Dr. Joseph L. Fink III P'70, received the Robert G. Zumwinkle Student Rights Award at the University of Kentucky on April 14, 2009. The award, presented by the UK Student Government Association, may be given each year to one faculty member, one staff member, or one student who has protected, enforced, and furthered student rights.
Dr. Fink is a professor of pharmacy law and policy in the UK College of Pharmacy. He also has joint faculty appointments as professor of health administration in the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, professor of health services management in the UK College of Public Health, and professor of clinical leadership and management in the College of Health Sciences at UK. This award is named in honor of Dr. Robert Zumwinkle, former vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Kentucky and chairman of the University Student Code Committee.
Dr. Fink has served as the university hearing officer and chair of the University Appeals Board for ten years. During that time, he has maintained a clearly articulated goal for University Appeals Board hearings – to have the student-appellants leave feeling they were denied no opportunity to state their case fully and completely before the Appeals Board panel. While the appellants may not obtain the decision they desired, they should be satisfied with the process. To assist with achieving that goal he prepared a document in question-and-answer format for posting off the website of the Office of the Academic Ombud at UK to provide information to all about the policies and processes of the University Appeals Board. He has also implemented systematic orientation of newly appointed Appeals Board members, both faculty and students, so they can better discharge their responsibilities.
From the beginning of his service, Dr. Fink encouraged students pursuing appeals to meet with him in advance of the session to familiarize them with the policies and procedures of the Appeals Board and to show them the setting in which the hearing would be conducted so they would be more at ease.
The University Appeals Board consists of thirty members, with eighteen drawn from the faculty and twelve from the student body. It has original jurisdiction over alleged academic offenses and appellate authority over student academic or disciplinary matters. Dr. Fink was nominated for this recognition by Ms. Lindsay Cordes, a second-year student at the UK College of Law and a long-serving member of the Appeals Board.
Educated in both pharmacy and law, he has been at UK since 1981 and over the years has been asked to serve UK in a wide variety of administrative positions across campus. Dr. Fink received his law degree from Georgetown in 1973 and is also the 2003 recipient of University of the Sciences' Alumni Association Annual Award.