Many issues but Greg Postel eager to help shape UofL’s future

There are no shortcuts when it comes resolving some of the current issues plaguing the University of Louisville. The issues are complex, some are divisive, all of them requiring ongoing attention.

Interim President Greg Postel is confident, however, that the challenges, which include accreditation, academic funding, arena financing and NCAA infractions, are being tackled comprehensively. But Postel is not spending all of his time looking backward, he’s also looking forward to putting the problems behind for the University.

Greg Postel has been at UofL for 23 years, serving as Vice President of Health Affairs before becoming Interim President.

“I’m to the point where we have to start turning our focus on where we’re going next,” he told UofL’s Mark Hebert, director of media programming and production in a YouTube released Tuesday.  “I don’t think it’s possible for people to come to work everyday and be excited about solving old problems.”

Postel said he is in contact on a daily basis with people throughout the community who are anticipating the next stage in UofL’s development — donors, potential donors, politicians, citizens throughout the community, students, staff, faculty, administrators, giving him a good sense what the community wants to happen.

“I think people are pleased that the problems are being addressed, and comforted, I hope, that those problems are being addressed in a thoughtful way,” he said. “For people to be enthusiastic, however, they have to have something to look forward to.  That means what is our strategy and how we are going to follow it.”

He noted that UofL essentially has two strategic plans, the 20/20 plan developed in 2008 and the 21st Century initiative from 2012, with points of focus including education, research, diversity, community engagement and stewardship of resources.

“My concern, or the deficiency in both plans was not the quality of the goals but I don’t think enough thought was given as to how all the resources would be marshaled to accomplish those goals.

“This community is hopeful about the future of the University of Louisville. In my position, I hear a tremendous amount of optimism, that people are pleased that UofL is ready to move to the next stage in its evolution. UofL is going to do some great things and be a contributing member in this community.

“That’s exciting to me. I put everything I have into this job.”

University of Louisville, going on 214

What’s summer for, if not a time to broaden one’s perspective.

A search of the archives turned up this video commemorating the 200th anniversary of the University of Louisville in 1998. It’s a fascinating narrative, obviously dated, but includes many familiar faces, historic reminders, and memories while providing new insights for some.

What’s even more incredible, however is how much more has been accomplished at UofL since the video was produced. Knowing Mark Hebert, director of media relations, he’s probably already working on a sequel.

A fan and a professional at U of L

Former WHAS-TV newsman Mark Hebert was considered the top investigative reporter in the state before he joined the University of Louisville staff a couple of years ago. He was, in fact, feared by many politicians.

Given the seriousness of the subjects he dealt with, it was amusing to observe him standing in line for popcorn at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, sitting high in the bleachers at a U of L baseball game, or standing on his toes to catch the action at Freedom Hall.

Hebert could have used his media credentials and enjoyed front row seats and free food like many of his media colleagues. But I think he enjoyed attending the games as a common fan. He didn’t want to be on press row pretending to be neutral. He wanted to enjoy the fan experience, have some fun, get involved emotionally with his teams.

Mark Hebert

U of L is fortunate to have him as Director of Communications and Marketing. He remains objective and professional in his approach, recognizing the university has many challenges. A year ago I noticed that U of L was no longer listed as a Tier Three university in the annual ratings provided by U. S. News & World Report, thinking Louisville had improved its standing. Hebert quickly corrected me, indicating that the magazine had changed its rating system and that U of L had actually lost ground.

Ask a question, he provides straight answers. Need info, no problem. Quick turnarounds, too, responding to e-mails on weekends. And when Hebert develops a report showing how far the University has advanced in so many areas in recent years, he brings a lot of credibility, as in this video produced several months ago: