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WKU Regents Approve Bid for Executive Search Firm, Withdrawal from Reserve Fund


Western Kentucky University is one step closer to hiring an executive search firm to look for the school’s next president.

The Board of Regents on Friday approved a motion to award a bid to the Boston-based firm Isaacson, Miller.

Dr. Phillip Bale of Glasgow, the chairman of the WKU presidential search committee, said the committee was impressed with the recent track record of Isaacson, Miller.

“They’ve done many presidential searches within the last few years. They’ve done the presidential searches for Vanderbilt, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Illinois, just to name a few.”

The proposed contract with the firm has to be approved by the state next month.

WKU President Gary Ransdell is retiring at the end of June, 2017.

Regents also gave the OK to tap the school’s Reserve Fund to cover recent state funding cuts.

A deal negotiated between Governor Matt Bevin and higher education leaders called for an immediate cut of two percent.

WKU regents Friday approved dipping into the reserve fund to cover the school’s $1.5 million reduction.

Regent John Ridley of Bowling Green cast the lone vote against the motion. He said university administrators, faculty, and staff are being put into a bad position by the move.

“They’ve created a savings by their hard work, and the board has done that as well, and supported it,” Ridley told reporters after the vote. “And then, all of a sudden, we have an opportunity to say ‘we just found this money.’ Well, we didn’t, because we had a plan for it.”

Ten regents supported the plan.

They said using the reserve fund to cover the cuts was the best option available.

In other business Friday, the board also:

*Approved a Master of Science in Child and Family Studies.

*Approved graduate certificates in Measurement, Evaluation and Research and in Business Core Competencies.

*Approved an undergraduate certificate in Applied Data Analytics.

*Approved graduate and undergraduate certificates in Brewing and Distilling Arts & Sciences.

*Approved emeritus status for Dr. William Pfohl Jr. in Psychology and Dr. Christopher Wagner in Educational Administration, Leadership and Research.

*Approved an employment contract for Coach Rick Stansbury, men’s basketball, and contract addendums for Coach Jeff Brohm, football, and Athletic Director Todd Stewart.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
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