New President Prepares To Refocus EKU On Academic Mission

Aug 7, 2013

EKU President Michael Benson.
Credit Eastern Kentucky University

As he takes over the presidency at Eastern Kentucky University, Michael Benson says he’s prone to do ‘management by walk around.’  The new EKU president says it means interacting with faculty, students, and staff as he travels the campus.  He also wants to create a digital ‘suggestion box.’

“You know one thing we’re gonna try to do is solicit from campus, faculty, staff, the community.  They’re gonna have a way to provide their input.  I promise you I’ll read every comment I get.  We’re gonna’ do it anonymously, so people can log on.  We’re building the web site right now, but they can log on and share their perspective,” said Benson.

Benson officially took over on August first.  Recent restructuring at the Richmond-based school eliminated nearly 200 jobs and saved some $19 million.  Now, Benson must determine how those dollars will be spent.

“We can now say, what do we do really well.  Let’s focus on that and do it even better.  We can’t afford to do everything for everybody, so we will have to make some hard choices relative to some of our academic programs.  But, I’m not gonna come in here today and say this is what we’re gonna do, this is what we’re not gonna do,” added Benson.

Benson doesn’t anticipate any further cuts, nor has he made decisions yet on how 19-million dollars in savings will be spent.   Benson delivers his first convocation address next Wednesday to faculty, staff, and students.