that the college has received full accreditation for five years. This is an amazing result, considering it is the first time the college has been visited by an accrediting body. The college is an amalgamation of existing services that did not cost the university any money. This is a great accomplishment in such a short period of time.
UK's research awards were up by 14.7 percent at the end of April, and at the end of May, they were up 17 percent over last year. This will be another record year in research. President Todd said that he was very proud of Dr. Baldwin and her staff for their accomplishments.
President Todd encouraged the Board to read the other good items in the report. Report on Top 20 Business Plan
President Todd provided an update on the Top 20 Business Plan by making a slide presentation. He said that his report is an explanation of the process.
The university contracted with the Stillwater Group through a Request for Proposal process to develop a business plan. When HB 1 was passed, the university was given the mandate to become a major comprehensive research university ranked nationally in the top twenty public universities. The university was given the goal without the path to achieve it. This business plan will create the path. The university's staff is working with the Council on Postsecondary Education to assure UK is in alignment with the state's public agenda.
Meetings to discuss the objectives, design, and implementation of the business plan have already taken place. This will be a campus-wide plan. Ernie Yanarella, Chair of the Senate Council, attended three meetings in one day. His meetings involved three different groups that he had associations with on campus.
The initial phase will be to determine UK's present competitive position and the gap necessary to achieve Top 20 status. Only public institutions that have at least $20 million in annual federal funding are included in the analysis. Four domains of competitiveness have been identified: undergraduate education, graduate education, faculty recognition, and sponsored research. The multi-dimensional nature of a university of this size needs to be taken into consideration. This will give the university a way to plan for each of the initiatives, by breaking down the tasks into those four categories.
Rankings are subjective. The mandate in HB 1 did not state exactly what that one sentence meant, and the staff has been working on that definition. Data are sometimes hard to get. It takes the federal government a while to determine the numbers, but the numbers presented on research by UK can be used because they are independently verified.