Faculty regent election results named inconclusive

Rebekah Alvey

Results from the election for a new faculty regent were stalled again after ineligible voting during last Friday’s election, according to members of the university senate.

The faculty regent is voted on by full-time faculty members of WKU to represent the faculty at Board of Regents meetings. The faculty regent is a voting member of the Board of Regents and also attends University Senate meetings, often reporting on Board of Regents meetings or addressing faculty concerns.

The current faculty regent is Barbara Burch. Burch’s last Board of Regents meeting as faculty regent will be Friday, Oct. 27.

Last Friday was the second attempt at the election. The first, on Oct. 12, was also inconclusive because a candidate needed over 50 percent of the vote in order to win.

Out of the four candidates in the first election, none received over 50 percent of the vote, so a second election was scheduled for last Friday, Oct. 20.

In the second election, the top two candidates from the first election, journalism professor Mac McKerral and mathematics professor Claus Ernst, were up for election.

As of Monday, the new faculty regent is still scheduled to take an “oath of office” at Friday’s Board of Regents meeting, according to the Board of Regents agenda.

Ernst said only full-time faculty members are eligible to vote, however, some part-time faculty members were able to vote. Ernst said the votes of part-time faculty members made the election results invalid.

Ernst said there are roughly 400 part-time faculty members, which could sway the outcome of the vote.

Liz Sturgeon, vice chair of the university senate, organized the faculty regent election but did not respond in time for publication.

According to the university senate bylaws, an election can only be held five business days after the previous election, which means the faculty would be able to vote again this Friday.

Ernst said he wasn’t sure how serious the ineligible voting is or if it will cause a complete restart in the elections.

Reporter Rebekah Alvey can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].