A Kentucky school is becoming just the second university in the nation to offer scholarships for competitive video game players.

The University of Pikeville will offer 20 scholarships this fall to students who excel in the online multi-player game League of Legends.

The school in central Appalachia hopes the program will draw attention from prospective students who otherwise wouldn’t have considered U-Pike.

The school’s New Media Director, Bruce Parsons, believes it’s just a matter of time before more American universities offer scholarships to gamers.

“I think there’s a good opportunity for colleges and universities to look at starting e-sports programs at their schools—officially supported scholarship programs. It’s growing very quickly, there’s a lot of attention, and it offers opportunities to students who might not have athletic or others scholarships at their disposal.”

Close your eyes for a minute and daydream about a world without bubble tests.

Education Week recently reported that some Republican Senate aides are doing more than dreaming — they're drafting a bill that would eliminate the federal mandate on standardized testing.


WKU President Gary Ransdell says the elimination of a senior administration level position at the school will help balance the campus budget this year.

Vice President for Research Gordon Baylis  sent an email to WKU faculty and staff Sunday announcing that his position had been eliminated, and that he was returning to his faculty position at the Department of Psychological Sciences.

In an email to employees Monday afternoon, President Ransdell said a portion of the money being saved by the job elimination would balance the school’s budget, while the remaining part will be redirected to the Office of the Provost to recreate the school’s research leadership.

"To be clear, this does not signal a de-emphasis of research at WKU, rather it signals a greater engagement of the Division of Academic Affairs in the management of research activity at WKU," Ransdell said in his email. "With this action, undergraduate and graduate research will become a central function of Academic Affairs, reporting directly to the Provost. Effective immediately, the Provost will have signatory authority on research-related matters, and the Office of Sponsored Programs and other related research units will report to him.

Kentucky’s higher education officials are urging students preparing to enter college this fall—or who are already enrolled—to turn in financial aid documents soon after the opening period begins Jan. 1.

“If someone is on the fence a little bit about where they want to go or what they want to do, if they don’t apply until March, it’s too late,” said Erin Klarer of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, the state agency that oversees Kentucky’s financial aid.

Member of U.S. Air Force Among 2014 WKU Graduates

Dec 12, 2014
Clinton Lewis/WKU

Oregon native Bryan Lietzke has been in the U.S. Air Force for eleven years.  He’s been deployed to Afghanistan five times.

On Saturday afternoon he’ll have a new experience: he’ll receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Systems Management from WKU.

What will he feel as he walks across the stage?

“I don’t know…probably satisfaction,” said Lietzke.

Some 1,300 WKU students will receive their diplomas on Saturday at Diddle Arena. But not all of them had quite the same college experience as Lietzke.

Lietzke posted a 4.0 grade point average and he did so while taking his classes online. Some of the classes he took while at Fort Knox, other times at Fort Drum in New York and still other times while in Afghanistan.  

Alabama's largest two-year college, Calhoun Community College in Decatur, has a new president with ties to Kentucky.

The chancellor for Alabama's two-year college system, Mark Heinrich, recommended James Klauber Sr. for the job, and the state school board approved the recommendation yesterday.

Klauber has been president at Owensboro Community and Technical College in Owensboro, Kentucky.

WKU is preparing to add “all gender” restrooms to campus facilities in the coming months.  Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Richard Miller says the decision was made in response to the university’s changing demographics.

"You're going to have a very diverse group of students on any college or university campus, whether it's members of the LGBTQ community or members of our international community," Miller told WKU Public Radio.  "I think it's one of the responsibilities of an institution to try to address the needs of the various constituencies that they serve."

Dr. Miller stresses that the gender neutral restrooms will not be community restrooms.  They’ll be private, and as for signage, the university is planning to designate them as simply “restroom.”

Why does public school start at age 5?

Declines in state appropriations and negative financial trends have made American universities rely more on alumni and wealthy benefactors for cash donations.

Little children are big news this week, as the White House holds a summit on early childhood education on Wednesday. The president wants every 4-year-old to go to preschool, but the new Congress is unlikely to foot that bill.

Since last year, more than 30 states have expanded access to preschool. But there's still a lack of evidence about exactly what kinds of interventions are most effective in those crucial early years.