7.3.2 Hold a brown bag regarding whether and how the College can promote community engagement and pro bono work by the faculty.





Assessment methods/Measures of Progress

I.1. Select a meaningful core of strategies for the academic year.

I.1.1. Prepare agenda for annual fall faculty planning meeting (“Advance”) to get input from faculty on strategies

I.1.2. Have selection of core strategies approved at first faculty meeting in August.

I.2. Maintain an archive of strategies removed from the Strategic Plan as either achieved or obsolete.

I.2.1. Archive should remain as permanent appendix to the plan. It should be reviewed each year and removal of irrelevant items should be proposed at the plan’s annual update.

I.3. Report at the end of each academic year on modifications to the plan in light of the above actions.

I.3.1. Academic-year-end report should be prepared and shared with the faculty.


I.4. Create list of recurring actions outside the scope of the strategic plan.