WKU Regents to discuss academic programs, university budget

Cameron Koch

The WKU Board of Regents will meet on Jan. 20 to decide on whether or not to approve six new academic degrees or certificates and Head Coach Willie Taggart’s new contract, among other items.

After gaining approval last month at the Academic Affairs committee meeting, the doctor of physical therapy degree, along with graduate certificates in dietetic practice and Lean Sigma, an undergraduate certificate in food processing and technology, and undergraduate minors in global health service and news/editorial journalism are all seeking approval by the board.

The doctor of physical therapy, if approved, will be WKU’s third doctoral program, joining the doctor of education leadership and nursing practice.

A second reading of a proposed amendment to the Board of Regents bylaws will also take place. The amendment would help protect board members from fines, penalties, expenses, etc. that could arise from threatened, pending, or completed legal action, as long as the board member acted in good faith on behalf of the university.

WKU’s proposed 2011-2012 budget of $21,190,973 will also be seeking approval.

If Taggart’s new four-year contract with WKU is approved, he will be signed on at WKU until at least 2015, with the possibility of extending his contract one more year every year up until 2018.

Taggart’s salary will rise from $225,000 to $475,000, making him WKU’s highest-paid employee. In addition, if WKU’s football team wins eight regular season games next season, Taggart’s salary will increase by 15 percent, with an opportunity for a 5 percent increase every following year with eight regular season wins.