WKU Regents approve Alumni Center name, new graduate program
- WKU News
- Friday, March 4th, 2022
The WKU Board of Regents voted on Friday, March 4, to name the university’s Alumni Center after two longtime supporters. At its first quarterly meeting of the calendar year, the Board approved naming the building the Eva and Jim Martens Alumni Center. The naming honors a philanthropic gift of more than $5 million from the Martens, which was also announced at Friday’s meeting by WKU’s Vice President for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement Amanda Trabue.
Jim and Eva Martens own J-Mar Properties, which invests in real estate throughout the region. Jim graduated from WKU in 1972, and the Martens have made philanthropic gifts to WKU every year for over four decades. The Martens are Lifetime Members of the WKU Alumni Association, and all four of their children are also WKU alumni. WKU President Timothy C. Caboni noted that the Martens’ sustained history of giving places them among the institution’s top donors.
During Friday’s meeting, the Board also voted to approve a Master of Science in Cybersecurity Data Analytics program. The program will be delivered entirely online, and will target working adults who are interested in pursuing careers in a variety of fields or enhancing their current employment. Students can enroll in the program beginning in the fall 2022 semester. Provost Robert “Bud” Fischer noted that the degree will utilize the expertise of existing faculty in the Gordon Ford College of Business.
The Regents also approved University Distinguished Professor status for Dr. John Cipolla, WKU Professor of Music. A woodwind specialist, Dr. Cipolla’s music career has taken him across the globe, including engagements in Italy, Spain, Peru, and on Broadway in New York. Being named a University Distinguished Professor is among the highest honors a WKU professor can achieve at the university. The WKU Distinguished Professorship program recognizes faculty members who have served the university with distinction and have compiled an outstanding record of achievement in teaching, research, and service. At the quarterly meeting, Dr. Cipolla gave a short performance on both the clarinet and saxophone. His University Distinguished Professor of Music status will go into effect July 1, 2022.
Additionally, the Board approved a number of personnel actions, most notably, a 1.5% salary increase for eligible employees. The approval pertains to personnel actions that took place and have been approved through administrative channels between September 27, 2021, and December 31, 2021.
The Board also recognized the National Champion WKU Cheer Squad and coaches. The squad won the first coed national championship in program history in January by winning the Division 1A Small Coed Division of the Universal Cheerleaders Association Collegiate National Championship, hosted in Orlando, Florida. Additionally, WKU Cheer’s All Girl team finished as the national runner-up, just a fraction of a point behind the University of Alabama.
The Board also honored the late Randy Capps, who passed away on February 2. Dr. Capps served as the Parliamentarian for the Board of Regents for decades and was the founding chair of the Department of Speech and Theater, which is now known as the Department of Communication at WKU. “Randy had a gift for recognizing the potential in other people and inspiring people to pursue that potential,” said Board of Regents Chair Phillip Bale. “In honoring him, we can continue to see the potential of this university.”
Other items of business from the Quarterly Meeting included:
- Approval of sabbatical leave for a number of faculty members
- Approval of honorary degree recommendations
- Honorary Doctorate of Humanities to Angela Alexander Townsend
- Honorary Doctorate of Public Service to Abraham Williams
- Acceptance of auditor’s reports and financial statements for WKYU-TV and WKYU-FM radio
- Acceptance of the accountants’ report on applying agreed-upon procedures for the previous fiscal year, as required by the NCAA
- Acceptance for filing the statement of revenue and expenditures for the six months ended December 31, 2021 and 2020
- Approval of an addendum to the employment contracts of WKU’s head football coach and WKU’s head volleyball coach
- Approval of authorization to grant utility easement across university-owned property to Chick-Fil-A for a new Bowling Green location
- John-Mark Francis, Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Brand Strategy, and Andrea Hales, Assistant Vice President for Strategic Communications and Media Relations, provided an update from the Division of Communications and Marketing
- Ethan Logan, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Experience, provided an update on the university’s fall-to-spring retention rate and its Living Learning Communities
The Board of Regents will next meet for Committee Meetings on April 15, 2022.
Contact: Jace Lux, (270) 745-4295.
- WKU -
Western Kentucky University prides itself on positioning its students, faculty and staff for long term success. As a student-centered, applied research university, WKU helps students expand on classroom learning by integrating education with real-world applications in the communities we serve. Our hilltop campus is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which was recently named by Reader’s Digest as one of the nicest towns in America, just an hour’s drive from Nashville, Tennessee.