Passing the Baton


By Jennifer I. Tougas, Ph.D., CAPP

I recently accepted a promotion to be the AVP for Business Services at Western Kentucky University (WKU).  This opportunity allows me to contribute to the University at a higher level than I could as the director of Parking & Transportation Services.  It’s exciting (and sometimes terrifying) to take on the challenges associated with my new role.

My assistant has been prodding me for months to empty the rest of my stuff from my old office so it can be freshly painted for the new director, but honestly, I’ve been dragging my feet.  It’s been hard to let go of the responsibilities and comfort of the department I came to WKU to create 18 years ago.

When we began interviews for the new director, the hiring committee asked me if I’d be able to let go of my baby.  I told them honestly – I have to.  Part of that is the practicality of not being able to provide the time the department deserves because there are so many different demands on my time now.  But most of it is that it is time for the new director to shape the department in their own way.  I’ve raised the child from an infant through the teenage years.  In order for the department to continue to grow, I have to let go.  It’s time to pass the baton to a new set of good hands.

Jennifer I. Tougas, Ph.D., CAPP, is AVP Business Services for Western Kentucky University and a member of  the IPMI Board of Directors. She can be reached at