Board of Regents to discuss certificate program suspension, admission policy revision

An overview of the Board of Regents meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. at Jan. 20.

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Tucker Covey

WKU President Timothy C. Caboni sits at the Board of Regents meeting in the Regents Room inside Jody Richards Hall on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022.

Michael Crimmins, Administration reporter

The Western Kentucky University Board of Regents released the agenda for the first committee meeting of the spring semester.

The meeting, set for Jan. 20, includes the approval of an academic program suspension, the approval of the academic admission policy and an update on the merger of the School of Media and the Department of Communication.

Academic Affairs Committee, chaired by Regent W. Currie Milliken, includes the approval of suspending the Strategic Sports Communications Graduate Certificate due to low enrollment and “lack of qualified faculty to teach all of the required courses in the program.”

“The Academic Program Coordinator, Department Chair, Dean, and Provost support this program suspension decision,” the academic affairs report states. “WKU will continue to support current students through completion of their program.”

According to the report, “faculty made the decision to stop admitting students to this graduate certificate program during the program faculty meeting on 10/18/2022”

The report states that the suspension of this certificate program will have a “positive or neutral” impact on the university’s budget and it will increase efficiency by “greater utilization of faculty in higher demand programs.”

“President Timothy C. Caboni recommends approval of the above listed academic program suspension to be implemented Spring 2023,” the report states.

In the Student Affairs Committee’s report is a motion to approve WKU’s undergraduate admission policy.

“This policy includes the key factors necessary for enrollment at WKU (e.g., required high school diploma) and the minimum qualifications for students approaching the institution and seeking admission (e.g., minimum high school GPA),” the report states.

Ethan Logan, vice president of enrollment and student experience, said this is not a change but merely is a “codification” of the established university policy.

“The adoption of the Admissions policy is not a change to the admissions policy,” Logan said in an email.  “The policy has always been published online and in admission publications.”

Listed under information items in the agenda is a presentation regarding the “Merger and renaming of Department of Communication and School of Media” lead by Potter College of Arts & Letters Dean Terrance Brown.

The idea of a possible merger traces back to the fall 2017 when public relations and advertising were moved out of Jody Richards Hall, Ron Demarse, director of the School of Media, said previously.

The possible merger was propelled when 10 faculty and staff members sent a 27-page report on the exploratory committee’s findings to Brown on July 28, 2022.

In a 27 to 6 anonymous vote by faculty and staff from both departments, it was decided to merge the two units. Brown previously said he hoped the process would be completed by July of this year.

The agenda does not specify what Brown will talk about during the meeting.

Also on the agenda are approval of sabbatical, emeritus and distinguished professor recommendations.

The meeting will take place at 9 a.m. in the Jody Richards Hall Regent Room and will be streamed live on Youtube.

Administration reporter Michael Crimmins can be reached at [email protected]