Western Kentucky University will not use faculty and staff salary reductions to balance its budget for the 2021 fiscal year. 

The decision was announced Friday morning during the Board of Regents quarterly meeting.

The reversal comes a week after the university sent a campus email identifying $2.4 million in savings through tiered salary reductions ranging from 2.5 to 10 percent. 

The pay cuts would have taken effect on July 1. WKU President Timothy Caboni said the university will look for other ways to cut $27 million from its budget, the result of uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and a projected decline in state funding.

Kentucky’s colleges and universities are producing more degrees in science, technology, engineering, math and health care.  The state has surpassed a milestone for bachelor’s degrees in the STEM disciplines, according to a progress report from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

During the 2018-19 academic year, Kentucky’s public universities awarded 6,685 STEM plus health care degrees, up two percent from the previous year and 31 percent over the past five years. 

WKU CHHS Facebook

Western Kentucky University is donating personal protective equipment to local hospitals and healthcare providers in an effort to help combat COVID-19. 

The WKU College of Health and Human Services pulled together more than 4,000 protective masks, over 600 boxes of gloves, and more than 300 isolation gowns to give away.


CHHS Dean Tania Basta said she’s thankful they had the resources available to donate. 


“We thought, why would we leave them in our building when they could be helping others,” she said.  

Western Kentucky University

Many students arrived at Western Kentucky University on Sunday during the extended spring break. But coronavirus is forcing people to change their plans, and many of those students are not staying.

About 1,200 people came into WKU buildings between noon Sunday and 6 a.m. on Monday. But university staff is reporting that most were students picking up their belongings and leaving.

With coronavirus upending plans for students across the nation, WKU is transitioning to online courses.

The school decided to remain open for students who choose to stay and finish the semester in dorms, with access to computer labs, meals and jobs. 

Brandon Woempner

Art can take many shapes and forms. Describing a spectrum of emotions, concepts and ideas, Western Kentucky University Art Professor Yvonne Petkus drew upon her experience visiting Bosnia to create original works for an exhibit on display in Bowling Green.

That exhibit, Responding to Bosnia, is on display at the Downing Museum, and also features photography by WKU photojournalist James Kenney.

"As an artist, I deal with dark content and difficult content regularly," said Petkus. "And part of that is because just like a philosopher use certain philosophy and words, the written language to further philosophy and looking at the harder parts of who we are as human beings.


Nominations are now being accepted for the first-ever Distinguished Educator Awards being offered by the Western Kentucky University College of Education and Behavioral Science.

The awards will recognize 10 P-12 educators in the WKU service area for their contributions to the teaching profession.

WKU will honor finalists and category winners at an awards ceremony at the Augenstein Alumni Center on April 14.

Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University has been awarded a $1.1 million federal grant to prepare educators to teach special needs students.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Education is for WKU’s new PREP program, which stands for Preparing Rural Educators and Professionals.

The grant addresses the national, state and regional shortage of educators certified to serve students in K-12 with moderate or severe disabilities.

The funding will be used to cover tuition, field work and professional conferences for 30 students.


The Director of Admissions at Western Kentucky University says colleges are having to rethink their approach to attracting prospective students.  Jace Lux points to a recent Gallup poll showing a significant decrease in the perceived value of a college education among young adults.

"Whereas we used to be able to start a conversation with students and families about why they should choose WKU, now we're really having to back that conversation up and start with all of  the reaons why they should go to college in the first place," Lux said. 


Some of the biggest challenges facing young adults are finding a job and a place to live.

This is especially true for those on the autism spectrum. A new program expected to launch in the fall of 2020 at Western Kentucky University is designed to assist adults on the autism spectrum live and work on their own.

LifeWorks at WKU broke ground on a residential complex near the Bowling Green campus in October. The residential buildings being used for the program will be completed by renovating existing apartment buildings along Adams St.

WKU Dept. of Theatre & Dance

Vengeance, murder, and betrayal are some of the themes taking center stage in the upcoming production of Medea by the Western Kentucky University Department of Theatre & Dance.

A Greek tragedy written by Euripedes, the story is centered around a woman out for revenge against her unfaithful husband.

"I think one of the reasons Medea has always been an interesting character is because she is so complicated," said Carol Jordan, an instructor with the WKU Department of Theatre & Dance, and the director/translator of the upcoming production. "She's incredibly smart. She's incredibly dynamic.

Rhonda J. Miller

Kentucky Mesonet at WKU has moved to a new location in Bowling Green. The mesonet is an expanding statewide network for weather and climate data.

Kentucky Mesonet has moved from the main Western Kentucky University campus to the school’s Center for Research and Development. The new location in the WKU business incubator is near a busy intersection of stores and restaurants.

“We’re excited about relocating here because we feel like it will create some synergies and open up some opportunities to be more engaged in public-private partnerships. A little bit more of an entrepreneurial aspect," said Stuart Foster, state climatologist and director of Kentucky Mesonet. "Not that we’re a business, but the data that we provide has a lot of application beyond academics.” 


Ground was broken Monday for a residential complex in Bowling Green that will provide living, working, and recreational space to adults on the autism spectrum.

The residential buildings for LifeWorks at WKU will be located on Adams Street, near the campus of Western Kentucky University. Existing apartment buildings are being renovated for the project, with six residents scheduled to move in next fall.

“At WKU, we work to transform the lives of our students and elevate our community,” President Timothy Caboni said. “Public-private partnerships, such as this, are incredibly important to our efforts in accomplishing our mission.”

Western Kentucky University is doing away with the ACT as a factor in most scholarships for incoming freshmen, and will instead focus on high school grades. 

“It means that we’re going to place the emphasis on performance over four years of high school, instead of one day of testing," WKU President Timothy Caboni said in announcing the changes Tuesday. 

"And we also are going to reduce the GPA requirement to be eligible for those scholarships from a 3.3 down to a 3.0, and we’re increasing that minimum scholarship by $1,000,” said Caboni.

Jesse Knifley

Some students with learning and attention issues have outstanding skills in certain academic areas.  These kids are often called “twice-exceptional.”

They're gifted, and they have learning issues.  For instance, a child on the autism spectrum may also a gifted musician. 

As provost of Bridges Graduate School for Cognitive Diversity in Education, Dr. Susan Baum specializes in working with twice-exceptional children.  She spoke this week at Western Kentucky University and stopped by the WKU Public Radio studios to share some of her expertise.

Indiana Tech

Indiana Tech is expanding its presence in Kentucky by opening a campus in Bowling Green. 

The school has a traditional campus in Fort Wayne, along with 18 other locations that primarily serve working adults. 

“The difference between us and other schools, is that even if they’re online students, we like to have people face to face to offer various types of support from admissions to tutoring to helping them with registration," said VP for Enrollment Management Steve Herendeen.