Ransdell announces new position, Public Broadcasting Services transition

Herald Staff

President Gary Ransdell announced a change to the administrative council via email on May 29.

Gordon Johnson, associate vice president of Information Technology, was named Chief Information Technology Officer. Johnson will assume his position in July. Johnson will not serve as a vice president, but will serve on the Administrative Council and will report directly to Ransdell.

The announcement coincides with Bob Owen, vice president for Information Technology, accepting the position of Chief Information Officer and Vice Provost for Technology and Information Services at Santa Clara University. Owen will continue to work for WKU until the end of June.

In addition to the Administrative Council change, WKU’s Public Broadcasting Services will be moved from the division of Information Technology to the division of Public Affairs starting July 1. This includes WKYU-TV and WKU’s public radio stations. The division of Information Technology will still support technological support for the broadcasting services.

Robbin Taylor, vice president for Public Affairs, said in an email that she doesn’t anticipate any “fundamental” changes to how the public broadcasting services operate.

“…[T]he news and editorial content and programming at WKYU TV and Radio will remain completely independent from University administration,” Taylor said in an email. “We will adopt a formal policy or statement to the effect as well.”

There was a preexisting relationship between Public Affairs and Public Broadcasting Services, Taylor said.

“There is already a great deal of synergy between Public Affairs and Public Broadcasting, and formalizing that partnership will only help us both to better serve the University,” the email said.

The Herald will update this story as information follows.

The full email by Ransdell is as follows:

Fellow Faculty and Staff:

Bob Owen, Vice President for Information Technology, has accepted the position of Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Vice Provost for Technology and Information Services at Santa Clara University in California.  Bob will continue to be with us through June.  We are grateful for Bob’s leadership, expertise, and technological guidance over the last five years.  He has worked with his superb staff to ensure that we are in front of the ever-changing technological curve in higher education.  We wish Bob and Lisa the very best in their professional and personal future endeavors. 

After considerable thought and consultation with a number of individuals across campus, I am appointing Gordon Johnson, who is currently serving as the Associate Vice President of Information Technology, as the Chief Information Technology Officer for WKU.    This will mean that we will have one less Vice President, but Gordon will serve on the University’s Administrative Council and report directly to me.

The only change that I am making in this transition relates to our Public Broadcasting Services (PBS).  Effective July 1, our PBS operations, including WKYU-TV and our public radio stations, and all federal and state broadcasting affiliations, will become part of the Division of Public Affairs.  This will allow our Public Broadcasting Services to function independently, but cohesively with the University’s other outreach programs especially governmental relations and news and media relations.  The Division of Information Technology will, of course, continue to provide all technological support for Public Broadcasting Services, just as they provide services for all divisions of the University. 

Join me in welcoming Gordon Johnson to his new leadership duties. Thank you.

Gary A. Ransdell