WKU President Gary Ransdell says there will be no job losses next year related to the school’s upcoming budget cut. Dr. Ransdell had been warning that personnel reductions were likely following the Council on Postsecondary Education’s decision to allow a 3% in-state undergraduate tuition increase next year, instead of the 5% hike WKU had requested.
But in an email to WKU faculty and staff yesterday, Dr. Ransdell said “no one will lose their employment at WKU" despite the school having to cut $2.1 million from its budget.
The WKU president said some employees might be relocated to other departments during the next academic year. He also said some 200 faculty members will receive market-salary adjustments worth a total of $500,000.
Education experts will soon be examining applications from public schools districts across Kentucky that want to become “Districts of Innovation.”
The Kentucky Education Department says the designation allows the districts to seek exemption from some rules and regulations to try to improve student learning.
The idea is to let school districts change the way they teach and students learn with initiatives such as competency-based learning and a modified school schedule.
Seventeen districts submitted applications for the designation. Staff from the Education Department, the Education Professional Standards Board and the Regional Education Laboratory that serves Kentucky will review the applications in May and make recommendations to the Kentucky Board of Education. The board will select the districts June 5.
Districts could begin implementing plans as early as the coming school year.
Kentucky education officials say they've been assured that technical glitches that affected proficiency tests administered online have been resolved and testing is set to resume Monday.
The state Education Department suspended online testing Wednesday after problems were reported with slow or dropped connections experienced by students taking the computer based tests in more than two dozen districts.
The agency says the vendor, ACT Inc., reported the problem was with the system becoming overloaded and that the capacity has now been increased and no further problems are expected. The end-of-course tests are mandatory for students taking English II, algebra II, biology and U.S. history.
Kentucky officials said the ACT problem also affected students in Alabama and Ohio. Students in Indiana, Minnesota and Oklahoma, which also experienced technical problems, contract with different vendors.
Southcentral Kentucky Community College has chosen provost Phillip Neal as their new president. He'll replace the retiring Nathan Hodges on July 1st.
Community and Technical College System President Michael McCall says he's pleased the new president has a history with the school already and he expects a smooth transition. Neal has been provost of Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College since 2008.
As WKU prepares for budget cuts ahead of the next fiscal year, another Kentucky university is making plans ahead of its next budget.
The Eastern Kentucky University board of regents has approved a spending plan that includes a three-percent in-state undergraduate tuition increase and no raises for employees. The three-percent tuition hike is the maximum allowed by the Council on Postsecondary Education.
WKU President Gary Ransdell had asked the CPE for a five-percent undergraduate tuition increase, saying it was needed to help the school move forward without budget cuts.
Dr. Ransdell says WKU will now have to look at cuts that will include personnel reductions. WKU vice-presidents have given Ransdell preliminary plans for cuts in their departments.
The issue will be taken up by the school’s board of regents at their meeting in late June.
Four finalists vying for the presidency of Southern Kentucky Community and Technical College will visit the Bowling Green campus this week for interviews and public forums.
Southern Kentucky Community and Technical College Provost Phillip Neal is the only in-house candidate. Dr. Lynn Moore from Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon is Vice President for Administrative Services and Student Development. Dr. George Sehi is Executive Director of University Relations from the Warren and Butler County, Ohio Educational Service Centers, and Dr. Ralph Sony is the publisher and editor of the North Carolina Community College Journal.
Current Southern Kentucky Community and Technical College President Nathan Hodges is retiring after eight years at the helm. Under his leadership, the school change its named from Bowling Green Technical College to reflect an expansion of the school’s offerings and reach.
Officials at Henderson Community College want to increase campus safety.
The college's dean of student affairs Patty Mitchell said a new team's purpose is to identify any person on campus who is exhibiting threatening behavior toward themselves or others. Mitchell says school employees will be trained in how to determine whether behavior is threatening. She said those who witness such behavior will report it to the behavior assessment team, which will then deal with it in a manner appropriate for the situation.
Officials say shootings do happen at community colleges, noting a deadly one at Hazard Community College in January.
The Jefferson County Board of Education has voted in favor of a resolution calling for an increase in the dropout age.
The Courier-Journal reports the board voted on the measure that supports raising the dropout age to 18 despite concerns from member Linda Duncan that it wouldn't "cure out-of-control kids and keep them in school."
A formal vote on the issue won't come until July, and the policy wouldn't go into effect until the 2015-16 school year.
Duncan says she hopes that is enough time to address her concerns.
According to district officials, 768 JCPS students dropped out of this school year as of January, including 188 who were 17.
The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education voted Thursday to cap tuition increases for in-state undergraduate students at the state’s public schools at three percent. It’s the smallest average tuition hike for Kentucky’s public institutions in 15 years.
WKU President Gary Ransdell spoke to the CPE at its meeting at Lindsey Wilson College, and asked for a five percent increase for WKU.
In an email to faculty and staff Thursday afternoon, Dr. Ransdell said WKU will have to endure a budget cut due to the smaller-than-hoped-for tuition increase.
"A five percent increase would have given us a balanced budget for next year with no cuts," the WKU President wrote. "This CPE action, however, means that we have budget work to do before taking a balanced budget to our Board of Regents in June."
"We will take this in stride as we have done for the last several years. I have asked the Vice Presidents to begin making recommendations as we begin budget reduction conversations on Monday. Every effort will be made to protect as many jobs as possible and to act in the best interest of our students and employees. I will be back in touch in due course as options take shape. "
CPE President Bob King said the board felt that tuition increases should be kept "as minimal as possible" given the "challenging economic environment" that students are facing.
The Commissioner of Education in Kentucky has been diagnosed with a neurological voice disorder that’s limiting his ability to talk normally. Dr. Terry Holliday started noticing symptoms last September, and by December his voice had dramatically deteriorated.
After ruling out cancer, Holliday made appointments with several specialists.
“I’ve been diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, which is basically your vocal cords freeze up," Holliday said.
A cause of the condition is unknown but fortunately it’s not life-threatening. Spasmodic dysphonia is the same disorder that affects public radio host Diane Rehm.