With all the changes and renovations happening around Western and perhaps because of the promise of more in the future, officials on the Hill think now is as good a time as any for this university to start controlling more of its fate.
In that spirit, Western has decided to fully exercise the rights granted it and other state-funded colleges and universities in the 1982 University Management Bill. The bill allows state universities to manage things such as accounting, investments and construction.
In accordance with the 1982 legislation, Western has seized control of other aspects of the bill, except construction. Though planning for a changeover began three years ago, Western didn’t officially decide to be in charge of its own construction until the Board of Regents gave its go-ahead May 9.
Though it took a little while, and we’ve watched the painfully slow construction of several projects in the process, we applaud this move in earnest.
Western will now be in charge of all construction projects on campus. In the past, all projects exceeding $400,000 were handled by the Frankfort Department of Facilities Management, while Western handled those under that amount .
According to Ed West, Western’s director of planning, design and construction, with Western in charge of its own major construction projects, they will be done more quickly and more to the university’s specifications. And with Western personnel being able to devote their full attention and time to projects, it only adds greater merit to a long overdue change.
After all, no one likes to look at half-finished buildings or those with unspecified completion dates (i.e. Mass Media and Technology Hall or the Science and Engineering building) semester after semester.
First up for West and his crew will likely be the parking structure renovation. Considering the crunch for parking that already exists, speed and keen attention to the specific needs of Western are exactly what needs to be at the forefront. Western has the power to do both and should be congratulated for finally exercising it.
We think this move is showing everybody that Western understands that, and we think this first project will be all the proof any doubters need to see.
This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member board of student editors.