WKU

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. 

WKU, Former Swimmer Reach Agreement in Hazing Case

Aug 10, 2016
WKU

A former Western Kentucky University swimmer has reached a settlement in a lawsuit in which he claimed to have been hazed and assaulted by his teammates.

Attorney Vanessa Cantley was quoted by the Daily News as saying that her client Collin Craig had reached a confidential resolution with all parties named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Craig had alleged that he was abused physically and mentally and suffered discrimination on the basis of sex. He reported multiple cases of assaults and hazing.

WKU attorney Tom Kerrick on Tuesday called the settlement an economic resolution and said that the university and its employees continue to assert that they didn't violate Craig's rights.

The case hasn't been formally dismissed by a federal judge yet.

Kevin Willis

Western Kentucky University’s latest fundraising totals are the highest in school history.

The school announced today that it raised $23.1 million in donations during the fiscal year that ended June 30.

That’s a 22 percent increase over the school’s previous record.

Marc Archambault, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at WKU, says he was impressed by the number of donations made by people who aren’t WKU graduates.

“Forty-five percent of the dollars that were contributed in this last fiscal year came from ‘friends’—people unaffiliated with the university,” he said.

The contributions made to WKU last fiscal year include nearly $10 million for the school’s endowment, and nearly $8 million for student scholarships.

WKU

The rainfall that’s been pounding Kentucky this summer has broken records and impacted farmers.

Kentucky state climatologist and WKU Geography and Geology professor Stuart Foster is reporting that rainfall records in several counties were shattered in July. The climate observer station in Murray recorded more than 18 inches of rain.

That broke the previous record by more than 7 inches.

Mesonet sites with the most rainfall in July also included Christian County with more than 18 inches, and Logan County with nearly 17 inches. Butler, Hopkins, and Marshall counties all recorded 16 inches of rainfall last month.

The heavy rains washed out portions of tobacco in some fields.

But the above average rainfall was an advantage for some crops, including corn and soybeans.

Kentucky Mesonet has 66 weather stations collecting data in 65 counties.

WKU

As many as 200 Western Kentucky University employees will soon pay at least five times for health benefits.

Members of the building services, grounds, landscaping and recycling departments are being outsourced August 1 to Sodexo Management Services.

Those making minimum pay will get a dollar-an-hour raise, while a smaller group making more than that will get an hourly boost of between 54 and 95 cents.

WKU Human Resources director Tony Glisson said the move is in response to a $6 million budget cut from the state announced earlier this year.

“When that type of reduction occurs, the university has to look deep and wide for opportunities to reduce costs, become more efficient, to look for creative arrangements, new partnerships that may not have been in place previously,” he said.

WKU

Western Kentucky University is dropping the cost of its dual credit courses.

The cost of a three-hour course will now be $156, down from the previous rate of $210.

The move follows the recent announcement of a new scholarship initiative launched by Governor Matt Bevin which will provide high school seniors with up to two free dual credit courses.

The executive order issued from Gov. Bevin’s office says the goal of the scholarship initiative is for high school students to graduate with at least nine hours of postsecondary credit and to “increase the education and skill level of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s workforce and its workforce and its workforce participation rate.”

Dewayne Neely, head of the WKU Dual Credit Program, says an increased focus on preparing students for college and work will likely increase the demand for dual credit programs.

WKU

Western Kentucky University is looking for military veterans who want to earn a college degree.

The Veterans Upward Bound program helps former service members enroll into any university, community college, and technical school throughout the country. Veterans Upward Bound helps prospective students fill out admission applications, apply for federal financial aid, and receive G.I. Bill benefits.

WKU coordinator Rick Wright says the program has assisted both young and old veterans gain college admission—including a World War Two veteran studying at Southern Kentucky Community and Technical College.

“The age range of our students is pretty broad—it ranges from 18 to 88, believe it or not. We have one man, a World War II veteran, who is 88 years old, and we got him admitted to SKyCTC here in Bowling Green because he wanted to study computers.”

WKU Athletics Media Relations

Four former Western Kentucky University athletes are being inducted into the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame in Elizabethtown.

Dwight Smith, Jim Rose, Gene Rhodes, and Harry Todd are part of the Hall’s fifth class of inductees.

Smith and Rose are being honored posthumously.

Smith is a Princeton native who led Dotson High School to the state tournament in 1963. He went on to score 1,142 career points at WKU, while averaging 11 rebounds a game.

Rose led Hazard High School to three straight Sweet 16 appearances in from 1964-66, and was named all-state in his final three high school seasons. He finished 34th on the all-time WKU scoring list, and was a key member of the school's 1971 Final Four team.

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