Bardo has transformed a campus before

bardoMany are surprised by how much and how quickly Wichita State University president John Bardo wants to change the institution, including by building an innovation campus. But an article in the fall issue of the Magazine of Western Carolina University, which Bardo served as chancellor from 1995 to 2011, describes how the millennium brought “the biggest building boom” in the history of the college in Cullowhee, N.C. “The list of major construction initiatives completed at WCU between 2000 and 2012, including new building, renovation and infrastructure projects, totals more than $327 million in improvements, along with the addition of more than 1.1 million square feet of new space.” Enrollment surged from nearly 6,700 in 2000 to more than 9,000 in 2007. One funding mechanism may not be replicable in Kansas, though: a $3.1 billion statewide bond package for higher education that North Carolina voters approved in 2000 and that “cleared the way for nearly $100 million in bond-funded construction projects on the WCU campus, including construction of the fine and performing arts center that has since been named in Bardo’s honor.”