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End of Year Message

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Dear Colleagues,

As we reflect on the past year, there are many reasons to be proud of our accomplishments and the opportunities we have provided to so many in 2018. Eastern Kentucky University is known as the “School of Opportunity” thanks to our consistent record of educational success. All of us, through our work at the University, share a part in helping students reach their potential and realize their goals. It is a key characteristic woven into our institution’s DNA.

Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Depending on our jobs, the “overalls” may look different, but our campus is not a stranger to hard work. We are adept at rolling up our sleeves to do what is right. EKU does not serve opportunity on a silver platter, but it sets the stage and serves as the conduit for success through hard work and support from individuals who form our collective campus community. Collectively, we have been able to do some things and help our campus achieve in ways that many did not think were possible.

Whether it is our campus revitalization initiative, SAACS accreditation, improved graduation rates or many other accolades, I recognize the strength of the team effort it took to reach these achievements. Now I am sure that my Eastern opportunity is to continue our positive momentum into the next calendar year with excitement and vigor. We will accomplish this by EKU’s tried and true recipe: investing our time, energy and resources in our students and supporting you, our faculty and staff, in these endeavors.

You may recall during a prior year’s employee convocation, I expressed that we all must become “student recruiters and retainers.” We cannot lose sight of our goals surrounding recruiting, retaining and graduating more students. We must continue to find innovative solutions to do this with efficiency, focus and purpose. In 2019, I will convene my council to have further discussion of strategies we can develop and implement to ensure robust enrollment and degree attainment.

In addition to academic and career preparation, we must help our students grow socially and expand their horizons to include perspectives other than their own. In the year ahead, we will work even harder to foster and enhance this element of our mission. EKU will continue to welcome everyone with our blend of people, places and programs that is uniquely “Eastern” and position all students to succeed.

We will focus on strengthening academic excellence, including the growth of our in-demand programs and the resources needed to teach them. We will also continue to develop our physical spaces ensuring we are not only the “School of Opportunity” but also the “Campus Beautiful”.

I look forward to working with the entire campus community to attain our goals. I welcome your input and ideas to help us develop and enhance the attributes that make EKU the first choice for students.

EKU is a great university. Thank you for being part of it and for helping to make the past year so memorable. Congratulations to our newest graduates participating in commencement exercises Friday, December 14. To our faculty and staff, I hope you will enjoy a well-deserved break. Please remember EKU offices will be closed December 20-January 1. Classes resume Monday, January 14.

I invite you to join me in anticipating what we will accomplish together in the year to come.  I look forward with enthusiasm to 2019 at EKU.

Thank you, and Happy Holidays. Go Colonels!

Yours sincerely,
Michael T. Benson

Published on December 03, 2018

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