Regents Notes: DUC student fee only opposed action item

Katherine Wade

The Downing University Center renovation mandatory student fee was passed by WKU’s Board of Regents on Friday, but it was the only motion not to be unanimously approved.

Faculty regent Patty Minter voted against the $70 a semester fee. Minter said she expressed concerns about the fee at committee meetings.

Her first concern was that the motion put before the board does not include the promise of student input that the students were led to believe they had.

“Nothing in the board motion says that is true,” Minter said. “I think it leaves a big loophole.”

Another concern she had was that the argument that students supported this fee was based on people walking by a table in DUC.

Finally, Minter said she thought the fees were exploitive and the language about them in the resolution was not strong enough. She also said that although raising tuition is a necessary evil, she believes using fees to do capital projects such as this one will be extremely problematic to the university in the future.

Overall, Minter said that she couldn’t in good faith support the fee.

“I asked that if they wanted my support, these things be changed,” she said. “None of it was changed, so I could not support it in that form.”

WKU retention task force formed

Provost Gordon Emslie announced that WKU is forming a task force to address retention issues.

The task force assembly is still in progress, but Emslie said that Doug McElroy, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs and Provost’s Office, will spearhead the group.

Emslie said there are several reasons students don’t complete their degree, “only one of which is academic.” He said retention is a critical issue both on WKU’s campus and across the country.

The dropout rate is highest among freshmen and sophomores. Emslie said WKU’s main priority will be to make sure people come back for their second year.

“It’s very important that we make sure that students who come here intending to graduate get as much chance as possible to complete that degree,” he said.

WKU introduces app

Sean Ward, assistant director of marketing and communication for the Office of Alumni Relations, presented an iPad app for WKU Spirit, the university alumni magazine.

Kathryn Costello, vice president of Development and Alumni Relations, said the app is useful because “staying in touch with alumni is more important than ever.”

Ward said the magazine’s growth rate is about 500 percent from issue to issue.

President Gary Ransdell said he has installed the app on his iPad.