Second candidate for Commonwealth School director speaks at forum

Tessa Duvall

The second candidate in the ongoing search for the new director of the Commonwealth School and associate dean of the University College met with faculty and staff at WKU’s South Campus today.

Tim Brotherton, interim director of Commonwealth School and former chair of the Academic Support Division, outlined his vision for the school for the next several years before taking questions from the audience.


Brotherton said he would like to see academic support and services expand, as well as academic programs.

The use of adjunct faculty would be reduced on Brotherton’s plan, he said.

Adjunct faculty, unlike those who work full-time, aren’t always available in the building when students need them.

The image of the Commonwealth School should also be remade in order to combat negative perceptions of the school, he said.

Brotherton told the audience that he tries to go by the saying, “do what you say you will do.”

“I like a challenge, I appreciate a challenge, and that’s what I have,” he said.

When asked about the future of developmental education, Brotherton said developmental capacity at WKU is currently at the maximum level, but he has no problem with open enrollment because everyone should get a chance to go to school.

“It is my personal opinion that 97 percent of students in this building have the skill to complete developmental education,” he said. “But what they lack is the will.”

Mark Staynings, associate business professor at the Commonwealth School, asked Brotherton how picky the school could be in admitting students with declining state funding.

Brotherton said he believed all students should be allowed to come back to school after a bad semester, but if they continue to struggle in the second semester, then it may time for them to leave WKU.

Michelle Hollis, an associate professor in the Commonwealth School, asked Brotherton about his leadership experience and how he would use it in the director’s position.

Brotherton said he collects information about the school’s ongoings from students and faculty and tries to keep open channels of communication.

The forum for the next candidate, Martha Sales, will be Nov. 29 at 4 p.m.