Turner saluted Abney for his “passion and love for the university. We’ll miss your leadership and I’ll do my best to fill your shoes.”
Ernie House, of London, was elected vice chair to replace Turner in that role.
Turner, who is chairing the university’s 12-member Presidential Search and Screening Committee, reported to the board that the committee will meet in late February to narrow the applicant pool to 8-10 candidates to succeed President Doug Whitlock, who announced in August his decision to retire in July 2013.
Early indications point to “a very strong candidate pool,” said Turner, adding that the committee hopes to announce a selection by mid-April after visits to campus by finalists for the position.
The board also heard reports on enrollment management, measures of student success and EKU’s rapidly growing online programs, as well as an update on the construction of a new 256-bed, suite-style residence hall on Kit Carson Drive, which is set to open for fall 2013.
EKU’s fall 2012 enrollment was down 0.6 percent, from 16,062 to 15,968, but it was noted that spring 2013 enrollment is running slightly ahead of spring 2012, and early projections for fall 2013 indicate an approximately 3 percent jump in new freshmen.
Significant improvements were also noted in the university’s four-year graduation rate, which has more than doubled in the past eight years, and five-year rate, which has increased approximately 33 percent.
“We’re not where we need to be,” Whitlock said, “but we’re certainly moving the needle in the right direction.”