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WKU Board of Regents approves honorary doctorate for Vicki Phillips

WKU’s Board of Regents on Wednesday (Jan. 27) approved awarding an honorary doctorate to Dr. Vicki Phillips, director of the education initiative in the United States Program for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

A native of Falls of Rough, Ky., Dr. Phillips is a first generation college graduate, earning her bachelor’s in elementary education and master’s in school psychology from WKU. She received a doctorate in education from the University of Lincoln in England.

She currently oversees work to improve early learning in Washington State, to ensure U.S. high school students graduate ready for success in college, career and life, and to improve access to college. She has also been a teacher in middle and high school, chief executive assistant in the Kentucky Department of Education and deputy director of the National Alliance for Restructuring Education.

WKU President Gary Ransdell said the University would work with Dr. Phillips to schedule the presentation during an upcoming commencement.

The Board also approved the formation of the Center for Applied Economics.

The Center is an extension of the Gordon Ford College of Business and the Department of Economics and provides a bridge between faculty expertise and the regional community.

The focus of the center is to serve as an informational bureau that collects and summarizes data on local and regional economic conditions; to provide opportunities for students in the WKU Masters of Applied Economics program to obtain experience in applied research; to publish short, accessible reports and commentary on economic, business and public policy topics; and to interface with the Journal of Applied Economics and Policy.

In other business, the Board:

*Approved undergraduate certificates in American Sign Language Studies, Computer Literacy, Occupational Safety and Health and Worksite Health Promotion.

*Approved an amended employment contact with Athletic Director Dr. Wood Selig.

*Approved an employment contract with new Head Football Coach Willie Taggart.

Agenda materials for the meeting are available at http://www.wku.edu/regents.html

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