WKU President Gary Ransdell's interview with WKU Public Radio
WKU President Gary Ransdell stopped by the studios of WKU Public Radio Tuesday morning to discuss state funding for higher education, a recent announcement regarding how university construction projects will be financed, and the impact of rising tuition rates on current and future students.
President Ransdell spoke with WKU Public Radio News Director Kevin Willis. Here are some excerpts from their conversation:
Kevin Willis:Last week it was announced that Governor Beshear and state legislative leaders were backing $363 million in bonds for university construction and renovation projects. But it was understood that the schools themselves would be footing the entire cost for their respective projects, with no extra state funding involved. WKU was given approval for $22 million in bonds for a new Honors College and International Center.
The state Nature Preserves Commission has given three WKU professors its annual award for work that protects biological diversity.
Alfred Meier, Ouida Meier and Scott Grubbs were given this year's Biological Diversity Protection Award for their work creating the Upper Green River Biological Preserve. The preserve is on the banks of the Green River in Hart County.
The Green River is the most important river in Kentucky for the conservation of rare native mussels and fish. It hosts 109 fish species and nearly 60 mussel species. The area is also important for an endangered bat species found on the preserve and as a breeding and migratory habitat for songbirds.
Education Week magazine has ranked Kentucky in the top ten in its annual assessment of school policy and standards.
The commonwealth got two perfect scores in subcategories of the six indicators measured. One was for school accountability and another for Economy and Workforce. Overall, the commonwealth received a grade of B-minus.
Tennessee and Indiana both received grades of C+.
And while the state has tried to avoid cutting education, Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says federal education cuts could be coming.
"We think we've solved the fiscal cliff two weeks ago. We did not," says Holiday. "It is still a reality and we encourage our congressional delegation to solve this fiscal cliff issue called 'sequestration' for domestic cuts.”