Caboni, Board of Regent’s powers and contract heavily discussed at quarterly meeting

WKU President Timothy Caboni announced freshmen in the class of 2025 will be able to attend WKU with tuition covered if they are Pell Grant eligible and if they have a 3.0 GPA. Caboni gave the announcement during a press conference on Sept. 17 at the Auguenstein Alumni Center.

The President’s authority policy and the distribution of powers between him and the regents were discussed at today’s Board of Regents meeting alongside the addendum to the president’s contract.

The policy, titled “Board of Regents Delegation of Authority Policy,” has been in the works for the last two years, Regent Chair Fred Higdon said. The policy gives day-to-day management powers without direct Regent oversight to President Timothy Caboni, or whoever the president would be at any given point. The Regents will have power over transactions as dictated in state law.

Regent Phillip W. Bale said the original version of this motion was “too restrictive” on presidential power, but the executive committee’s revised plan is more realistic and effective.

“I think this board, if you go back five or six years, realized there were some things that need tweaking in regards to presidential authority,” Bale said. 

Staff Regent David Brinkley made a motion to table the policy for further discussion with groups other than the ad hoc committee that formed the policy.

“Since [the plan] has been made public as of after-hours on Friday this past week, the committee has not been able to meet and offer an alternative to the [latest] edit,” Brinkley said.

After discussion, the Regents used a roll call vote to decide whether or not to table the policy. In order for the policy to be tabled, there needed to be a two-thirds majority, or eight votes, in favor of tabling the policy.

The vote fell 6-5 against tabling the policy for discussion. Regents George Nichols and Julie Harris Hinson, Faculty Regent Shane Spiller, Student Regent Garrett Edmonds, and Brinkley voted to table the policy.

Regents Phillip Bale, Linda Ball, Jason McKinney, W. Currie Milliken. Jan West, and Higdon voted against tabling the policy. Bale and Higdon’s terms end in June of this year.

“The reason I voted in support of [tabling for discussion] is because [Caboni] would be operating under the current rules so he would not be disadvantaged,” Nichols said. “I don’t see where deliberation ever hurts.” 

After the policy was not tabled, the Regents unanimously voted to approve the policy. The next item on the agenda was the “Addendum to Employment Agreement between Western Kentucky University and Timothy C. Caboni.” 

The Executive Committee reviewed the current contract and went over different parts of the contract, including compensation, Higdon said.

The board discussed the changes in the bonuses for the president before voting on whether or not to approve the addendum. 

“When I looked through the agreement, honestly my perception of it was the wording changed, cause first of all the board has not given up its ability to not give a bonus,” Nichols said. “The wording change, to me, is more of a retention issue. Let’s just be real here in terms of our goal, we would like to not just say we’ll give you an extension. We want to put forth an effort to show we have a desire to retain Tim year after year.”

The board unanimously approved the addendum.

Assignment Editor Lily Burris can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @lily_burris.

Digital News Editor Michael J. Collins can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @mjcollinsnews.