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WKU president signals process on awarding tenure may be altered

Clinton Lewis

The president of Western Kentucky University says the school may become more intentional in the future when making decisions about granting tenure to faculty.

The Board of Regents met on Friday and approved tenure for 12 professors.

Regents met in special session last month to consider President Timothy Caboni’s recommendation to dismiss Dr. Jeanine Huss over allegations of incompetency. Regents voted unanimously to keep Huss as a professor in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

Following Friday's meeting, Caboni told WKU Public Radio that granting tenure to faculty is always a weighty decision.

“The board of regents, by legislation, is the only organization that can grant tenure and the only group that can revoke tenure," Caboni said. "What I’m most proud of about what happened at the special called meeting is that the university followed its process and procedures, and we’re going to continue to do that.”

Caboni said the process for approving tenure isn’t getting the attention it deserves. He told regents that faculty should be given more recognition for achieving tenured status, but moving forward, the board should also be more deliberate when granting tenure.

The WKU Board of Regents also approved the suspension of six academic programs, due to declining enrollment and lack of instructors. Among those ending this fall is the Arabic language program, although currently enrolled students will be allowed to complete their studies.

In other business, Athletics Director Todd Stewart received a contract extension, keeping him at the school through July 2026. Stewart’s annual base salary will also increase from more than $274,000 to $298,000.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.