Regents name new building for Ransdell

Tessa Duvall

WKU students often say they’re going to Thompson for class or grabbing a bite to eat at Garrett.

But starting in January, students can say they’re going to class at Ransdell.

On Friday, the Board of Regents unanimously voted to name the new home of the College of Education the Gary A. Ransdell College of Education Building.

“What an honor,” Ransdell said after the meeting. “It’s a very special moment for me personally.”

Ransdell, who became WKU’s ninth president in 1997, is at the metaphorical “half-time” of his term.

Ransdell said other presidents who had buildings named after them during their terms include Kelly Thompson, Dero Downing and Paul Garrett, and he’s honored to join their ranks.

Ransdell said he didn’t know for sure the nomination would occur, but he had his suspicions.

Board of Regents Chair Jim Meyer, who made the nomination, said Ransdell’s accomplishments at WKU are unprecedented.

“President Ransdell – his tenure at Western has almost been above reproach,” he said.

Ransdell is an administrator, a visionary and a good businessman, and it takes all of those things to be a successful college president, Meyer said.

The Board of Regents meeting, which was scheduled to begin at about 12:30 p.m. on Friday following a luncheon, started more than 10 minutes early. The suggestion to name the building after Ransdell and the unanimous vote approving it also occurred before 12:30 p.m.

James L. Adams, an attorney from Dinsmore & Shohl in Louisville, referenced a Kentucky statute, which states that “all meetings of all public agencies of this state, and any committees and subcommittees thereof, shall be held at specified times and places which are convenient to the public.”

The statute goes on to state that the schedule of regular meetings shall be made available to the public.

Adams said he didn’t see “about 12:30” as being a specific time.

Deborah Wilkins, WKU’s chief of staff and general counsel, said when meetings follow luncheons it is hard to predict when they will start, but more often than not, they run late.

The board tries to keep closely to the schedule, but in this incident, people were probably eager to get started, she said.

Wilkins agreed that “about 12:30” was not specific and said she would look into the matter.