Board of Regents discusses presidential search, university audit

Jamie Williams

The Board of Regents heard a brief update on presidential candidates, an overview of an external audit and approved three new certificates during its meeting on Friday.

Regent Phillip Bale, head of the presidential search committee, said the number of presidential candidates is now in the single digits and the final candidates will soon be presented to the full board. The board will ultimately decide if the search will be open or closed to the public.

“I think our board, and certainly the search committee, want to be as transparent as we can be, and yet we have to recognize that some of the individuals do have situations that require greater levels of confidentiality,” Bale said.

The board also heard an overview of an external, university-wide audit which cited no items of non-compliance and no accounting practice concerns.

“It’s good to know you don’t have any flags to raise,”  President Gary Ransdell said.

Additionally, the board voted to make a revision to its 2016-17 operating budget. The revision totaled $17 million, $16.3 million of which affected net assets from the fiscal year of 2016, also known as carry forward funds. The remaining amount in the revision consists of additional revenue projected to be generated in 2017.

During the meeting, the board voted to allow WKU to offer three new certificates.

The Education Specialist Degree in Gifted Education and Talent Development will be offered through the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. Julia Roberts, professor of gifted studies, said WKU would be one of only about a dozen universities with this degree. Roberts, who is also the executive director of The Gatton Academy, said the academy makes WKU the perfect place for this degree. 

The Graduate Certificate in Advanced Behavior Management will offer courses that specialize in behavioral management of school-aged children. This certificate will be available to practicing teachers and anyone else who wants to work with kids.

The Graduate Certificate in College and Career Readiness will prepare students to work with primarily students in grades 7-12 in order to direct students toward their respective interests.

“These are outstanding programs,” Staff Regent Tamela Smith said. “No question that they’re going to be good work.”

The board also approved five faculty sabbaticals and provided more details regarding Hilltopper Hall, a new residence hall that will begin construction in the next several weeks.

The board will meet again on January 27, 2017.