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WKU Regents commend president for leadership in time of national challenges to higher education

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Rhonda J. Miller
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The Western Kentucky University Board of Regents at its meeting Friday reported a positive annual evaluation of President Timothy Caboni. 

Chairman Dr. Philip Bale said that while many American colleges and universities face uncertain futures, Caboni has led WKU with sound fiscal leadership and a focus on making student success a priority. 

“Under President Caboni’s leadership, our university is now better positioned to harness our available resources, utilize our collective imaginations, and create an environment that fosters student success and well-being in a higher education world full of transformation,” said Bale.

Some of those nationwide challenges include declining student enrollment, public apathy toward higher education, and major innovations in technology and social media, along with the global pandemic, Bale said. 

The board approved an extensive list of faculty and staff reclassifications and salary adjustments that took place from May to September. Some of the salary increases were as little $2,000, while some for administrators were  $30,000 or more. 

The board also reported the sale of a building on Nashville Road to The Hive, a community center for adults with disabilities. The Hive had been leasing the building for three years. 

New data was presented to the board on how Living and Learning Communities are having a positive impact on student reenrollment.  President Caboni said the new First Year Village is helping create a transformational experience for college freshmen. 

The 'Village’ is a Living Learning Community that includes pod-style living, faculty mentorship and peer advising.  

Caboni said among WKU students who have not participated this fall in a Living Learning Community, or LLC, 84% have preregistered for the spring semester. 

“For those who have participated in an LLC, 92% have reenrolled for the spring semester," said Caboni. "If my math is accurate, that’s almost an eight point difference for those who participated. Eight percentage points is significant statistically and it’s also significant in the lives of those students.”

Rhonda Miller joined WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.
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