Western Kentucky University

WKU

Western Kentucky University is closing a program on campus that promotes Chinese language and culture. 

In an email to faculty and staff on Monday, WKU President Timothy Caboni announced the school is terminating its agreement with the Confucius Institute. 

The institute came to WKU in 2010 and helps place Chinese language teachers in local K-through-12 schools, while also serving as a hub for teacher training and curriculum development.

“Though activities will phase out over the next several weeks, we will continue our dialogue with key partners to work toward a solution that allows WKU to continue our programming,” Dr. Caboni said. “We hope to strengthen, deepen and broaden our relationships with partner institutions in China throughout this process.”

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The faculty regent at Western Kentucky University says he expects a proposal to suspend some academic programs will pass an initial vote on Friday. 

A committee made up of faculty members has recommended the school eliminate 101 programs, although many have no students currently enrolled. 

In an interview with WKU Public Radio, Dr. Claus Ernst said faculty he’s spoken to are largely in support of the recommendations.

“I think there’s a feeling that it could have been worse, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say faculty is happy. We’re all anxious about what the future will bring. Some programs will be cut even though they have some students in them, may not be a lot of students, but for any faculty member whose program is cut, that’s devastating.”

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Western Kentucky University is making another leadership change in the Potter College of Arts and Letters. 

In an email on Wednesday afternoon to faculty and staff, Acting Provost Cheryl Stevens announced that Dr. Larry Snyder will resume serving as dean effective April 15.  He will finish his term which ends June 30, 2021.

Dr. Merrall Price, who was serving as interim dean, will remain as Special Assistant to the Provost until she begins her role as Associate Dean in Potter College effective July 1. 

Western Kentucky University’s Helm Library will no longer be a repository for books and quiet learning.

The library is preparing to close for a remodel that will take about two years to complete.  The $35 million project will transform Helm Library into a place where students, faculty, and staff can eat, study, and socialize. 

A collaboration between Aramark Restaurant Group and University Libraries is reinventing the space to include dining options and meeting areas. 

WKU President Timothy Caboni calls  The WKU Commons at Helm Library the “intellectual hub” of the campus. 

Lisa Autry

The Student Government Association at Western Kentucky University has voted in favor of relocating a historical marker on campus. 

The marker identifies Bowling Green as the Confederate Capital of Kentucky during the Civil War.  The marker was erected in 1952 during the civil rights era and stands in front of the Kentucky Museum.  SGA member Symone Whalin is an African-American student from Hardin County.

“I just feel like people should understand there is a time and setting for history to be remembered and I don’t think that every time I walk to class, I should be reminded that people who looked like me were not allowed to be here," Whalin told WKU Public Radio.

He stole close to a quarter-of-a-million dollars from Western Kentucky University, and now a former professor is headed to jail. 

Following his guilty plea last year to wire fraud, Matt Dettman was sentenced in federal court in Bowling Green on Wednesday. 

Apologizing to his family, friends, and the university, Dettman admitted to years of struggling with addiction and said he hoped his story would shed light the opioid crisis in Kentucky. 

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The president of Western Kentucky University says the school is examining ways to improve the process for awarding merit raises. 

All employees hired on or before July 1st of this year received a two percent cost-of-living-adjustment that goes into effect January 1.  They were also eligible for up to a four percent merit increase based upon the recommendation of their department heads and supervisors. 

LinkedIn

A former Western Kentucky University professor is facing a federal charge of wire fraud stemming from his time as a civil engineering faculty member. 

Matt Dettman was placed on unpaid administrative leave in October 2017 and resigned from his position last December. 

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court, Dettman is charged in connection with the testing of concrete and soil samples for local companies.  The testing was performed by the WKU Engineering Department. 

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Western Kentucky University President Timothy Caboni says the first year of his tenure wasn’t what he envisioned as financial challenges forced the school to make difficult decisions through reorganizations and layoffs.

"I can't tell you how proud I am of the way our campus responded.  And yes, we bent as a university, but we did not break," Caboni said.

As a new academic year gets underway, Dr. Caboni outlined his priorities in the annual Convocation to faculty and staff on Friday. 

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Employees of Kentucky’s public colleges and universities will continue to receive tuition assistance in the upcoming fall semester, despite the end of a program that allowed them take some classes for free at other schools. 

The General Assembly this year eliminated a statewide mandatory tuition waiver requirement that allowed full-time employees of post-secondary institutions to take up to six credit hours per semester at no cost.  House Bill 592 retained those benefits only for employees of state and locally operated secondary area technology centers.

Bryan Lemon/WKU

Western Kentucky University has new roadmap that will guide the school for the next decade. 

The Board of Regents met on Friday and approved a new strategic plan.  Developing it was a nearly year-long process, which WKU President Timothy Caboni described as a semi-herculean task. 

The plan is centered around retaining and graduating students.  The university will transform advising to give special attention to first and second-year students.

WKU Implementing a Stricter Admissions Policy

Jul 31, 2018
WKU Public Affairs

Western Kentucky University is expecting a short-term enrollment drop as the school implements a stricter admissions policy. 

WKU will no longer enroll students with a cumulative, unweighted grade point average below 2.0. 

Incoming freshmen must also have a composite admissions index score of at least 60.  The score is a student's high school GPA multiplied by 20, plus their ACT composite score, with the GPA contributing at most 50 points.  For prospective students wanting to check their eligibility, a composite admissions index calculator is available at wku.edu/admit.

Creative Commons

Kentucky’s college freshmen this fall are being urged to take 15 credit hours to become nearly twice as likely to graduate on time. 

A new policy brief by the Council on Postsecondary Education finds that the likelihood of students graduating on time greatly improves for students taking 30 credit hours their first year. 

Chief Academic Officer Aaron Thompson says taking 15 hours a semester can help close the achievement gap among under-represented minority and low-income students.

Carl Ganter

Jubilation turned into trepidation in northern Thailand this week where rescuers found 12 boys and their soccer coach alive in a cave after being trapped by floodwaters for nearly two weeks. 

The daunting task now is how and when to extract the group.  The rescue could take weeks or perhaps months.

Dr. Chris Groves is a Distinguished Professor of Hydrogeology at Western Kentucky University.  In this interview with WKU Public Radio, he said rescuers are contending with karst topography similar to the caves and limestone bedrock in south central Kentucky.

All Tech

Alltech has decided to end its brewing partnership with Western Kentucky University which will cease production of two WKU-themed beers. 

The Nicholasville-based biotech company collaborated with WKU three years ago to open a fully operational brewery that would support new graduate and undergraduate certificates in Brewing and Distilling Arts and Sciences. 

Alltech leased space on WKU’s campus and provided the brewery with production equipment.  Communications Director Susanna Elliott told WKU Public Radio that the company has decided not to continue the lease.

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