Eastern’s faculty will have new representation on the university’s governing board.
After a three-week election that ultimately went to a run-off between two candidates, a winner emerged Tuesday, March 29–Richard Day, an associate professor in the School of Clinical Education Preparation.
Day has served the past two years as chair of Faculty Senate, beat out Donna Corley, a professor and associate chair in the nursing department, who has also been active in Faculty Senate.
He will fill the lone seat representing the university’s faculty on the Board of Regents, and said he hopes to be a voice for the faculty’s concerns.
“I have been put in a place where I can understand what’s on the faculty’s mind and what they would like to see improve,” Day said.
Day, who served in Kentucky’s public school system for 31 years before joining the university ranks, is a prolific author on the subject of the education system in Kentucky.
Day has been published in the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, among other journals, and contributed a chapter to Kentucky: Government, Politics, and Public Policy which received the Thomas D. Clark Medallion. He also maintains a blog called Kentucky School News and Commentary.
Day’s term will last for three years, during which he will vote at the Board of Regents meetings on behalf of the faculty. He said his role is to look out for the interests of the faculty and determine what is important to them, and bring that to the board when they have decisions to make.
According to Day, the biggest challenge the university will face in the foreseeable future are budget cuts and the rise in tuition costs.
“The state is not supporting its students as it used to do, and as I believe it ought to do,” Day said.
If state lawmakers do ultimately cut funding to higher education, it will require some difficult decisions to be made, such as cutting programs, Day said.
He also said he hopes to help ensure that the university follow through on its own policies. Day said this is not currently a problem, but it is something he hopes the board will address so all faculty and administration have clear directives, as well as know what is expected of them and how they’re supposed to operate.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity of working as a team member on the board and bringing the faculty input to situations,” Day said.
In light of Day’s newly elected position, he said he will be stepping down from his current post as chair of Faculty Senate. He said his decision to step down is not based on a conflict of interest but rather a desire to see the faculty to be represented by a variety of different people, whether on the Board of Regents or in Faculty Senate.
During the Faculty Senate meeting Monday, April 4, Day said he will resign and have Shirley O’Brien, the current vice chair, take his place as chair.
Day said one of his main goals will be to help retain Eastern’s strength as an institution of higher learning.
“There’s a good energy on campus, and I’m optimistic about our future,” Day said. “But I would be more optimistic if we had more supportive state funds.”