10 takeaways from forums with presidential candidate

Board of Regents preferred presidential candidate Tim Caboni speaks to a group of faculty, answering question about his plans for the University on Thursday Jan. 26 2017 in DSU.

Herald Staff

The preferred presidential candidate met with students, faculty and staff today in a series of open forums to discuss his potential presidency.

The candidate Tim Caboni, current vice chancellor for public affairs at the University of Kansas, discussed topics including sustainability, student disabilities and balancing the university budget.

1. The Board of Regents is supportive of Caboni

Board of Regents Chair Freddie Higdon was present at each forum, voicing the Board’s confidence in Caboni.

The first forum of the day was for staff members. The crowd filled the room at this morning, with several staff members standing around the doors to listen in.

2. Caboni will address racial tension with open communication

One attendee addressed recent racial tension, asking Caboni how he plans on resolving these issues on campus. Caboni listed open communication, utilizing a focused task force and having honest conversations as ways to solve not only racial tension but other issues as well.

3. Promoting sustainability could be a way to save money

Caboni also spoke about sustainability, which he acknowledged not only as a way to save money, but also to fill responsibilities to protect the planet.

During Caboni’s open forum with students, Higdon addressed the crowd and said, “we believe he is the right fit for WKU.” Before opening up the forum for questions, Caboni listed three qualities he believes make a good university.

4. Caboni addresses scholarships for students with disabilities

Sophomore sophomore Brendan Ward asked the first question at the student forum. Ward, who worked with the SGA to get scholarships at WKU for students with disabilities, asked Caboni about increasing that number of scholarships.

5. Addressing campus leaders to address mental health problems

Another student expressed concerns about mental health issues on campus and asked Caboni how he anticipated taking action to provide help to those who need it. Caboni said he would start a conversation with campus leaders about ways to help.

6. International students are a filter of knowledge

During Caboni’s forum with faculty, professor Dawn Winters showed concern with how international students are treated as “cash cows” for the university. Caboni expressed interaction between international and American students – both inside and outside the classroom – is an important way to share ideas.

“They add something to our community that we wouldn’t have otherwise,” Caboni said.

7. Caboni hopes to make studying abroad accessible for all students

He also added that study abroad experiences are important for all students to have, and the university should do everything possible to make studying abroad available.

8. Big Red is a mascot for every student on campus

When asked about balancing the budget between academics and athletics, Caboni said a university should always focus on people and programs. He added that student athletes who attend WKU need to graduate from WKU and that Big Red is not only a mascot for athletics, but also for every Hilltopper student.

9. Generating revenue will help balance university budget

Caboni also said WKU shouldn’t rely on state funding to balance its budget; instead, he wants to focus on efficiency, reallocating extra resources and generating revenue so the university can support itself.

“Flat is the new up in higher education,” Caboni said in regards to state funding.

10. Board will vote on Caboni tomorrow

The Board will make its final decision and vote on Caboni at its quarterly meeting tomorrow at 9 a.m. in the Cornelius A. Martin Regents Room in Mass Media and Technology Hall located on the second floor.