WKU

WKU

The Western Kentucky University presidential search committee is meeting in closed session Thursday and Friday in Nashville.

The group is considering candidates to replace WKU President Gary Ransdell, who is retiring next summer after 20 years at the school.

The school has issued an agenda for the meeting saying that the search committee will meet in closed session at the Nashville Airport Marriott to discuss applicants for the presidential position.

Kentucky law allows the search committee to conduct the hiring process behind closed doors,without members of the public or media present.

Some WKU employees have asked the search committee to conduct open meetings, and allow members of the community to meet with finalists before a decision is made.

J. Tyler Franklin

The head of the Warren County Republican Party says his party’s huge gains in the state House are more evidence of how the GOP has expanded its influence in Kentucky.

Scott Lasley, who is also a political science professor at Western Kentucky University, says the 17 seats Republicans picked up Tuesday are the result of the party’s increased focus on selecting quality candidates.

He says the party is now competitive in parts of the state where it used to not even put up a challenger against Democratic incumbents

If you go back and look at the data and the evolution of open seat races and uncontested races, it’s always that you had a bunch of Democrats that are running uncontested. Now it’s a bunch of Republicans that are uncontested,” Lasley said.


Five Arrested at WKU While Protesting Trump's Election

Nov 10, 2016
WKU

Five people have been arrested at Western Kentucky University after demonstrators began protesting the election of Donald Trump as president.

Protesters clashed with Trump supporters Wednesday evening outside a residence hall.

Campus police Sgt. Rafael Casas said the crowd gathered outside Pearce Ford Tower was peaceful at first, but then escalated into people shoving each other and throwing bottles.

The Warren County Sheriff's Department said deputies were called to assist campus police with the large "out of control" crowd.

The agency said it arrested five people who refused multiple orders to leave the area. All five are charged with failure to disperse and disorderly conduct.

The sheriff's office says the arrests were made to maintain order and ensure public safety.

Steve Roberts/WKU Athletics

Anthony Wales ran for 111 yards and four touchdowns as Western Kentucky overpowered Florida International 49-21 on Saturday night.

The Hilltoppers (7-3, 5-1) remained atop the East Division of Conference USA and wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard first, going 76 yards in 10 plays with Quinton Baker scoring from 10 yards away with 9:51 left in the opening quarter.

The Hilltoppers went up 14-0 on the next series when Wales scored the first of his touchdowns, getting into the end zone from a yard out. That touchdown came two plays after WKU used a double-reverse throwback screen from quarterback Mike White to Nicholas Norris that gained 33 yards to the Florida International 7.

FIU (3-7, 3-3) tried to stay in the game, cutting the Hilltoppers lead to 14-7 with seven seconds to go in the first quarter on quarterback Maurice Alexander's 2-yard run.

Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

An announcement this week from the Oxford University Press landed like a bombshell in the laps of Shakespeare fans and scholars.

The prestigious publisher revealed that its new edition of the complete works of William Shakespeare will credit the 16th century British poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe as co-author of the three Henry VI plays.

There have long been debates and controversy over whether the many plays, sonnets and other works attributed to Shakespeare were, in fact, written by him. The decision by Oxford University Press will likely further stoke the discussion.

WKU Public Radio spoke with Western Kentucky University English Professor and Shakespeare scholar Gillian Knoll about her reaction to the decision to credit Marlowe as co-author of the Henry VI plays.

WKU

The Gatton Academy at Western Kentucky University is celebrating its 10th year with the largest class yet.  The academy is a residential high school for gifted juniors and seniors pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. The program is preparing to increase its number of students from 160 to 190.

Only 24 percent of Gatton’s most recent graduates continued their education at WKU. Gatton Director Lynette Breedlove says most students, historically, have transferred to other universities to finish their degrees.

“About 33 percent of students historically have stayed at WKU. About 30 percent have gone to UK, about 12 percent to U of L. And the rest of the students have gone hither and yon. Probably the next largest group is about 4 percent going to Vandy,” Breedlove said.

WKU

Western Kentucky University is taking steps to create places where LGBT students will feel comfortable talking about gender and sexual identity.

Two Safe Zone trainings are being held Tuesday, Oct. 11.  

WKU counselor Brian Lee says the goal of the trainings is to educate employees, students, and community members about creating an environment that’s open and accepting toward LGBT individuals.

WKU

Western Kentucky University is changing course on its plans for a new campus sports medicine complex.

WKU announced in August it was partnering with The Medical Center of Bowling Green to build the facility. The medical provider Western Kentucky Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates filed a protest against the school last week.

The group said WKU awarded contracts to The Medical Center in violation of state procurement laws and regulations.

The school issued a statement Tuesday saying it will issue a Request for Proposals next week for bids on all parts of the sports medicine complex.

The statement says the decision to formally bid the project came after WKU officials went before the Capital Projects and Bond Oversight committee in Frankfort Tuesday.

The group that filed the complaint against the school is part of Graves-Gilbert Clinic.

Here is the complete text of the statement issued Tuesday by WKU:

WKU

The president of Western Kentucky University is announcing several initiatives following a pair of incidents on campus involving hate speech.

Gary Ransdell told faculty and staff in an email Tuesday that the school will create a President’s Committee on Diversity and Embracement.

The group will focus on strengthening “campus civility and respect” and deal with any issues on campus involving racial intolerance.

An African-American WKU student found a racial slur carved into her car last month following a dispute over a parking space. An African-American assistant dean reported earlier this month finding three threatening messages containing racist language in her office.

Both incidents are being investigated by WKU Police.

Ransdell also said in his email that the school will increase the number of campus events it holds that center on the themes of "civility, respect, and the embracement of everyone in our campus community."

Here is the full text of Ransdell's email:

WKU

The president of Western Kentucky University is denouncing what he calls a pair of “cowardly” and “heinous” acts involving hate speech against African-Americans.

An assistant dean recently reported finding three typed notes in her office that contained racist threats. A student last month had a racist slur carved into her car following a dispute over a campus parking space.

WKU President Gary Ransdell denounced the acts in an email to faculty, staff, and students Monday.

Read President Ransdell's Message Here

He said the two incidents are not reflective of the majority of students and employees at the school.

WKU

Western Kentucky University police are investigating a complaint that threatening notes containing racist language were found in a school employee’s office.

Michelle Jones is the assistant dean of the University College.

The WKU College Heights Herald reports Jones says she found three separate messages that appeared to be slid underneath the door of her South Campus office. Jones says the documents were typed and targeted her for being African-American.

A WKU Police sergeant told the paper the department is conducting an investigation, and plans to interview employees who work near Jones’ office to see if they saw anything related to the messages.

Jones says she hopes whoever is responsible for the threatening notes is found and punished.

She says it’s important for the school to send a message that the kinds of language and threats made in the notes won’t be tolerated.

Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons

A former presidential candidate and publishing executive is speaking on the campus of Western Kentucky University Thursday afternoon.  

Steve Forbes is Chairman and Editor-In-Chief of Forbes Media. He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 1996 and 2000.

Forbes is giving a lecture called, “How Capitalism Will Save Us”.

Sponsors of the talk include the WKU BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism, and the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.

The event begins at 3:30pm Thursday, in the Grise Hall Auditorium. It’s free and open to the public.

Cheyenne Mitchell

An African-American student at Western Kentucky University says a recent act of vandalism has made her become more aware of her surroundings. 

Cheyenne Mitchell’s car was keyed with a racial slur this week while parked on campus.

"I was really scared and upset, honestly, because I just couldn't believe somebody really put that on my car, Mitchell told WKU Public Radio.  "It made me cry."

Mitchell took pictures and posted them on Facebook, prompting a response from WKU President Gary Ransdell who said the incident does not reflect the school’s values and commitment to diversity.  Dr. Ransdell pledged to fully investigate and take appropriate action.  Mitchell has praised the university’s response and says the school even offered to help pay to repair her car. 

The Lexington senior says the vandalism could have been spurred by a dispute over a parking spot.

Kevin Willis

A Bowling Green boxing coach wants to create new opportunities for anyone in the world to learn the sport.

Chadrick Wigle runs a small gym in Bowling Green called BGKY Boxing, and is the coach of the Western Kentucky University intramural boxing team. He says he wants to connect with anybody who would like to learn the basics of the sport known as “the sweet science.”

So he’s put online about 100 free videos he recorded of practices featuring WKU boxing club members.

“We filmed every practice of WKU since March 16th, and we put them up online,” Wigle told WKU Public Radio. “That way anybody who wants to learn boxing, all they have to do is grab their brother, cousin, sister, Dad, go to the garage, and do the same drills they’re doing.”

Wigle says the videos he posts differ from much of what is found elsewhere on the internet. He says his goal was to provide an unfiltered view of what it’s like to learn boxing fundamentals.

Clinton Lewis/WKU

The president of Western Kentucky University is pledging to move full steam ahead for the remaining ten months of his tenure.  Gary Ransdell spoke of his upcoming retirement during his annual opening convocation to faculty and staff Friday.

"I have every intention of presenting my successor with an institution which has a stable enrollment, high academic quality, a rebuilt campus, and a campus ready to launch its next capital campaign."

Ransdell said much of his remaining time will be spent on helping shape a performance-based funding model for higher education in Kentucky. 

Ransdell will also continue his efforts to bring a University of Kentucky Medical School to Bowling Green as part of WKU’s partnership with UK and the Medical Center at Bowling Green. President Ransdell will also oversee an upgrade of residence halls and a new dining contract that would include renovation of the Garrett Conference Center. 

He retires June 30 of next year after two decades of leading WKU.  A national search is underway for the university's next president. 

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