Caboni is sworn in as WKU’s 10th president

Timothy C. Caboni is sworn in as WKU’s 10th president by Chief Justice John D. Minton alongside wife and director of principal gifts and special initiatives, Kacy Caboni during a quarterly Board of Regents meeting. Rebekah Alvey/WKU Herald 

Rebekah Alvey

Timothy C. Caboni was sworn in as WKU’s 10th president by Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. this morning at the quarterly Board of Regents meeting. Caboni was accompanied by his wife and director of principal gifts and special initiatives, Kacy Caboni.

In an interview, Caboni said being sworn in was a special moment and a culmination of the transitional period. July 1 was the official start to Caboni’s presidency and he said over the past month, he has had time to engage with the WKU community and come to an understanding of the opportunities ahead.

Phillip W. Bale, Gillard B. Johnson and Frederick A. Higdon were also sworn in as chair, vice chair and secretary of the Board of Regents. During the meeting, Bale thanked Higdon for “carrying WKU forward” and providing advice as the previous chair.

George Nichols III was sworn in as a regent on the Board of Regents by Chair Bale. Nichols was appointed to the Board by Gov. Matt Bevins on July 14 and replaced Cynthia Harris, whose term expired at the end of last month on the board. His term will end in 2023.

Nichols grew up in Bowling Green, received his associate’s degree from Alice Lloyd College, where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees, received his bachelor’s from WKU and his master’s from the University of Louisville, according to a University of Kentucky database.

Nichols said he was still amazed that he was on the Board and described the experience of being sworn in as “numbing.”

“When you grow up in Bowling Green and see this big institution and all the people who’ve come through and what they’ve done,” Nicholas said. “You’re now one of the leaders to make sure it stays a great institution and how it can be greater.”

In his professional life, Nichols is the executive vice president of governmental affairs for New York Life Insurance Company. He said his goals as regent are consistent with his professional career in that they both aim to recruit, retain and grow an individual.

During the Academic Affairs portion of the agenda, Brian Meredith, chief enrollment officer, presented an enrollment report to the Board. He warned the numbers would be more finite after the remaining three TOP orientations and International orientation.

In the presentation, Meredith reported there was an increase of 172 enrolled freshmen. However, he said the numbers for fall enrollment will be similar to last year.

Meredith said the freshmen class was “strong” and presented demographics on the class. The average ACT score of the freshmen was a 23 which places WKU as the highest ACT receivers in the state. The average GPA slightly increased to 3.3.

Meredith said there has been an increase in GPA and ACT for the past three years which is a positive sign for retention. 59 percent of the enrolled freshmen class have earned previous college credits and 70 percent of the class are from KY.

Also in Academic Affairs, the board approved several graduate and undergraduate certificates and minors which were discussed in committees following a Special Budget Approval meeting in June.

The action items include approval of: 

·         Graduate certificates in Economic Data Analytics and Addiction Education.

·         Undergraduate minor in Computer Animation.

·         Undergraduate certificates in Health Informatics and Public Health.

·         Undergraduate minor and certificate in Environmental Health and Health Education and Health Promotion.

·         Name change from Department of Family and Consumer Sciences to Department of Applied Human Sciences.

·         Dr. Albert Meier for University Distinguished Professor.

·         Emeritus status for Melvin Borland, Frank Kersting, Jacqueline Pope-Tarrence, Richard A. Roberts and Richard Weigel.

In the Finance and Budget portion of the agenda, the Board approved the following action items:

·         The 2017-2018 audit plan.

·         Faculty and staff personnel actions.

·         Filing the 2016-17 third quarter statement of revenues and expenditures.

The Board heard reports from both the College Heights and WKU Foundation. Donald Smith with the College Heights Foundation reported a new record of $36.3 million of private gifts in a fiscal year.

Bale concluded the meeting by restating sentiments from Thursday’s retreat and said it is extremely important for the Board to have a strong partnership with Caboni.

“There’s a lot of talent on the board, there’s a lot of compassion,” Bale said. “I hope we can all see fit to put that to good use.”

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