University Senate discusses compensation, Confucius Institute memo

Andrew Henderson

The October meeting of the University Senate brought an update concerning the ongoing discussion between members and the Board of Regents Finance Committee and a memo from President Gary Ransdell regarding the Confucius Institute.

Chairwoman of the senate Kate Hudepohl, Vice Chairwoman Julie Shadoan and Chairman of Staff Council Josh Marble met with Gillard Johnson, chairman of the Board of Regents Finance Committee on Aug. 28.

At this meeting Hudepohl, and others, were made aware of the Board of Regents interest in the area of faculty and staff compensation.


Hudepohl said she has assembled the compiled faculty responses regarding concerns of compensation and sent those comments to Johnson and the finance committee. 

“I very much appreciate the Board of Regents ongoing interest in this issue, and I’m glad that we’re having a conversation,” she said. 

After sending the data, she said Johnson subsequently emailed her to let her know he was planning to attend the WKU Budget Council meeting on Oct. 22. 

Hudepohl said she received a letter from Ransdell further addressing matters regarding the Confucius Institute that had been brought up in prior University Senate and Student Government Association meetings. 

In the letter, Ransdell talks about the maintenance costs of the forthcoming Confucius Institute building, the use of the building and how the Board of Regents responded to the senate resolution asking them to reexamine the contract among other items. 

The letter, dated Oct. 1, said Ransdell met with the Confucius Institute staff last week and learned new information following the staff’s communication with the staff of Hanban in Beijing.  

“Madame Xu Lin (director general of Hanban) has expressed pleasure in how this matter has been discussed and handled on our campus,” Ransdell said in the letter to Hudepohl. “The primary reason for our meeting will be to discuss ways in which we can expand our Confucius Institute, particularly, the number of teachers teaching Chinese language in area schools.” 

Ransdell also said that Xu Lin confirmed to WKU Confucius Institute staff that Hanban will cover all maintenance and operating costs, including utilities, related to the building once it opens.  

The Herald will have more information about the University Senate meeting in Tuesday’s edition.