During the past 18 months, we made significant changes to our organizational arrangements and leadership team to better position WKU for success. Our leadership structure will continue to evolve, with each revision aimed at helping us enhance WKU’s focus on the success of every student and on continued improvement in their recruitment, retention and graduation. The rapidly evolving world of higher education, coupled with an increasingly competitive environment, requires us to evolve and to do new things that will continue our success. I know these systemic shifts create discomfort, but they are necessary to meet the goals Climbing to Greater Heights sets for our students, our university, and our community.
This semester we will recruit several additional new campus leaders. In the next six months, we will hire a new executive vice president for the Division of Strategy, Operations, and Finance, a new vice president for the Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement, a new vice president for the Division of Strategic Communications and Marketing (formerly Public Affairs), a new dean for the Gordon Ford College of Business, and a new dean for the College of Health and Human Services.
Potential candidates have found our push to become even more student-centered and the press to incorporate more undergraduates in our research, with implications for practice and the larger world, compelling and persuasive. We are seeing progress on many student related fronts, including: record high academic qualifications of entering first-year students; an increase in first to second semester persistence; rebounding retention rates to second year of study; and a 6-year graduation rate that is the highest in WKU’s history. We also have increased our research activity, growing our funded research totals to over $25 million in FY 2018. Last year’s record fundraising total of $45 million demonstrates a continued willingness of our most generous alumni and friends to invest in our future. These accomplishments, along with our larger multi-year institutional initiatives (First-Year Village, WKU Commons, WKU Innovation Campus) and our work to refine our budget practices (RAMP) and to critically evaluate our academic offerings (CAPE), have generated significant interest and excitement among those considering joining our community.
When conducting these searches, we will aim to attract applicants from across the nation to WKU. For us to continue our upward climb, we need to add strong leaders with proven successes enhancing student progression and increasing institutional effectiveness to the talent we already have on campus. We also will consider equally all internal candidates and promote appropriately from within.
If there are individuals that you would recommend for consideration, please find the application links for our searches below:
Vice President for Strategic Communications & Marketing (coming soon)
In addition, tomorrow, February 5th, is the deadline to submit an application to participate in WKU’s Strategic Plan Steering Committee. The work this committee does will be integral to the success of our University. I encourage you to fill out an interest form here: https://www.wku.edu/strategicplan/committee_interest_form.
Thanks for your continued engagement as we work together to elevate WKU.
Timothy C. Caboni