College of Business hosts forum for third candidate for dean position

Jack Dobbs

The Gordon Ford College of Business hosted its third candidate for the dean position Thursday. Michelle Trawick appeared at a forum open for both faculty, staff and students.

Trawick, who currently serves as an economics professor in GFCB as well as associate dean for faculty and administration said she believes the biggest problems facing GFCB are the ongoing budget crisis as well as declining student enrollment and the state pension crisis.

“You’d have to be under a rock to not recognize what the university’s biggest challenges are right now,” Trawick said.

Trawick said declining wages help decrease excitement about staff jobs at WKU.

Trawick also discussed her plan to remedy the problem of declining enrollment. As reported in a previous Herald article, WKU saw a decline of 806 students from 2017 to 2018. Trawick said she believes one way to alleviate the decline in GFCB is to use the undergraduate student course fee.  

Trawick said this fee, which would stand at an extra $5 per credit hour, would create “recurring dollars” allowing GFCB to have more steady revenue.

“No one wants to do it which is why it has never been done,” Trawick said, “The goal would be to get through this budgetary time without doing this.”

Once Trawick was finished with her presentation, the forum was opened up to questions from the audience. One faculty member asked about Trawick’s strengths and weaknesses.

Trawick said her strengths are her high institutional knowledge coupled with her passion for helping guide college students into their careers. On her weakness, Trawick said she lacks a strong background with GFCB fundraising initiatives.

“I have done one proposal,” Trawick said, “It failed.”

A large portion of Trawick’s presentation was dedicated to the means through which GFCB can remedy its enrollment woes. Trawick said that outreach programs to high school seniors is the key to increasing enrollment.

“We have some initiatives in place that are on the right track,” Trawick said. “We’ve got to be engaged in the process.”

GFCB will host a fourth candidate forum for the office of Dean of GFCB tomorrow.

Reporter Jack Dobbs can be reached at 270-745-0655 and [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @jackrdobbs.