Publication Date



Institutional review conducted during Barbara Burch's interim presidency of WKU and presidential search.

Western Kentucky is a good university essentially trapped in time and therefore unable to change significantly. Until these constraints are eliminated or modified, the University will not be able to effectively address major issues of focus, enrollment, organization, personnel, curriculum, governance, athletics, planning and increased public and private support. Rather, it will continue to drift with occasional peripheral and cosmetic changes, none of which will be sufficient to successfully relate to Kentucky's new plan for post-secondary education.

The problems that prevent significant institutional transformation are several, but are largely constitutional. They include the enabling and unenlightened Statues of the University; the Board of Regents Bylaws, which are both incomplete and in places inappropriate; a discordant and largely unknown Board and University Policy Manual; and a campus governance system that is both illogical and reductive of thoughtful and responsible faculty and student impact. Also an unhealthy measure of "Westerners" at all levels of the institution has resulted in a nostalgic torpor that clings to yesterday and inhibits change and virtually no one is happy with the way things are today. Both of these conditions have given rise to a discordant and expensive administration and a growing and increasingly officious campus bureaucracy. These unfortunate conditions combine to create a kind of organizational paralysis that must be directly addressed before the key issues noted above can be intelligently considered.

The coming of a new President is the ideal time to begin this process, but an able new President will not alone suffice. No one person can successfully move the inertia that presently embraces Western. Simultaneously, the operating premises of the University must be restored and a renaissance commenced, and from this more enlightened and efficient structure, a new President can be held accountable fairly.

These things done, Western can become the premier university in Kentucky and among the best in the land.


African American Studies | Arts and Humanities | Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Communication | Finance and Financial Management | Higher Education Administration | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sports Studies