Regents to vote on salary increases, program suspensions


President Timothy Caboni speaks on the university’s 2018-2028 strategic plan, which was unanimously approved by the Board of Regents during its meeting on Friday.

Debra Murray, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The WKU Board of Regents will hold its third quarterly meeting of 2022 at 9 a.m. on Aug. 12 to approve several salary increases and the suspension of  several academic programs. 

Unlike the special called meeting on July 29, this meeting will be held in the Regents Room located in Jody Richards Hall and will be livestreamed on YouTube. 

Throughout the agenda, raises over $5,000 were listed along with reasoning. 


Spence Brakefield, director of personal development at LifeWorks and Kellye Marie McIntyre, director of vocational services at LifeWorks, will receive a minimum salary grade increase as a result of the compensation study.

Zachary Greenwell, ​​senior associate athletic director for communications, brand strategy and men’s basketball, will receive a $9,000 raise and Gina Stoll, ​​senior associate athletic director, will receive a $10,000 salary increase approved by Susan Howarth, executive vice president and President Timothy Caboni.

Greenwell’s salary will increase from $71,052 to $80,052. Stoll’s salary will increase from $71,052 to $81,052.

Talvis Landon Franklin, director of operations for men’s basketball, will receive a salary increase “due to reorganization within Men’s Basketball.” His salary was $68,424 and will increase to  $82,000 if approved by regents.

Joshua Durkee, professor and university meteorologist, received several salary payments of $2,400 “In light of substantial and measurable successful contributions to the Ogden College of Science & Engineering and its students, to bring pay in line with colleagues in the department and close to norms in the file,” according to the meeting agenda.d. 

Rheanna Plemons, assistant pedagogical professor, will receive the minimum salary grade increase as a result of phase 1 of the compensation study. Her salary increased from $53,676 to $64,481.

The regents will also approve an addendum for Todd Stewart, WKU Athletics Director, which will extend his  employment until July 31, 2026. 

Included in the revisions of his contract is a salary increase. Stewart’s annual base salary will increase from $274,776 to $298,000. The increase has been generated through private funds and is being funded through the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation. None of this increase is coming from the athletics budget or state budget.

Stewart will also receive an additional retention bonus. 

“AD (athletic director) shall be entitled to an annual $50,000 retention bonus as additional supplemental salary for each year employed as AD by the University on October 1 during this Third Addendum’s contract term. The retention bonus shall be funded by the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation,” the agenda states. 

All salary increases and stipends for faculty and staff can be found in the agenda

In addition to the raises, several academic programs are in line to be suspended pending approval.  

The minor in communication studies, digital advertising are those two things or one are to be suspended. The Associate of Arts in paralegal studies, graduate certificate in measurement, evaluation and research, bachelor of arts in diversity and community studies, and both the minor and major in Arabic are also up for suspension.

Several of the suspensions are due to low enrollment or the ability to gain the same experience in a different program or certificate. 

“There are two obstacles to continuing the program, the most pressing of which is enrollment in courses. Numbers of majors barely surpass a dozen individuals; upper-division courses enroll no more than 3 individuals,” the agenda states. “Secondly, the program coordinator recently retired, and the full-time instructor left in mid-May for opportunities elsewhere. We looked for ways to maintain these programs, but without success.”

Emeritus status for professors in the Ogden and Gordon Ford colleges have been recommended by WKU president Timothy Caboni.  Catherine Carey, economics professor, Daniel Myers, economics associate professor and Julie Ellis, engineering and applied sciences professor will be receiving emeritus status if approved by the regents. 

To view the full agenda for the upcoming Board of Regents meeting, visit here. 

Co-Editor-in-Chief Debra Murray can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @debramurrayy