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WKU Board of Regents approves Doctor of Physical Therapy degree

WKU’s Board of Regents today (Jan. 20) approved a new Doctor of Physical Therapy degree through the Department of Allied Health.

Following their meeting on Jan. 20, members of WKU's Board of Regents toured Music Hall which is opening for the spring semester. (WKU photos by Clinton Lewis)

The DPT is the university’s third practice-based doctoral program, following Educational Leadership and Nursing Practice. The program is designed to prepare students to plan and administer treatment to help patients regain diminished physical function. It consists of 118 credit hours over three years.

The doctoral program, which is being directed by Harvey Wallmann, is the third physical therapy doctoral program in Kentucky. The first DPT class will start in August and applications will be accepted through Feb. 15.

WKU President Gary Ransdell said WKU already has about 50 applications for 30 slots. “We’re looking for a very strong first class,” he said.

The program must also be approved by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and WKU is currently seeking accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

The Board also approved a new contract with Head Football Coach Willie Taggart. The new contract, which runs through 2015 with annual renewal options, sets Taggart’s base salary at $475,000.

Athletic Director Ross Bjork said the increase would be funded by the Athletics Department.

The Board also approved naming room 115 in the Academic Wing of South Campus in memory of Dr. John Wassom, who had served as head of the Economics Department, interim dean of the College of Business and interim chair of the Business Division of the Bowling Green Community College.

Faculty Regent Patti Minter said she was privileged to know Dr. Wassom for 18 years and praised his quiet leadership style. “He always did the right thing,” she said.

Ron Mitchell, head of the Professional Studies Department, said Dr. Wassom was known for leading by example. “A person with such a wealth of knowledge is quite rare, yet he did not seek attention,” he said. “He made a difference.”

In other business, the Board:

  • Approved graduate certificates in Dietetic Practice and Lean Sigma.
  • Approved an undergraduate certificate in Food Processing Technology.
  • Approved undergraduate minors in Global Health Service and News/Editorial Journalism.
  • Approved faculty emeritus status for John Oakes (Art), John Long (Philosophy and Religion) and William Howard (Allied Health).
  • Heard a report on spring enrollment from Brian Meredith, associate vice president for Enrollment Management. Dr. Meredith said that while final figures will be available in a few weeks, WKU leads Kentucky in the number of transfer students, especially from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. He said the number of seniors is also up, an indication that efforts to help students graduate in a reasonable time are paying off.

Following the meeting Regents toured the new Music Hall, which is opening for the spring semester.

Contact: Media Relations, (270) 745-4295.

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