Regents approve contracts, general education program, and revise policy on guns

Regents approve contracts, general education program, and revise policy on guns

Michael McKay

The Board of Regents approved everything on the agenda for its Third Quarterly Meeting, but not all of the items were unanimous.

Faculty Regent Patty Minter was the vote against a group of items that included the approval of the contracts for head men’s basketball coach Ray Harper, head women’s coach Michelle Clark-Heard, and Athletics Director Todd Stewart. It also included the revision of WKU’s policy on guns.

The policy on guns was revised due to a ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court that found public universities are unable to ban guns from cars parked on campus.

After the meeting, Minter said she had “absolutely no comment” about the policy on guns. She did say part of her reasoning behind the “no” vote on the items, which were voted on at one time, was because of concerns she still had regarding the salary of Harper brought up during committee meetings. 

Minter was also the dissenting vote on the approval of the Greek Village Development program that aims to move the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and Phi Delta Theta fraternity houses away from historical neighborhoods. Minter and Staff Regent James Kennedy had reservations about the funding source for the project.

The funding of the Greek Village program would come from WKU’s reserve fund. Both projects would cost a total of $330,000 from the fund. 

President Gary Ransdell said the houses the fraternities reside in are more difficult to improve because of their locations in the districts.

Minter said she wouldn’t support the program as it “would only benefit a small number of students.” 

The Colonnade general education program was also approved by the Regents.

The program lowers the total number of hours required and changes the types of classes that will be covered under general education.

Gordon Emslie, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said after the meeting that even though the program is approved, there is still work to do.

“The next year or two will be assembling that program,” Emsile said. “I’m looking forward to see what comes out, because there are a lot of opportunities for really interesting courses for students.” 

An item was also added to the minutes by the board, inspired by the situation at Pennsylvania State University. 

The board called on Deborah Wilkins, chief of staff and general counsel, to make sure an environment doesn’t exist at WKU that could allow an incident similar to Penn State’s to occur.