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.
The Glasgow City Council has unanimously passed a resolution pledging the city's support for an expansion of the WKU-Glasgow campus.
Glasgow mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman says the resolution passed at Monday night's meeting offers the city's bonding authority to help fund a building expansion at the school's regional campus in Barren County.
WKU President Gary Ransdell has talked repeatedly in recent weeks about the need for the school to find alternative revenue streams in order to pay for major projects, in light of declining state aid for higher education.
WKU-Glasgow administrators say they need more classrooms, office space, and food services.