Preferred candidate for university president named


WKU Herald Staff

Regents have selected a preferred candidate for the next university president, according to university officials.

The candidate Tim Caboni has served as the vice chancellor for public affairs at the University of Kansas since 2011. He has a master’s degree in Corporate and Organizational Communication from WKU graduating in 1994.

“I am humbled to have been selected as the preferred candidate for the presidency of WKU,” Caboni said in a release.


A former student nominated Caboni for the position; however, as an alumnus, he has had his eye on the vacancy since President Gary Ransdell announced his retirement last January.

“It is incredibly humbling to be returning to WKU and my alma mater in a way I couldn’t have understood until last night,” he said. “The number of people who have both wished me well and welcomed me back has been overwhelming.”

Caboni has also served as the associate dean of the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University from 2005 to 2011.

His education includes a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University, a master’s degree from WKU and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in higher education leadership and policy.

“For me, my WKU experience was both important and informative,” he said. “I use the work that I did there every single day in my current profession.”

Caboni is married to Kacy Schmidt Caboni who works for the University of Kansas Endowment Association.

“My wife has not yet been [to WKU], but I am excited to show her where I spent time and where I got my master’s degree,” he said.

Caboni will be visiting WKU for meetings and campus forums on Jan. 25 and 26, according to university officials.

“One of the things I’ve talked about all along in this process is the importance of collaboration, cooperation, transparency, and I will bring that same conversation to campus next week,” he said.

The Board of Regents will make a final decision during its’ quarterly meeting on Jan. 27. Caboni is the only candidate who has been made public during the search process. A decision was never formally made on whether or not the presidential search would be open or closed.

The forums that will take place on Jan. 26 include:

  • 9:30 a.m.     Staff forum, Downing Student Union, 3002-3007

  • 1:30 p.m.     Student forum, Downing Student Union, 3002-3007

  • 3 p.m.          Faculty forum, Downing Student Union, 3002-3007

  • 5-6:30 p.m. Public/community reception, Augenstein Alumni Center,  Robertson-Feix Ballroom

This will be followed by a public announcement and Media Q&A that will take place in the Augenstein Alumni Center Robertson-Feix Ballroom on Jan. 27 at 2:30 p.m.

“I look forward to working with governance, with faculty, with staff and with students to figure out together what the shared aspirations for WKU and how we can do them together,” Caboni said.

The Herald will update this story as more information is made available.