WKU Public Radio News Staff
Fri July 26, 2013
WKU Regents Approve Bonds for Honors College, Raises for Basketball Coaches
The WKU Board of Regents has approved a $37 million bond issue to fund a new international center and Honors College building, as well as the next phase of the ongoing renovation of the Downing University Center.
While the motion passed, three regents voted against the proposal.
Faculty Regent Patty Minter joined Student Regent Keyana Boka and Staff Regent James Kennedy in dissent. Dr. Minter says while she fully supports the WKU Honors College and the school's efforts to grow its international student population, she questions the need to issue bonds and build a brand new facility.
“There were a lot of better ideas that were not explored," said the WKU History Professor. "For example, having a floor in the replacement building for the Gordon Ford College of Business—what a great place that would be. And it would also integrate that group and the international student services into the entire student population, as opposed to segregating them out.”
WKU President Gary Ransdell has said he believes a new Honors College building will help the program attract academically elite students to the school.
The WKU Regents also approved the purchase of property on Normal Street that will be used for the new Honors College-International Center building.
Raises for Coaches Harper and Clark-Heard
The WKU Board of Regents approved salary increases for the men's and women's basketball coaches. Following Friday's vote, men's coach Ray Harper will earn $500,000 a year, and women's coach Michelle Clark-Heard will get $200,000 annually.
WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart says the money for Harper's raise is coming from an account containing revenue from WKU's NCAA basketball tournament appearances. Stewart says the raise for Coach Clark-Heard is being funded entirely through private donations over the next three years.
The WKU athletic director says revenues generated by the school's move to Conference USA in 2014 will then be tapped to sustain Clark-Heard's salary.