Regents give Ransdell life-long emeritus position

Monica Kast

The Board of Regents Executive Committee voted to appoint President Gary Ransdell as President Emeritus after his retirement as well as passed two memorandums of understanding between WKU and the WKU Foundation and the College Heights Foundation.

President Ransdell was appointed a President Emeritus status, which was approved unanimously by the Board of Regents.

“Anyone who knows Dr. Ransdell recognizes that his dedication and passion for our University is not likely to end with his retirement as President,” Board of Regents Chair Frederick Higdon wrote in his recommendation for Ransdell. “With his almost 20 years in leading this University, and with his energy and relative youth, there is little doubt that he will continue to serve WKU in retirement in ways that are appropriate and valuable.”

President Emeritus is a lifelong position, often given to retiring university presidents, according to Higdon’s recommendation. Higdon also noted Ransdell has “indicated his intent to create his office space” off campus, so there is “no institutional expense involved in setting up an office on campus,” according to Higdon.

Additionally, if Ransdell were asked to represent WKU “in an official capacity and incurs expenses in doing so,” WKU will reimburse Ransdell for those expenses. Ransdell will also have access to a “1/4 time of an Office Associate,” according to information provided at the Board of Regents meeting.

Ransdell’s President Emeritus status will go into effect upon retirement.

The Board of Regents also approved faculty emeritus statuses for Jerry Gotlieb, Keith Andrew, Charles Anderson, James Martin, John Hagaman and Cassandra Pinnick, all of whom are professors at WKU.

Additionally, the Board of Regents approved two Memorandums of Understanding, one between WKU and the WKU Foundation, and a second between WKU and the College Heights Foundation.

Each MOU was created to “provide a framework … to examine how the Foundation can most effectively advance the mission of the institution,” to detail the ways each foundation supports WKU, and to “provide transparency and accountability regarding the use of both state and private resources,” according to the MOUs.

Ransdell said these MOUs were presented to the Board of Regents to better inform the Board of Regents about the roles and actions of both foundations.

Marc Archambault, vice president of development and alumni relations and president of the WKU Foundation, was present at the meeting to answer questions from the regents.

Regent John Ridley noted both MOUs appeared to be the same, “except for a few nuances.”

Archambault confirmed the MOUs were very similar.

“Except for a few particulars to each organization, they are the same,” Archambault said.

Ridley also asked what would be done if a donor wanted a monetary donation to go to a specific foundation for a specific purpose.

Archambault said neither foundation “intends to start moving gifts back and forth,” and issues like that would be dealt with on a “case-by-case basis.”

Both memorandums were passed unanimously, with Ridley abstaining from the vote.

Reporter Monica Kast can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @monicakastwku.