Facebook Pixel Office of the President Media Resources | Western Kentucky University Skip to main content

Media Resources


The following information is publicly available for use by members of the press and has been provided by the WKU Office of Media Relations.

For further information, including requests for official comments, or to send published news clips, please contact WKU Media Relations Director, Bob Skipper at 270-745-4295


Biography 

Timothy C. Caboni, a 1994 Western Kentucky University graduate, returned to the Hill on July 1, 2017, as WKU’s 10th president. Shortly after assuming the president role, Caboni launched a comprehensive strategic planning process aimed at developing a roadmap for the University’s next decade of growth. Thus, WKU’s 2018-2028 strategic plan, Climbing to Greater Heights, was finalized in summer 2018, and its implementation is well underway.

President Caboni quickly generated a renewed institutional focus on student-centeredness, applied research, recruitment and retention, and growing partnerships within WKU’s 27-county service region and beyond. Of particular importance to Caboni is WKU’s responsibility to advance the City of Bowling Green, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the world by inspiring innovation, elevating communities and transforming lives.

Several key initiatives were launched during President Caboni’s first three years at WKU, including the Summer Scholars program, the Intercultural Student Engagement Center Academy, the Burch Institute, the First Year Village, the WKU Commons, the Opportunity Fund, Innovation Campus, centralized advising and CAPE (Comprehensive Academic Program Evaluation). At the start of his third year on the Hill, Caboni announced bold changes to the University’s scholarship program, increasing institutional aid by $5.2 million (a 20% increase) - more than doubling the percentage of incoming freshmen eligible for awards in fall 2020 (84% compared to 39% in 2019).

With Caboni at the helm, WKU has celebrated historical successes. In the area of recruitment, in fall 2020 the University celebrated its largest one-year increase in the size of its incoming class compared to any class during the past three decades. This group also brought with it the highest high school GPA in WKU’s history. Fall 2019’s one-year retention rate of 72.9% was the highest since fall 2013 (73.1%), as were the rates for underrepresented minority (URM) students, at 59.5%. WKU’s URM retention rate jumped from 85.5% (fall 2018 to spring 2019) to 89.5% (fall 2019 to spring 2020), and preliminary fall 2020 retention rate shows an increase of 3% over fall 2019.

Beyond these remarkable recruitment and retention successes, WKU’s six-year graduation rate rose to 54.9% in 2020, the highest six-year graduation rate ever at the University, and during the same time WKU achieved its highest URM and low-income six-year graduation rates in eight years and awarded over 3,000 bachelor’s degrees - more than the institution has awarded in any previous academic year. Additionally, in fall 2019, Caboni restructured the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team, seeing also immediate results with WKU achieving the second highest score among Kentucky’s public universities in the Council on Postsecondary Education’s latest DEI evaluation (2018-19). And in 2019, WKU was awarded the Educational Fundraising Award by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for persistent fundraising success after celebrating its record year of gifts in FY18, reaching $45 million.


(PDF Version) 

 

Timothy C. Caboni, a 1994 Western Kentucky University graduate, returned to the Hill on July 1, 2017, as WKU’s 10th president. Shortly after assuming the president role, Caboni launched a comprehensive strategic planning process aimed at developing a roadmap for the University’s next decade of growth. Thus, WKU’s 2018-2028 strategic plan, Climbing to Greater Heights, was finalized in summer 2018, and its implementation is well underway.

President Caboni quickly generated a renewed institutional focus on student-centeredness, applied research, recruitment and retention, and growing partnerships within WKU’s 27-county service region and beyond. Of particular importance to Caboni is WKU’s responsibility to advance the City of Bowling Green, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the world by inspiring innovation, elevating communities and transforming lives.

Several key initiatives were launched during President Caboni’s first three years at WKU, including the Summer Scholars program, the Intercultural Student Engagement Center Academy, the Burch Institute, the First Year Village, the WKU Commons, the Opportunity Fund, Innovation Campus, centralized advising and CAPE (Comprehensive Academic Program Evaluation). At the start of his third year on the Hill, Caboni announced bold changes to the University’s scholarship program, increasing institutional aid by $5.2 million (a 20% increase) - more than doubling the percentage of incoming freshmen eligible for awards in fall 2020 (84% compared to 39% in 2019).

With Caboni at the helm, WKU has celebrated historical successes. In the area of recruitment, in fall 2020 the University celebrated its largest one-year increase in the size of its incoming class compared to any class during the past three decades. This group also brought with it the highest high school GPA in WKU’s history. Fall 2019’s one-year retention rate of 72.9% was the highest since fall 2013 (73.1%), as were the rates for underrepresented minority (URM) students, at 59.5%. WKU’s URM retention rate jumped from 85.5% (fall 2018 to spring 2019) to 89.5% (fall 2019 to spring 2020), and preliminary fall 2020 retention rate shows an increase of 3% over fall 2019.

Beyond these remarkable recruitment and retention successes, WKU’s six-year graduation rate rose to 54.9% in 2020, the highest six-year graduation rate ever at the University, and during the same time WKU achieved its highest URM and low-income six-year graduation rates in eight years and awarded over 3,000 bachelor’s degrees - more than the institution has awarded in any previous academic year. Additionally, in fall 2019, Caboni restructured the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team, seeing also immediate results with WKU achieving the second highest score among Kentucky’s public universities in the Council on Postsecondary Education’s latest DEI evaluation (2018-19). And in 2019, WKU was awarded the Educational Fundraising Award by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for persistent fundraising success after celebrating its record year of gifts in FY18, reaching $45 million.

President Caboni, who holds a PhD in higher education leadership and policy from Vanderbilt University, served as the vice chancellor for Public Affairs at the University of Kansas for six years. Prior to that he was associate dean of the Peabody College of Education & Human Development at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

As the vice chancellor at KU, Dr. Caboni led public affairs for KU’s four campuses and the KU Medical Center.   He served as the principal spokesman and coordinated the communication activities of the University with those of the KU Alumni Association, KU Endowment and Kansas Athletics, Inc. Caboni oversaw the communications, marketing and advocacy efforts of the University and coordinated KU’s legislative agenda at all government levels, championing issues that include research funding, higher education policy and health care. He also was responsible for the operations of Kansas Public Radio and was associate professor of educational leadership and policy in the School of Education.  

Dr. Caboni was an active member of the Lawrence, Kansas, community, serving on the board of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and the Joint Economic Development Commission of Lawrence and Douglas County as well as the boards of the Lawrence Art Center and the Lied Center for the Performing Arts.  

As associate dean at Vanderbilt, Caboni oversaw the Peabody College’s 21 professional graduate degree programs and graduate and professional financial aid for the college, and he led outreach, partnership and program development efforts for the college as well as communications and admissions. His leadership contributed to the school’s rising to No. 1 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of graduate schools of education for three consecutive years.

President Caboni is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, and received a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and rhetoric from Louisiana State University. He earned a master’s degree in corporate and organizational communication from WKU. His higher education professional experience includes alumni relations, fundraising, prospect research, teaching, academic administration, communications, marketing and government relations. He has published nearly 30 articles and one book. His current research is focused on use of data-based decision-making in higher education fundraising.

President Caboni is married to Kacy Schmidt Caboniwho was director of development and team leader for the School of Business with the Kansas University Endowment. She was instrumental in the construction of Capitol Federal Hall, the new home of the KU business school, funded entirely through private philanthropy. In addition to serving as WKU’s First Lady, Kacy is director of principal gifts and special initiatives in the WKU Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement. She currently oversees the WKU Opportunity Fund, which has created 114 new endowed scholarship funds and raised more than $39 million to ensure that WKU remains an option for all those who want to be a Hilltopper.

(PDF Version)


Images & Downloads

President Timothy C. Caboni Curriculum Vitae

WKU Logos

WKU Communications & Branding Manual



president caboni

High resolution jpeg


Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 9/18/20