EDITORIAL: Importance of support during presidential infancy

Herald Editorial Board

The Issue: University president Timothy Caboni is coming into a raw deal, primarily from a financial standpoint, as a result of the previous administration.

Our Stance: We support Caboni and the ideas he plans to implement that will positively impact, especially those that will help balance the budget

It’s no secret new university President Timothy Caboni is beginning his tenure under dire financial circumstances left by the previous administration. This is why we consider it to be of utmost importance that Caboni receive support, from both the student body and faculty, for his plans that will ideally benefit the University.


According to Caboni, WKU’s budget woes could include a deficit between $11 million and $15 million dollars. To put that in perspective, that’s equivalent to the cost of around 1,500 zambonis that Caboni could have at his disposal if not for the deficit.

One idea Caboni plans to implement is to shift away from the carry forward funding policy from the Ransdell administration to one that won’t penalize units on campus that are “doing well and creating revenue.”

The carry foward funding policy allocates money that university programs and divisions have left over to help cover the university’s central budget, which faced a $6.5 million shortfall this past fiscal year.

One issue with this funding policy is it hurts revenue dependent programs: organizations that operate strictly based on revenue they create independently of the university.

The College Heights Herald is a revenue dependent program that uses the money it generates from advertisements to pay students for their work and distribute the paper throughout the campus. Other revenue dependent divisions include the Florist Shop, Imagewest and the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach.

President Caboni’s willingness to make changes to address the immediate budgetary needs of WKU demonstrates a sense of fiscal responsibility that was arguably lacking in the previous administration.

Making immediate financial responsibilities a priority fits with Caboni’s strategy “…that even in times of scarce resources, we have to make sure we’re prioritizing growing our own human capital and taking care of our own.”

With all due respect to former President Gary Ransdell, he did leave a legacy through the renovation of the Downing Student Union, the creation of the Honors College and International Center and other major projects.

However, those projects came at a cost to the budget that President Caboni and the budget council must now find a way to balance so the university can make sure the immediate needs of faculty, staff and students are being met.

Caboni’s recently announced at his convocation the return of the spousal benefit program that was removed after last spring’s budget cuts as well as a new scholarship program provided by WKU’s partner for facilities management, Sodexo.

This announcement, as well as leaving the door open to alter admission standards so that students who are not ready for college are not burdened with loan debt, gives weight to Caboni’s commitment to “…taking care of our own.” Therefore, we as a student body should support a President who is intent on meeting the needs of the people who make up the University in a way that makes financial sense.