Gary Ransdell

Hardin County Schools and WKU are partnering to create an Early College and Career Center. The partnership announced Thursday also includes Elizabethtown Community and Technical College and the Central Kentucky Community Foundation.

The result will be a new building where Hardin County school students can take courses in several career pathways, including engineering, manufacturing, automotive technology, media arts, and health sciences.

Hardin County Schools Superintendent Nanette Johnston told WKU Public Radio the center will offer students a new way to prepare for either the workforce or postsecondary education.

"We have to get out of this mindset that if you don't go to college you have to go to a vocational school. This is not a vocational school like you and I might be familiar with," said Johnston.

WKU faculty will teach classes at the Early College and Career Center during the day and college courses in the evenings once the high school students go home.

WKU Athletics

WKU President Gary Ransdell spoke to WKU Public Radio Tuesday on a variety of subjects, including the high-profile role athletics has been playing lately at the university.

Head football coach Willie Taggart left WKU late last year for a bigger salary at South Florida. Within 72 hours, WKU had hired former Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, an accomplished--and controversial--name in collegiate athletics.

What does Dr. Ransdell say to those on and off WKU's campus who wonder if athletics is playing too big a role at the university? You can hear the President's comments on WKU athletics in the audio clip above.

The rest of Dr. Ransdell's interview can be heard here.

Kevin Willis

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.

Are you satisfied with that approach?

WKU President Gary Ransdell says student retention will continue to be a top priority at the institution in the upcoming academic year and over the next six years. Speaking at the faculty and staff convocation in Van Meter Hall, the University President said the state and university can no longer afford to have about one thousand freshmen students per year fail to return for their second year of study.

J S Robinson

WKU's new Athletics Director says he's confident in the future of the Sun Belt Conference. Todd Stewart--who has been serving as the school's interim AD--was officially introduced Thursday morning as the new full-time Director of Athletics. Stewart said he doesn't believe WKU's athletics future is hindered because the school isn't in one of the larger sports conferences.

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