Gary Ransdell, president of Western Kentucky University (#327)
Gary Ransdell, president of Western Kentucky University, talks about the school’s past and future, including several new academic initiatives. The program was taped on location at WKU.
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Ransdell, a graduate of Western Kentucky University, discusses his undergraduate years in Bowling Green; his early career in academics at Indiana, Southern Methodist, and Clemson universities; and his return to Western as president. Other topics include changes in the campus, faculty, and atmosphere at WKU since his years as a student as well as his goals for the university in areas such as the recruitment of students and faculty, engaging surrounding communities, and improving the quality of life for all those within the school’s reach.
The conversation also delves into the impact of state budget cuts on higher education, how WKU’s funding is organized, and the complicated relationship between Kentucky’s institutions of higher learning and the Council on Postsecondary Education.
Finally, Ransdell details the benefits of two new academic programs at Western: the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky, which recruits and encourages gifted high school students, and the Honors College, which provides talented undergraduates with an intimate, community-based degree program. Ransdell explains how programs like these enhance the intellectual environment not only on campus, but also across the Commonwealth.