The day after it was announced that University of Kentucky Provost Tim Tracy will leave his post at the end of the year, the official met with UK employees at a regularly scheduled meeting.
Tracy took questions from employees about the status of initiatives he launched as the school begins the search for his replacement. The outgoing provost said he’s most proud of the UK LEADS Scholarship program and the school’s effort to shift the majority of student aid to a model based on financial need. He said that’s already showing signs of increasing retention.
Still, Tracy says he would have liked to see graduation rates top 70 percent at UK before packing up his things.
"There are only about 200 of the 3,500 colleges and universities in the country that have a 70 percent graduation rate," he says. "I'm looking forward to the day when UK is in that list. I'll have to watch it from afar, but that's the thing that I regret the most."
UK’s current graduation rate rests at 64.6 percent, according to the provost.
Tracy also said demographics predict a decline in new high school graduates and the university should reach out to more non-traditional students who have completed some college but have not obtained a degree.
"We've really begun aligning a lot of our resources and efforts in a way that could support that, and I think there's beginning to be a groundswell among the colleges to take that on. So I think that has some legs and I think it will last long beyond me because I think folks see the need in Kentucky," he says.
Tracy plans to leave December 31st for a private sector job, heading up research and development company Aprecia Pharmaceuticals in Cincinnati.
He’s served as UK provost since February 2015.