The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education voted Thursday to cap tuition increases for in-state undergraduate students at the state’s public schools at three percent. It’s the smallest average tuition hike for Kentucky’s public institutions in 15 years.
WKU President Gary Ransdell spoke to the CPE at its meeting at Lindsey Wilson College, and asked for a five percent increase for WKU.
In an email to faculty and staff Thursday afternoon, Dr. Ransdell said WKU will have to endure a budget cut due to the smaller-than-hoped-for tuition increase.
"A five percent increase would have given us a balanced budget for next year with no cuts," the WKU President wrote. "This CPE action, however, means that we have budget work to do before taking a balanced budget to our Board of Regents in June."
"We will take this in stride as we have done for the last several years. I have asked the Vice Presidents to begin making recommendations as we begin budget reduction conversations on Monday. Every effort will be made to protect as many jobs as possible and to act in the best interest of our students and employees. I will be back in touch in due course as options take shape. "
CPE President Bob King said the board felt that tuition increases should be kept "as minimal as possible" given the "challenging economic environment" that students are facing.
For Bowling Green resident Cort Basham, the ongoing investigation into the Boston Marathon bombings isn't just a news story. Basham ran Monday's marathon and was with his mother just a block when the first explosion went off.
"You've just run three hours, so you're out of fuel. I was on my phone looking for restaurants nearby when the first explosion hit," Basham told WKU Public Radio Wednesday.
"My mind immediately went to the worst, and somebody next to us said 'that sounds like dynamite at a job site.' And within a few seconds, the second one went off, and at that point we knew."
Basham says he didn't have a view of the explosions, but that others around him did, and that many people started to flee the scene.
WKU is hoping to land the winner of this year’s Mr. Basketball award in Kentucky. Madison Central guard Dominique Hawkins will announce his college choice Wednesday morning during a school-wide assembly at the school’s gym.
Hawkins led Madison Central to this year’s Sweet 16 state championship, and has college offers from WKU, Purdue, South Carolina, Tennessee, and several other schools. Hawkins has said he wants to play at UK, and was waiting to hear if the school would offer him a basketball scholarship.
After Wednesday's announcement, Hawkins will help lead a team of Bluegrass State stars this weekend in the Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Game in northern Kentucky.
Lee Stott's interview with Jace Wittig, Chanticleer's music director
The world-renowned choral ensemble Chanticleer is coming to Western Kentucky University Thursday evening as part of the school's Cultural Enhancement Series. The performance is at 7:30pm C.T. at Van Meter Auditorium, and is free and open to the public.
The group will perform a program called The Siren's Call. This program celebrates the sea with music from New Zealand, Hawaii and China complemented by Chanticleer's signature treatments of Gregorian Chant and Renaissance music.
WKU Public Radio's Lee Stott spoke with Jace Wittig, Chanticleer's Music Director, about the group and its April 11 performance in Bowling Green.
Western Kentucky senior basketball forward and football defensive end Kene Anyigbo has been arrested on marijuana possession charges.
The Warren County Regional Jail lists the 21-year-old Anyigbo as an inmate at the facility. Anyigbo also faces charges of tampering with physical evidence and failure to illuminate head lamps. His initial bond is set at $2,000. He was arrested Saturday and remained in jail Monday morning.
Jail records did not list an attorney for Anyigbo.
Western Kentucky Athletic Director Todd Stewart told The Daily News that school officials were aware of the charges.
Kentucky manufacturers will benefit from a new partnership between universities, professionals, and state and federal partners.
The Advantage Kentucky Alliance was announced Friday at WKU's Center for Research and Development.
The aim is to move Kentucky from traditional manufacturing to advanced manufacturing. WKU President Gary Ransdell said it's important for universities to be involved in the economies they help create and sustain.
"Universities first and foremost have to be about economic development. The time has long since passed when our primary mission was to just educate students,"said Dr. Ransdell. "As I've said for many years, educating students is a means to a much more important end and that more important end is driving Kentucky's economy and improving the quality of like for people within the reach of our universities."
The Kentucky Association of Manufacturers and local chambers of commerce will help connect manufacturers to alliance members who can address their needs, such as finding new revenue streams, developing new products and services, and learning new processes to become more efficient.
WKU’s director of basketball operations has resigned to pursue coaching opportunities. Jake Morton came to WKU in 2011 as an assistant coach, but was moved to the director of basketball operations job this past season.
Morton was an assistant coach at the University of Miami before he came to WKU. In February, WKU received word from the NCAA that Morton could be sanctioned for alleged violations that took place during his time at Miami.
The NCAA investigation of the Miami Hurricanes' athletic department from 2007 to 2009 involves a former booster who was later convicted of running a Ponzi scheme. The NCAA has accused Morton of accepting $6,000 from the booster, and providing transportation for the AAU coach of a top high school prospect Miami was recruiting at the time.
Citing increased exposure and football bowl game opportunities, WKU President Gary Ransdell and Athletic Director Todd Stewart announced Monday that the school will join Conference USA on July 1, 2014.
Following a unanimous vote by the WKU Board of Regents late Monday morning, WKU officials and the Conference USA commissioner held a news conference a short time later announcing the pact.
C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky said WKU brings a lot to the conference.
“We want to provide an opportunity to the next generation of great universities, and (WKU) certainly fits that profile. I think they’re a growing university connected to some large markets like Nashville and Louisville, and frankly I think they have a tradition of excellence,” said Banowsky.
WKU will play one more season in the Sun Belt, a conference WKU joined in 1982.