WKU Regents get updates on end-of-year business

Katherine Wade

End of the year updates were the main subject at the Board of Regents’ fourth quarterly meeting on Friday.

The academic affairs committee meeting began by Gordon Emslie, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, recognizing Louis Strolger, an associate professor in physics and astronomy, for his role in the Noble-prize winning research on the expansion of the universe.

President Gary Ransdell said to have a member of the faculty so closely involved in a Nobel Prize is impressive.

During his enrollment report, Brian Meredith, associate vice president for Enrollment Management, said enrollment is growing and moving forward.

Current projection data suggests that the final enrollment numbers for this year will be more than 21,000 students, Meredith said.

Meredith also said that the joint admission agreements with regional two-year institutions are looking promising for enrollment.

Since 2009, WKU has signed agreements with two-year schools in Hopkinsville, Madisonville, Henderson and Owensboro and will be signing a new agreement on Nov. 10.

“These agreements allow us to work with those students, and allows them access to four-year institution,” Meredith said.

Kathryn Costello, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations, gave a  capital campaign update. She said another $2 million dollar commitment was documented last week, bringing the total from $189 million to $191 million.

Updates on housing and meal plans were also given by Meredith and John Osborne, vice president for Campus Services and Facilities.

Osborne said WKU has been quite pleased with what has been done on campus over the past few years.

“Housing and dining are essential student services that contribute to the quality of student life on campus,” Osborne said. “When visitors come to campus these are two big areas they focus on.”

Both programs are up, with freshman housing up more than 100 students and returning students up more than 300 students. Osborne said the number of meal plans bought has also gone up slightly this year.

Ransdell said the major foundations on campus will make presentations at the next board meeting, which will take place in January.

Also at Friday’s meeting, the newest Regent, Cynthia Harris, was sworn in. After her oath, Ransdell presented Harris with a pin unique to those who have served on the board.