Hardin County Schools and WKU are partnering to create an Early College and Career Center. The partnership announced Thursday also includes Elizabethtown Community and Technical College and the Central Kentucky Community Foundation.
The result will be a new building where Hardin County school students can take courses in several career pathways, including engineering, manufacturing, automotive technology, media arts, and health sciences.
Hardin County Schools Superintendent Nanette Johnston told WKU Public Radio the center will offer students a new way to prepare for either the workforce or postsecondary education.
"We have to get out of this mindset that if you don't go to college you have to go to a vocational school. This is not a vocational school like you and I might be familiar with," said Johnston.
WKU faculty will teach classes at the Early College and Career Center during the day and college courses in the evenings once the high school students go home.
WKU head men's basketball coach Ray Harper announced Tuesday the addition of Chris Harrison-Docks to the program after the guard elected to transfer from Butler University before the start of the 2012-13 regular season.
Harrison-Docks is enrolled in school and practicing with the Hilltoppers, and he will have three-and-a-half years of eligibility at WKU beginning after the conclusion of the first semester of the 2013-14 season.
"Chris is a great addition to our basketball program," Harper said. "He has a very high basketball IQ, and he is as competitive of a player as you could find. He can shoot with range, and his dedication to improving his skills is evident in how he enrolled in school early so he could begin practicing with our current team right away. We could not be more pleased to be able to bring a player of Chris' caliber to WKU."
A group of WKU political science students will see history made before their eyes Monday. The group is in Washington, DC for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Since 1989, political science department chair Dr. Saundra Ardrey has been leading trips to the Capitol every four years for the students to witness a presidential inauguration for themselves. While they're there, Ardrey says they also attend Senate hearings and confirmation hearings, meet with members of Kentucky's Congressional delegation and students have the opportunity to interview for jobs or internships.
The students will return from Washington Wednesday.
WKU Public Radio is carrying live coverage from NPR throughout the morning and afternoon Monday of President Obama's inauguration. Click here to see a schedule of our coverage.
Last September, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh returned to WKU to be honored at halftime of the Hilltoppers' win against Southern Miss. Jack coached WKU from 1989-2002, winning the 1-AA NCAA championship in his last season.
In an interview with WKU Public Radio the day before they were honored, both parents rolled their eyes when asked what it was like to watch their sons coach in the NFL. They said it filled them with stress and admitted they hated it when the 49'ers and Ravens play each other.
That's exactly what is going to happen now, with the Super Bowl championship going to the winner.
WKU snapped a three-game losing skid Thursday night with a 72-49 win over Louisiana-Lafayette at E.A. Diddle Arena. The win improves WKU's record to 11-8 overall and 5-3 in conference play.
Brandon Harris led WKU with 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Three other Hilltoppers were in double figures, including Teeng Akol with 13 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. T.J. Price added 13 points, three assists and had no turnovers in a team-high 37 minutes, and George Fant contributed 10 points and six rebounds.
Percy Blade grabbed 10 rebounds from the guard position, and Aleksejs Rostov contributed seven points and five rebounds in 27 minutes. Louisiana-Lafayette was led by Elfrid Payton's 14 points and 11 points and 14 rebounds from Shawn Long.
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's interview with WKU Public Radio
WKU President Gary Ransdell stopped by the studios of WKU Public Radio Tuesday morning to discuss state funding for higher education, a recent announcement regarding how university construction projects will be financed, and the impact of rising tuition rates on current and future students.
President Ransdell spoke with WKU Public Radio News Director Kevin Willis. Here are some excerpts from their conversation:
Kevin Willis:Last week it was announced that Governor Beshear and state legislative leaders were backing $363 million in bonds for university construction and renovation projects. But it was understood that the schools themselves would be footing the entire cost for their respective projects, with no extra state funding involved. WKU was given approval for $22 million in bonds for a new Honors College and International Center.
How badly beaten up is the WKU men's basketball team? Coach Ray Harper has been suiting up two football players in order to have enough bodies on the court during games and practice.
The Courier-Journal has this article about quarterback Kawaun Jakes and wide receiver Marcus Vasquez, two seniors who just wrapped up their final college football season, and how they're playing important roles for the WKU basketball team.
WKU Public Radio recently profiled Vasquez, who returned to the football field after suffering a season-ending knee injury his junior year.
The state Nature Preserves Commission has given three WKU professors its annual award for work that protects biological diversity.
Alfred Meier, Ouida Meier and Scott Grubbs were given this year's Biological Diversity Protection Award for their work creating the Upper Green River Biological Preserve. The preserve is on the banks of the Green River in Hart County.
The Green River is the most important river in Kentucky for the conservation of rare native mussels and fish. It hosts 109 fish species and nearly 60 mussel species. The area is also important for an endangered bat species found on the preserve and as a breeding and migratory habitat for songbirds.
A new honors college and international center at WKU and renovations to the University of Kentucky's football stadium and the University of Louisville are among the projects that will benefit from a bipartisan General Assembly agreement is allowing state universities to use their own ability to issue bonds for capital projects.
The soon-to-be approved projects were rejected during 2012 budget negotiations, but will be revived once lawmakers pass an authorization bill, House Speaker Greg Stumbo says.
The plan allows for $363-million in renovation and construction projects at six of Kentucky's eight state universities.
Stumbo says the projects were rejected because of election-year politics — because House lawmakers are elected in even-numbered years — and secondly because universities made unreasonable bonding requests.
And while many projects were rejected last year, the newly agreed upon ones are ready to start immediately.
“We had asked at the end of the last session to bring us a realistic list, what can you accomplish, what is shovel ready, what do you have the funding sources identified for, what can you accomplish in this next year,” Stumbo says.