WKU

WKU

Western Kentucky University has placed a fraternity on interim suspension after one of its members was arrested and charged with rape.

A statement emailed to WKU Public Radio Friday afternoon by WKU Media Relations Director Bob Skipper came after the school’s police department released the arrest report involving the incident at the Sigma Nu fraternity house.

Fraternity member Benjamin Massingille, 21, of Tompkinsville, was placed under arrest Monday, and has been charged with 1st degree rape; 1st degree sodomy; and 1st degree unlawful imprisonment, after a woman reported Massingille attacked her following an early-morning argument on Feb. 27.

According to the arrest report, a friend of the woman told police she received a text message from the woman saying she was “in distress and that she was being assaulted”.

WKU

The governing body of Western Kentucky University has approved a contract extension for President Timothy Caboni

After 3.5 years leading the university, President Caboni would stay at the helm through 2025, under terms of the new extension.  The WKU Board of Regents on Friday also agreed to boost his base salary to $450,000 a year, an increase of  $34,000.  Caboni will also be eligible for yearly performance bonuses equal to 10% of his base pay.

Regent Dr. Phillip Bale called Caboni an "overachiever" who has positioned the unversity to be one of the success stories in higher education.


Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University has announced a program aimed at buying out certain workers who want to end their employment. The goal is to adjust the school’s operating budget.

In an email sent to faculty and staff Wednesday, WKU executives said the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program is to “make appropriate workforce  adjustments and create opportunities for organizational renewal and invention.” 

WKU leaders said the incentives for separation or retirement are a result of “the COVID-19 pandemic, declining state support, enrollment changes and other evolving dynamics affecting higher education.”

Lisa Autry

If you eventually get vaccinated against the coronavirus, a Western Kentucky University professor had a small hand in helping researchers learn more about how to create an effective vaccine.

Psychological Sciences Professor Matt Woodward took part in biotech company Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine trials

In an interview with WKU Public Radio, Woodward said he's been touched personally by the virus.  His parents and one set of grandparents, living in different states, contracted the virus at the same time shortly after he began participating in the trial.

Woodward took part in the study through Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.  He says he got two injections one month apart this fall, and has had no side effects.  He's unaware of whether he received the actual vaccine or was in the placebo group.


Creative Commons

A mental health counselor at Western Kentucky University is urging families to improvise this holiday season in place of their traditional gatherings. 

From cooking and shopping, to gift-giving and holiday parties, COVID-19 is replacing the typical stress of the season with loneliness and anxiety. 

Lacretia Dye is a licensed counselor and professor at Western Kentucky University.  In an interview with WKU Public Radio, Dye said it’s important to have the right perspective to avoid feeling depressed or isolated.

“How can we reframe it and say this is a challenge?" she asked. "I’m not able to do it how I usually do it, but what’s another way he could creatively do it? Perhaps we could do it over the phone or talk about what we plan to do next year.”

J.C. Kirby & Son Funeral Chapels

Western Kentucky University is mourning the loss of one of the school’s most beloved athletics figures.

John Oldham passed away Monday morning in Bowling Green.

He was 97 years old.

“We are very saddened to learn of the passing of John Oldham,” WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said.  “Coach Oldham is one of the all-time iconic figures in Western Kentucky University Athletics history who impacted the Hilltoppers as a player, head coach, athletics director and developer of the Red Towel athletics logo."

The Ohio County native played four seasons with the WKU men’s basketball team, and served three years in the U.S. Navy during World War II after his freshman season.

Lisa Autry

U.S. Senator Rand Paul moved a presentation at Western Kentucky University on Monday outdoors, rather than put on a mask in compliance with the school’s COVID-19 policy

Senator Rand Paul was promoting his book The Case Against Socialism to a group of economics students when an administrator interrupted the Republican lawmaker to inform him of WKU’s mask policy.  Calling it ridiculous, Paul moved the class outdoors and continued speaking without a mask.  Paul said he thinks generalizing the risk of the coronavirus to everyone is wrong.

“I think each individual should get to make their choice on what their risks are," Paul said. "For young people under age 25, the death rate from the coronavirus is one in a million.”

Becca Schimmel

Students in the seven states that border Kentucky will soon be able to attend Western Kentucky University at in-state tuition rates.

The school announced Thursday that starting next fall, in-state tuition rates will be offered to residents of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

WKU currently offers in-state tuition rates to residents of a few counties in neighboring states, mostly in northern Tennessee and southern Indiana. 

WKU also announced Thursday it will offer in-state tuition rates to the children and grandchildren of school alumni, regardless of what state they live in.

Lisa Autry

Western Kentucky University is taking another step toward increasing access and affordability for low-income students. 

President Timothy Caboni announced a new initiative on Thursday called the Hilltopper Guarantee. Starting next fall, WKU will be tuition-free to any first-year students from Kentucky who receive Pell Grants and have at least a 3.0 high school GPA.  

“This is a tremendous promise to the young people of this state, that we can guarantee if you’re from a low-income family but you’re a high achiever, a four-year degree from WKU is in your future," Caboni said.

WKU Political Engagement Project

Each year colleges across the county celebrate National Voter Registration Day in late September with organized events aimed at registering young people to vote.  

On the campus of Western Kentucky University, the annual Rock the Vote Festival usually nets hundreds of newly registered voters. But the COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizers to reimagine this year's event by turning to social media. 

Saundra Ardrey is a WKU Political Science Professor who coordinates the Rock the Vote effort at the school.

Lisa Autry

As colleges across Kentucky and the nation are back underway with in-person classes, students, parents and employees have multiple ways to get updates on COVID-19 cases on campus.

Technology has encouraged transparency in the time of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health online dashboard lists COVID-19 cases at colleges and universities across the state. The cases listed as of Aug. 27 include 550 students and 42 staff. 

Western Kentucky University reported 86 new cases in its weekly update posted Aug. 28 on its online dashboard. The total number of cases at the university since July 1 is 299, including students, faculty, staff and on-campus contractors.


Freshman Taylor Vibbert has always wanted to be in a sorority. When she signed up to rush this fall at Western Kentucky University, she was looking forward to the fanfair, house tours and meet-and-greets.

Then she got some bad news: Greek recruitment would be mostly virtual this year.

"That was a bummer," the 18-year-old from Louisville, Ky., said in early August. "Honestly, if I would have known, I probably wouldn't have signed up."

Vibbert was concerned she would be more outgoing in-person than over the computer, but she was willing to see how it goes.

WKU

Western Kentucky University has announced that it will no longer require standardized test scores, like the ACT and SAT, from most applicants for admission.

That change goes into effect beginning with the spring 2021 semester.

The university said it began considering such a change last year, and in the meantime has consulted “internal constituencies” that endorsed the move.

WKU Vice President for Enrollment and Student Experience Ethan Logan said in a statement Friday the school looked at multiple national studies indicating that a student’s high school grade point average is a better predictor of collegiate success than standardized testing scores.

Clinton Lewis | WKU

Monday marked the first day of the fall semester at Western Kentucky University.

Like schools across the country, COVID-19 safety precautions and restrictions are in place, and WKU students have been given choices on attending classes in-person, or studying remotely.

Just ahead of the start of the semester, WKU President Timothy Caboni spoke to WKU Public Radio about the school’s approach to conducting the elements of higher education amid a pandemic.


WKU Panhellenic Council

Western Kentucky University is offering virtual sorority recruitment on campus this fall, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The school's Panhellenic Council voted to allow WKU's nine sorority chapters to proceed with recruitment using Zoom technology to eliminate in-person contact.  

"Each chapter will have their own Zoom account and they're creating links for all of the parties during the day," said Andrew Rash, WKU's Coordinator for Student Activities. "Move in is still the same, those ladies going through recruitment will still have recruitment counselors who will inform them about the process, show them their schedules, (and) counsel them if they need to counsel them."

Pages