On Wednesday afternoon inside the Gary Ransdell Hall Auditorium, three candidates vying for the WKU Staff Regent position participated in a candidate forum as a way to give current WKU staff a chance to familiarize themselves with the candidates, and better understand what each plans to bring to this position. The following individuals were the finalists for the Staff Regent opening:
David Brinkley, Director of Public Broadcasting - Division of Public Affairs
Greg Hackbarth, Director of Enterprise Systems - Division of Information Technology
Robert Unseld, Director of the Center for Career and Professional Development and the Student Accessibility Resource Center - Division of Student Affairs
"This was an incredible forum," said current WKU Staff Regent Tamela Smith. "I feel really good about all three candidates. I wish them all the best of luck. But it is good to see a good turnout."
The forum included brief presentations from each candidate, including an opening and closing statement, as well as a question and answer session with the staff who attended the open forum.
"It's very important for the staff themselves to take responsibility and keep up with what's going on," Smith said. "What the Staff Council is doing, and be actively involved themselves with the university."
The Staff Regent position represents WKU staff members in the matters of university governance by serving as a member of the WKU Board of Regents. The next candidate to fill that position will be taking over for Dr. Tamela Smith, whose current three-year term ends on June 30th. After spending such a long period of time in this position, Smith truly understands both the importance of this role, as well as the challenges that come along with it.
"We are the backbone of the university. We need to be able to voice that to the [Board of Regents], and insure that they understand that role," she said. "You speak out on behalf of the staff. When the time comes to vote, you vote what's in the best interest of the university. But we really have to be able to make sure we can say staff are important, staff matter, and these are the issues that we're looking at."
The Staff Regent election will take place starting Wednesday, June 14, from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Topnet. Only employees officially classified as "staff employees" are allowed to vote in the election.