Efforts are underway to determine what can be done to salvage artwork damaged by the Thursday morning fire at Bowling Green's Downing Museum at the Baker Arboretum.
The museum houses numerous paintings by the late artist and Hart County native Joe Downing. WKU President Gary Ransdell says the Downing Museum art is now at different parts of the school's campus.
"All of the artwork has now been transported to the Kentucky Building, and is in storage and is protected," said Dr. Ransdell. "The art that has been damaged by smoke and water is over in the services supply building where the art restoration experts will look them over and determine what needs to be done immediately, and what needs to take place over time. Only a few pieces were damaged by the actual fire--I'm guessing maybe 30 or 40 pieces."
The fire started before 7 a.m. and was discovered by estate staff members. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Officials on the scene of the blaze this morning told WKU Public Radio the fire was likely started by an electrical malfunction or a lightning strike.
The WKU Board of Regents will vote on the school’s next budget at a meeting Friday afternoon. The nearly $394 million spending plan for 2013-14 is a 1.4 percent increase over last year’s budget.
If approved, 46 percent of the revenue used to run WKU would come from tuition and student fees. Only 18 percent of the proposed budget comes from state funding.
The budget vote comes after several tumultuous months on the WKU campus. In April, the Council on Postsecondary Education rejected President Gary Ransdell’s request for a 5 percent tuition increase, granting just a 3 percent hike. Ransdell told WKU faculty and staff that the decision meant the school was going to have to cut jobs.
Dr. Ching-Yi Lin of Bowling Green received a Jefferson Award Tuesday in Washington.
Dr. Lin, a world-class violinist, was recognized for sharing her talent within the community by serving as the director of the WKU pre-college strings program. That program has about 70 children between four and 18 years old studying the violin, viola and cello. Besides giving performances at area schools, her students also perform at local retirement homes, charities and businesses.
The Jefferson Award is given to exceptional Americans who strive to make their communities better and stronger. Recipients are nominated from throughout the country.
Besides leading the pre-college strings program, Dr. Lin is assistant professor of violin at WKU and Concertmaster of the Symphony at WKU.
The Hilltoppers have been named the Sun Belt preseason favorite in The Sporting News college football preview. WKU is followed in the ranking by Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas State.
Also, senior running back Antonio Andrews has been named a preseason All-America selection by the organization.
Andrews is a third-team selection to the 2013 Sporting News All-America Team as an all-purpose player.
Kickoff time has been set for WKU’s season-opening football game versus Kentucky.
The Hilltoppers will open their 2013 campaign on Saturday, August 31, at 6 p.m. at L.P. Field in Nashville.
The contest will mark the first games for both teams’ head coaches—Bobby Petrino at WKU and Mark Stoops at Kentucky. The Wildcats will be looking to avenge last season’s overtime loss to WKU in Lexington.
WKU didn’t have to look too far for the school’s new Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations.
Rick Dubose is a familiar face to many on the WKU campus. He graduated from WKU in 1973, and returned to the hill in 1997 to serve as the first major gift officer for the Potter College of Arts and Letters and the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.
Since 1999, he’s been WKU’s director of corporate and foundation relations.
Dubose starts in his new position May 15, taking over from Donald Smith, who was recently named President of the College Heights Foundation.
WKU President Gary Ransdell has spelled out how the school will handle a $2.1 million dollar budget cut next fiscal year.
In an email sent to faculty and staff Wednesday afternoon, Ransdell said that starting July 1, WKU will eliminate the budgets for the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching—or FACET--and the Center of Excellence in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.
Recurring funding will end for the Provost’s Initiative for Excellence, and the budgets of the ALIVE Center and Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility will be combined.
WKU will close its center in Radcliff, and will operate programs previously held there at its campuses in Elizabethtown and Ft. Knox.
Earlier this week, President Ransdell said the school had found ways to deal with the budget cuts without eliminating jobs, although some positions could be shifted to other departments on campus.
Here is an excerpt from the email Dr. Ransdell sent Wednesday:
WKU employees impacted by departmental consolidations should know by Wednesday if they are affected by the moves.
For weeks, WKU President Gary Ransdell has been warning that the school was going to have to cut personnel in light of an expected $2.1 million dollar budget cut next fiscal year. But this week Dr. Ransdell said the school's vice-presidents were able to find ways to consolidate certain operations and departments without costing any jobs.
Dr. Ransdell says the school has been notifying those workers impacted by the changes this week. The WKU president said he will send an email to all faculty and staff either Wednesday or Thursday detailing the moves the school has made regarding consolidations.
Ransdell added he is happy the school has found a way to deal with the budget cut that didn't involve personnel or salary reductions.
WKU President Gary Ransdell says there will be no job losses next year related to the school’s upcoming budget cut. Dr. Ransdell had been warning that personnel reductions were likely following the Council on Postsecondary Education’s decision to allow a 3% in-state undergraduate tuition increase next year, instead of the 5% hike WKU had requested.
But in an email to WKU faculty and staff yesterday, Dr. Ransdell said “no one will lose their employment at WKU" despite the school having to cut $2.1 million from its budget.
The WKU president said some employees might be relocated to other departments during the next academic year. He also said some 200 faculty members will receive market-salary adjustments worth a total of $500,000.
As WKU prepares for budget cuts ahead of the next fiscal year, another Kentucky university is making plans ahead of its next budget.
The Eastern Kentucky University board of regents has approved a spending plan that includes a three-percent in-state undergraduate tuition increase and no raises for employees. The three-percent tuition hike is the maximum allowed by the Council on Postsecondary Education.
WKU President Gary Ransdell had asked the CPE for a five-percent undergraduate tuition increase, saying it was needed to help the school move forward without budget cuts.
Dr. Ransdell says WKU will now have to look at cuts that will include personnel reductions. WKU vice-presidents have given Ransdell preliminary plans for cuts in their departments.
The issue will be taken up by the school’s board of regents at their meeting in late June.