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WKU Athletic Communications/Media Relations

Western Kentucky University is mourning the loss of its men’s golf coach.

Phillip Hatchett was killed early Sunday morning after being struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle with other cyclists on U.S. 68 in Logan County.

Hatchett was 55 years old.

Investigators in the Logan County Sheriff's Office have reported that 27-year-old Robert Stokes of Elkton, in Todd County, was driving west about 7:30 a.m. Sunday when he came upon the bicyclists in the emergency lane, also headed westbound.

All Tech

Alltech has decided to end its brewing partnership with Western Kentucky University which will cease production of two WKU-themed beers. 

The Nicholasville-based biotech company collaborated with WKU three years ago to open a fully operational brewery that would support new graduate and undergraduate certificates in Brewing and Distilling Arts and Sciences. 

Alltech leased space on WKU’s campus and provided the brewery with production equipment.  Communications Director Susanna Elliott told WKU Public Radio that the company has decided not to continue the lease.

WKU

The longest-serving professor at Western Kentucky University has passed away.

Mary Ellen Miller taught English at the school for 54 years. She died over the weekend in Bowling Green at the age of 83.

She had been recuperating at Greenwood Rehabilitation Center after suffering a fall.

A post on the WKU English Department’s Facebook page said Miller’s death “is an enormous loss for the English Department, WKU, our region, and the arts community”.

Western Kentucky University

The estate of a longtime Western Kentucky University supporter is pledging a $10 million endowment for student scholarships.

Annual investment earnings from the endowment will be added to the Jerry E. Baker Student Scholarship Fund, which was initially created by a direct bequest by Baker, who passed away last June.

Baker was a businessman, philanthropist, and founder of the Baker Arboretum and Downing Museum in Warren County.

The new scholarship fund will provide support to WKU students who major or minor in music, dance, theatre, art, or horticulture.

WKU

The Western Kentucky University Finance and Budget Committee has agreed to send the full Board of Regents a proposed spending plan that increases student tuition and fees, as well as employee salaries.

The proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 would increase undergraduate tuition by four-percent, and add $50 to the online course fee assessed to full-time students.

Rhonda J. Miller

The president of Western Kentucky University unveiled phase two of the school’s budget cuts on Thursday. WKU President Timothy Caboni says this second round of cuts will result in $14 million in savings. The two rounds of budget cuts amount to $27 million.

The second round of cuts includes 10 filled staff positions and the elimination of 20 vacant positions. Of those 20, 12 are faculty and eight are staff.  The specific positions will be announced in about week, after employees are notified.

WKU SGA

The president of the Student Government Association at Western Kentucky University says she’s lost confidence in the school’s administrators. 

After months of distress, Andi Dahmer is going public with allegations that some fellow SGA members have harassed and threatened her safety, and claims the university has done little to remedy the threats. 

The College Heights Herald first reported that Dahmer has been the target of harassment since the fall semester.  Dahmer says she’s done nothing to warrant the treatment, but thinks her political views may have contributed to the tensions.

Western Kentucky University is once again in wait-and-see mode.  The school has announced plans to trim its budget by an additional $16 million. 

State budget cuts and increased pension obligations have already forced the elimination of 119 positions to help make up for a $15 million budget shortfall.

Staff Regent Tamela Smith says the reductions have affected morale and placed more responsibilities on remaining employees.

"You've taken on more work, probably without any additional compensation. You're having to do more, and in some cases, learn new skills even," Smith told WKU Public Radio. "The people that remain, it's very hard on them for a variety of reasons. You can't not be concerned about your job at this point."

Becca Schimmel

Students and university employees gathered on Western Kentucky University’s campus Thursday at a rally for higher education funding. The event was intended to bring attention to budget cuts, pension increases and faculty and staff reductions.

Governor Matt Bevin recently signed a new pension bill into law that will preserve most benefits for current and retired teachers but moves new hires into a hybrid plan that puts less risk on the state. Jeremy McFarland is a senior at WKU and was registering people to vote at the rally.

WKU Public Affairs

A rally for higher education is being held on Western Kentucky University’s campus Thursday afternoon.

It’s an event being coordinated with other universities in the state, which are planning to hold similar rallies.

The rally at WKU is being organized by several groups, including the Department of Sociology and Criminology, Queer Student Union, Transgender Non-Binary Student Group, and Center for Citizenship and Social Justice.

Western Kentucky University

Each April the Academy of American Poets recognizes National Poetry Month as a way to increase awareness of and appreciation for poetry in the United States.  Western Kentucky University Poet Laureate, Dr. Mary Ellen Miller, believes that anyone can learn to appreciate poetry.

"I think a lot of people have been taught to like the wrong kind of poetry or they’ve been taught  good poetry the wrong way.”

Miller said a good poem touches the head and the heart.

"A poem says something fresh. It’s something that’s human and real and that gladdens the heart of people who can understand it,” said Miller.


Kentucky Mesonet

The Kentucky Mesonet is adding its 70th station created through a partnership with the Pulaski County community. The new weather station will be located at Northern Elementary School in Somerset. Installation of that station is expected to begin later this spring. 

Stuart Foster is the state climatologist and director of Kentucky Mesonet and the Kentucky Climate Center. He said locating a weather station at a school offers educational opportunities.

WKU

The Western Kentucky University men’s basketball team dropped a back-and-forth game with Utah Tuesday night in the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament.

Utah beat the Hilltoppers 69-64 in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.  

WKU finishes the season with a record of 27-11. That’s the most wins for the team since the 2007-2008 season.

WKU Athletics

Western Kentucky University's Lady Hilltopper basketball team has a new head coach.

Assistant coach Greg Collins was promoted to the top spot Tuesday following the departure of Michelle Clark-Heard, who is the new head coach at the University of Cincinnati.

Collins has been an assistant at WKU for the past six seasons.

WKU is On to NYC After Beating Oklahoma State in the NIT

Mar 22, 2018
Creative Commons/Wally Gobetz

Freshman Taveion Hollingsworth matched his career high with 30 points and Western Kentucky advanced to the final four of the NIT for the first time since 1948 with a 92-84 victory over Oklahoma State on Wednesday night.

The fourth-seeded Hilltoppers (27-10) made 15 of 18 free throws in the last three minutes to hold off the second-seeded Cowboys (21-15), who missed six of eight shots in the last two minutes.

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