Board of Regents swears in new faculty regent

Mathematics professor Claus Ernst is sworn in as faculty regent at the Board of Regents meeting Friday, January 26 in Jody Richards Hall. Ernst succeeded Barbara Burch, provost emerita, after a series of votes that prolonged the naming of newest faculty regent..

Emma Collins

WKU’s new faculty regent was sworn in during the Board of Regents meeting on Jan. 26.

Claus Ernst, a mathematics professor, succeeded Barbara Burch, provost emerita, as faculty regent after a series of votes that prolonged the naming on the newest faculty regent. No candidate received over 50 percent of the votes in the first election, and the results of the second election were thrown out because of votes from part-time faculty members. Part-time faculty members are eligible to vote.

Ernst was sworn in by Phillip Bale, the board’s chair, and given a pin signifying his status as a regent.

“The tradition was established … under Dr. [Gary] Ransdell’s presidency that every regent be awarded a pin, and these are distinctive pins that we can wear proudly, and it signifies that you have willingly, voluntarily accepted the duty and the privilege of serving on this board of trustees…,” Bale said.

During the meeting, the Board unanimously approved a new graduate certificate in scientific data analytics. The certificate will be part of Ogden College of Science and Engineering in the interdisciplinary program and will have 12 required hours. The certificate will help students acquire the expertise needed to analyze datasets as technology advances, according to the certificate proposal.

The Board discussed the 2017 to 2018 Operating Budget Revisions and voted to revise the budget with the addition of $781,500. About $551,500 of that total will be used for facilities improvements for the WKU Police Department, bus refurbishing and the replacement of service vehicles. The rest of the money will either be used for scholarships for students enrolled in certain certificate programs or returned to certain departments across the university.

The Board also voted to approve the audit reports for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.

News reporter Emma Collins can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected] Follow Emma on Twitter at @_mccain_emma_.