The WKU faculty regent says she is hearing a great deal of concern from her colleagues concerning the new contract awarded to the school's football coach. History Professor Patti Minter was the lone voice of dissent at Friday's Board of Regents meeting when coach Bobby Petrino's $850,000 dollar contract was approved.
"Decisions like this hire demonstrate that WKU is still committed to funding entertainment at all costs, even as our enrollment flattens, our debt load expands, and our sources of new revenue dry up," Dr. Minter told the Board.
"To state the obvious, WKU must put the money into the academic mission and recognize the faculty and staff who fulfill it are as important as brick-and-mortar and extra-curricular concerns, because when funding is scarce, non-academic projects and extra-curriculars do not teach students, engage in research or public service, or retain the students which is obviously the key to our financial future."
No other regents commented on Minter's statements or the contract before the vote was taken.
After Petrino's contract was approved, Dr. Minter told WKU Public Radio her vote wasn't meant as a slight against athletics, but is instead a protest against what she sees as misplaced priorities at the school.
Dr. Ransdell discusses the role athletics is playing at WKU.
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.
WKU President Gary Ransdell and Athletic Director Todd Stewart have issued a joint statement Wednesday in response to questions regarding WKU's future athletic conference. Another round of conference realignment kicked off this week when Maryland announced it was leaving the ACC for the Big Ten, and Rutgers said it was leaving the Big East for the Big 10.
The WKU men's basketball program has its first recruiting commitment for the class of 2013. Alassane Kah, a 6' 10", 215 pound center-forward, announced this week he'll play his college ball in Bowling Green.
All around the country, college football teams are holding their first summer practices for players this week--and WKU is no different. The Hilltoppers open their season September 1st against Austin Peay, but there are several questions to answer before the games begin.