President Caboni kicks off semester with new programs, honoring volleyball coach


Jack Dobbs/HERALD

WKU President Timothy Caboni spoke at a faculty and staff convocation in Van Meter Hall today.

Debra Murray, Digital News Editor

New minority faculty positions and additional student financial aid were President Timothy Caboni’s priorities during his convocation speech for the 2021-2022 school year.

Caboni announced a targeted opportunity program, an extended goal for the WKU opportunity fund and named the 2021 Spirit of WKU award recipient during the address to faculty and staff. 

The target opportunity program provides a rotating fund to support eight to 10 new faculty positions with funding split equally between academic affairs and the hiring college, Caboni said. The program has a special emphasis on hiring minority candidates.

“This will ensure our deans have the resources they need to attract a diverse faculty,” Caboni said. “It also reaffirms our commitment to creating a diverse and rich academic community at WKU.”

Caboni also announced an extended goal to raise $50 million for the WKU opportunity fund just before the fall semester. The donor-based fundraising effort seeks to aid students with $100 million in financial support. 

“We must continue our efforts to increase access and to ensure every Hilltopper will benefit from the full WKU experience no matter their economic condition,” Caboni said. 

The last announcement of the speech was the 2021 Spirit of WKU award was given to WKU head volleyball coach Travis Hudson. 

Hudson has been named Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year five times, Conference USA Coach of the Year three times, an American Volleyball Coaches Association National Coach of the Year finalist six times and earned the South Region Coach of the Year award six times.

“I vow to you as long as I’m a Hilltopper and I remain a part of this campus, [bringing spirit is] what I will walk onto this campus and do every day,” Hudson said. “I challenge you to do the same. I challenge them to do the same.”

Caboni closed the address with optimistic words for the fall semester and a “Go Tops” for the crowd.

Digital News Editor Debra Murray can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @debramurrayy