The Richmond Register

Local News

April 5, 2013

EKU names Michael T. Benson its 12th president

To assume duties Aug. 1

RICHMOND — Dr. Michael T. Benson, president of Southern Utah University, will be the next president of Eastern Kentucky University.

The unanimous selection of Benson was announced at a special meeting of the EKU Board of Regents on Friday after a nationwide search that culminated recently in campus visits by Benson and two other finalists.

Benson will assume the EKU presidency on Aug. 1. He will succeed Dr. Doug Whitlock, who last year announced his intention to retire, effective July 31.

“Dr. Benson is the right fit for Eastern,” said Craig Turner, chair of both the regents and chair of the presidential search and screening committee.

“Following his intensive and successful interviews and forum discussions with Eastern students, faculty, and staff and with Richmond and Madison County leaders, Dr. Benson was the resounding choice as our next great, visionary leader.

“Dr. Benson’s distinguished record of success as an innovative executive is impressive and well recognized among peers and colleagues,” Turner continued. “He has devoted himself to students and their academic success, is an accomplished communicator and scholar committed to diversity and expanding global academic opportunities, and is a proven financial manager who will develop and sustain political and external support for EKU.”   

Benson, 48, has served as the 15th president of Southern Utah University, an institution with approximately 8,300 students, since 2006. A Salt Lake City native who grew up in Texas, he has nearly 20 years of administrative experience in higher education, including the presidency of Snow College.

Contacted by telephone after the board announced its selection, Benson told the regents that he “was honored and humbled” by their choice. “We cannot be more thrilled. Thank you for the opportunity. We’re ready to get started. Go Colonels!”

He joked that he and his wife, Debi, already have their three young children in “Colonel boot camp,” learning more about their future home.

While at Snow from 2001 to 2006, Benson helped raise more money in his five-year tenure than in the previous 117 years of the institution’s history combined. Currently, he is leading efforts at Southern Utah University to raise $30 million for the Southern Utah Center for the Arts; more than $28 million of that amount has been raised so far.

He also has directed the development and implementation of SUU’s largest and most ambitious comprehensive campaign, The Future Is Rising. More than $85 million of the $100 million goal has already been raised or pledged. In December 2012, Benson announced the largest gift in the University’s history – $5 million – for the construction of a new Shakespeare Theatre. That news came on the heels of a $4 million gift to establish a scholarship and research endowment within the College of Science and Engineering.

During the 2009 of the Utah legislature, Benson was successful in procuring state support for SUU’s Science Center – an expanded undergraduate classroom and laboratory complex totaling nearly $20 million in new construction.  

In 2011, Utah Business named Benson one of the “100 Most Influential People in Utah.”

Benson, who has worked and studied abroad for seven years in Italy, England and Israel, is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post as a featured blogger on higher education issues.  His book, “Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel,” has been hailed as a landmark work in the area of American foreign policy and the U.S. presidency.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree in non-profit administration from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame and a doctoral degree in Middle Eastern history from the University of Oxford (St. Anthony’s College).

EKU’s new president and wife Debi are the parents of Truman, 6, Tatum, 4, and Talmage, 2. He also is the father of Emma, 16, and Samuel, 13.

The 12-member EKU Presidential Search and Screening Committee, appointed by the board of regents, was assisted in its work by Academic Search Inc., specifically senior consultants Dr. Jim Appleberry and Dr. Carrie Hauser. The Committee was composed of faculty, student, staff, alumni, community and Board of Regents representatives.

Eastern Kentucky University is a comprehensive university serving approximately 16,000 students on its Richmond campus, at its educational centers in Corbin, Danville, Manchester, Somerset and Lancaster, and throughout Kentucky.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 2-11 Mangan.jpeg Man indicted in I-75 wreck that killed two

    A man who police believe started the chain of events that led to the deaths of two people on Interstate 75 in February was indicted on several felony charges Wednesday in Madison Circuit Court.
    Bryan M. Mangan, 56, of South Bend, Ind., was indicted on six counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, tampering with physical evidence and operating on a suspended license.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Man charged with reselling employer’s equipment

    A man who worked for a local satellite TV company has been charged with ordering extra equipment and selling it online.
    Charles William Hensley, 39, of Manchester, worked for the Multiband Corporation at its Richmond office, according to a Richmond police report.
    Multiband maintains DIRECTV’s installations, service and upgrades for single-family homes in 20 states and commercial sites nationwide.

    April 24, 2014

  • Saturday is National Drug Take-Back Day

    A nationwide initiative to dispose of prescription drugs in a safe manner will take place Saturday.
    Three Madison County sites are available for residents to get rid of their unused, unneeded or expired prescription drugs as part of the eighth annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day:
    • Richmond Police Department, 1721 Lexington Road, box is outside by the front door.
    • Kentucky State Police Post 7, 699 Eastern Bypass, across from the EKU stadium, box is inside at the front door.

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-25 Revue 1.JPG Retro Radio Revue

    “Stan O’Donnell’s Retro Radio Revue,” presented by Rose Barn Theatre, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Gillum’s Sports Lounge in the Richmond Mall.
    The production focuses on the performers of the show and the follies and chaos that take place as the unexpected ensues. Local musical performers from Madison County will be showcased throughout the production.
    Gillum’s will provide a full menu service and cash bar beginning at 5:30 p.m.
    Tickets for the show are $15 and available at the door or in advance at www.rosebarntheatre.org.
    The event is a fundraiser for the nonprofit arts organization.

    April 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • 4-25 Crit Luallen.jpg Luallen says no to 2015 governor’s race

    After months of deliberation, former state Auditor of Public Accounts Crit Luallen announced Thursday she will sit out the 2015 race for governor.
    The announcement disappointed friends and associates who see Luallen as an able and experienced administrator — she served in six gubernatorial administrations — but also someone with the character and integrity to restore confidence in government.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blue Grass Army Depot sponsors 5K

    The Blue Grass Army Depot is hosting a 5K run/walk Saturday in support of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
    The no-entry-fee event will begin and end at the depot’s new sports complex ball fields, according to a news release from the installation. Preregistration is available online at www.bluegrass.army.mil or starting at 9 a.m. the day of the event.

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-24 UKatWaco1.jpg Wildcats encourage Cardinals to work hard in school

    University of Kentucky student athletes Kastine Evans, a guard on the women’s basketball team, and Jon Hood, a guard on the men’s team, stopped by Waco Elementary School on Wednesday to talk about the benefits of working hard in school.

    April 23, 2014 4 Photos

  • Mayor, commissioner pay changed

    The Richmond City Commission approved 4-1 a new pay scale for the mayor and commissioners at a special-called meeting Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-24 Lorenzo McWilliams.jpg Harrodsburg to get old Richmond police mobile computers

    Richmond is donating to the city of Harrodsburg eight of 39 old computers formerly used in police cruisers.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-24 HOSAblooddrive.jpg Health science students organize blood drive

    Aside from the gift cards and free snacks, 50 Madison County high school students have other reasons for donating 35 pints of blood Wednesday to the Kentucky Blood Center at Madison Central High School.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results