WKU President Gary Ransdell's interview with WKU Public Radio
WKU President Gary Ransdell stopped by the studios of WKU Public Radio Tuesday morning to discuss state funding for higher education, a recent announcement regarding how university construction projects will be financed, and the impact of rising tuition rates on current and future students.
President Ransdell spoke with WKU Public Radio News Director Kevin Willis. Here are some excerpts from their conversation:
Kevin Willis:Last week it was announced that Governor Beshear and state legislative leaders were backing $363 million in bonds for university construction and renovation projects. But it was understood that the schools themselves would be footing the entire cost for their respective projects, with no extra state funding involved. WKU was given approval for $22 million in bonds for a new Honors College and International Center.
The mayors of Lexington and Louisville believe Kentucky needs a local option sales tax to stay competitive. The tax is levied temporarily to finance public infrastructure projects, but an opinion issued this week by the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office says voters would first need to approve a constitutional amendment.
According to the opinion, local governments nor the General Assembly may enact a local option sales tax without changing the state constitution. The Courier-Journal reports the opinion was requested by the Louisville Metro Council. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray want counties to be able to locally increase the statewide sales tax and use the additional revenue for public projects. Voters would have to approve the tax and the projects it would fund in a local referendum.
In an opinion issued Monday by Attorney General Jack Conway, the first step would be amending the state constitution.
How badly beaten up is the WKU men's basketball team? Coach Ray Harper has been suiting up two football players in order to have enough bodies on the court during games and practice.
The Courier-Journal has this article about quarterback Kawaun Jakes and wide receiver Marcus Vasquez, two seniors who just wrapped up their final college football season, and how they're playing important roles for the WKU basketball team.
WKU Public Radio recently profiled Vasquez, who returned to the football field after suffering a season-ending knee injury his junior year.
The number of people sickened in Tennessee related to that outbreak of fungal meningitis climbed to 145, an increase of five more patients just in the past week.
Nationwide the number of people who have gotten sick has increased to 678 patients with 44 deaths. The outbreak is linked to steroid injections from a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy.
The Tennessean reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said four of the new cases reported in Tennessee are infections near the spine where the injection occurred and one is a patient with both fungal meningitis and an infection at the injection site.