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Board Announces University Professorships for 2020-21

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees today approved the University Research Professorships for the 2020-21 academic year.

The purpose of the University Research Professorship program is to recognize and publicize research accomplishments of scholars across the full range of disciplines at UK. The award amount is $10,000 for one year, to be used to further the research, scholarship and creative endeavors of the awardee.  

“It is truly gratifying to recognize these distinguished experts who have made significant contributions in so many different fields of research at the University of Kentucky,” said Lisa Cassis, UK’s vice president for research. “The University Research Professorship Award honors members of our faculty who have demonstrated excellence in scholarship and creative work that addresses scientific, social, cultural and economic challenges in our region and around the world.”

The University Research Professors Program recognizes excellence across the full spectrum of research, scholarship and creative endeavors within each college that nominates a faculty member. College leadership developed criteria for excellence in research and scholarly activity within their area of expertise and then nominated faculty who excelled at these criteria.

The 2020-21 University Research Professors are:

  • Seth DeBolt, Horticulture, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment;
  • Amy Murrell Taylor, History, College of Arts and Sciences;
  • Renée Fatemi, Physics and Astronomy, College of Arts and Sciences;
  • H. Dan O’Hair, Communication, College of Communication and Information;
  • J. Todd Hastings, Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering;
  • Rae Goodwin, Art and Visual Studies, College of Fine Arts;
  • Haipeng (Allan) Chen, Marketing, Gatton College of Business and Economics;            
  • Kathryn L. Moore, J. David Rosenberg College of Law;
  • Susanne Markesbery Arnold, Markey Cancer Center, College of Medicine;
  • Linda Van Eldik, Sanders Brown Center on Aging, College of Medicine;           
  • Kristin Ashford, College of Nursing;
  • Steven G. Van Lanen, Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy; and
  • Erin Abner, Epidemiology, College of Public Health

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

By Jenny Wells-Hosley
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2020)