Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock began today’s annual back-to-school convocation by announcing this would be his last year as president. When Doug Whitlock retires next July, it will mark the end of more than 40 years of service to E-K-U. In 2007, Whitlock came out of retirement to serve as president. The 69 year old Whitlock wants to spend more time with his granddaughters. Plus, by retiring next summer, it will give his successor time to gear up for a legislative session
“There would never be a time that everything would be all wrapped up, neat in a package, with a bow around it because this place is it’s on a constant journey,” said Whitlock.
Whitlock adds a capital campaign at E-K-U planned for next year will need a president who’s on the job from start to finish. His voice cracked with emotion more than once during his convocation…including when he said “I hope I’ve done my best, I know I’ve tried.”
“It’s hard for me not to be emotional about this place because you know Eastern had a really profound effect on me. I’m a first generation college student like more than half of our students are,” added Whitlock.
Jane Rainey has taught at Eastern for more than four decades. Rainey says Whitlock has taken more of personal interest in faculty than any other president she’s worked with…
“One of the things that’s impressed me about him is his interest in everybody from the custodial staff right up to the administration and faculty, in between,” said Rainey.
E-K-U Board of Regents Chair Gary Abney thanked Whitlock for his leadership and accomplishments. Abney says a search firm will help the board find a successor. He says all constituents of the university will have a say in the search process.