Caboni focuses on transparency and collaboration as president

Tim Caboni became WKU’s 10th president July 1. On his first workday, he ensured his tenure will consist of transparency and collaboration. Kansas University 

Rebekah Alvey

On his first workday as president of WKU, Tim Caboni emphasized the need to share information and be transparent throughout his tenure.

After a five month transitional period, Caboni officially became WKU’s 10th president after the retirement of Gary Ransdell, who served 20 years.

Caboni said people should have access to data that is also made understandable in order to make decisions and see the most progress. He said he thinks transparency is a trait the WKU community will appreciate and expect.

“As we go through this planning process together, there should be no secrets,” Caboni said.

Throughout the transitional period, Caboni worked with a team to determine highlights and potential concerns on campus.

Caboni also expressed the importance of input from the whole WKU community. He demonstrated this in emails sent to faculty, staff and alumni introducing himself and providing methods of sharing ideas on how to improve WKU. Caboni said a similar email will be provided to students on the first day of the fall semester.

“We are going to decide together, as a community, what our aspirations are for the university,” Caboni.

The transition was filled with listening to input and Caboni said listening and collaborating will continue as president.

Before becoming president of WKU, Caboni worked at the University of Kansas as vice chancellor of public affairs for nearly six years. He received a master’s degree in corporate and organizational communication from WKU.

Caboni said he is interested and has plans to eventually become active in the classrooms of the communication department. He has no plans to teach courses in the fall term but is scheduled to speak and visit with undergraduates in the communication department.

Caboni taught three honors courses while at Kansas and said there is no better way to understand a university than by teaching — which is why he is putting effort into finding ways to intellectually engage with students.

“I am a professor at heart and loved teaching,” Caboni.

In addition to creating an open discussion and analysis of the university, Caboni has specific goals.

Caboni said it is important to focus on increasing the size of the incoming class of students as well as student retention and graduation. A portion of state funding for the university will be determined by performance indicators such as graduation rates, which Caboni said makes these goals important.

It is also important to focus on retention and graduation, Caboni said, because every admission to WKU as a sign of encouragement that a student can succeed at the university. Keeping that promise, he said, is essential. One way these goals will be accomplished is through professional advising.

Strengthening the WKU and Bowling Green community is also a large part of Caboni’s vision. He said that goal will be accomplished through supporting students, providing opportunities and experiences off the Hill and forming partnerships with the chamber of commerce.

“WKU is an exciting place to be for both the university and Bowling Green,” Caboni said.

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