The Richmond Register

Local News

November 23, 2013

EKU president details economic impact of university, education



Combs was a member of the EKU Board of Regents, a inductee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and “was in the line up with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig,” Benson said. “That’s something we should all be proud of.”

Benson continued to list more bits of information about EKU:

• Students completed 4,375 service-learning hours in one semester last year.

• Since 2008, the university has had 43,226 students, 17,890 this semester alone.

• From Fall 1990 to Spring 2013, EKU graduated 52,819 students.

EKU’s reallocation efforts in May to reduce the university’s budget by 10 percent freed up an extra $16.5 million in both new revenue and reallocated funds to “direct into areas where we think it will have the most impact,” Benson said.

Money was allotted to “what I think is our most important asset, and that’s human capital” he said, with every employee receiving a salary increase.

Around $1.5 million was set aside for new positions and some “equity funding” for staff, he said.

Benson said “diversity” is important to the university. EKU apportioned $275,000 in diversity scholarships, he said, “to attract all kinds of students.”

“Diversity to me is more than diversity just in terms of one’s skin color,” said Benson, listing perspective, where a person is from and religious belief as other aspects of diversity.

Money also was earmarked to create additional work-study, hourly-wage opportunities for students “to keep them here on campus and to keep them here through the weekend,” he said.    

The maintenance and operations budget also was assigned more funds while the university continues to seek more money from state coffers for Phase 2 of the New Science Building construction, which Benson called EKU’s “No. 1 building project.”  

A new facility to house the College of Education and Model Laboratory School is No. 2, he said.


Economic impact of education

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