Home » Retiring WKU president named president/CEO of Semester at Sea

Retiring WKU president named president/CEO of Semester at Sea

Dr. Gary A. Ransdell
Dr. Gary A. Ransdell

Effective Jan. 1, 2018

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Feb, 8, 2017) — Dr. Gary A. Ransdell, who will retire as president of Western Kentucky University on June 30, has been named president and CEO of Semester at Sea (SAS), effective Jan. 1, 2018, says the Institute for Shipboard Education, parent organization to SAS. Ransdell has served as WKU president since 1997.

Under Ransdell’s leadership, WKU enrollment grew from 14,000 students to more than 20,000, the number of graduates produced each year has doubled to more than 4,000, and WKU added academic programs that are critical to the state and regional economy, including electrical, civil and mechanical engineering and doctorate programs in education, nursing, physical therapy and psychology.

Ransdell led the effort to create the Gatton Academy of Math and Science at WKU, which was named the nation’s top high school three times by Newsweek Magazine and The Daily Beast. He has been intentional in his efforts to internationalize the WKU experience through study abroad programs and by increasing the number of international students to the campus. And he has led WKU through two successful capital campaigns, which combined raised more than $300 million.

Semester at Sea moved its offices to the Fort Collins Colorado State University campus, where CSU and SAS officially began their partnership June 1, 2016. Under the agreement CSU provides academic, administrative, and student recruiting support for the shipboard program.  Semester at Sea has continued to thrive with the addition of a new headquarters building and with the most recent Spring 2017 voyage being fully enrolled.