Although presidential evaluations have never been discussed in open session, the Board of Regents changed this when they reviewed and accepted President Benson’s annual evaluation Monday, Sept. 24 at the new Faculty Teaching and Learning Center in John Grant Crabbe Library.
Towards the end of the four-hour long meeting, President Benson was addressed with his evaluation, which showed 55 percent of faculty and 69 percent of staff rated Benson as effective or very effective.
President Benson was voted as very effective by 100 percent of external stakeholders.
The two groups gave Benson high scores in the areas of government relations, meeting ongoing commitments of universities plans, exhibiting integrity and compassion, offering vision, effective communications, visibility, personal relations and maintaining a safe campus.
Opportunities for improvement included areas of maintaining positive morale, delegating authority to appropriate individuals, evaluating performance, obtaining resources for personnel development and offering competitive salaries.
Board members also spoke on what Benson’s five years as president mean to the university.
Board Chair Craig Turner said, “Since you’ve been president, things have changed. I can tell you this, you’ve never let me down.”
Chair member Lewis Diaz also spoke about President Benson with kind words.
“I think you have been anointed, touched with this special ability to walk into a room and make a connection with people, and utilizing that skill on behalf of the university it’s tremendous. You are a man that can walk at any level with anyone and be liked by all, and that is a special skill,” Diaz said.
In other business, newly elected student regent Ryan Wiggins was sworn in by Madison and Clark County Circuit Court Judge Jean Chenault Logue, whom Wiggins interned for previously.
Wiggins gave his report to the Board and spoke about the goals of student government this semester.
“One thing we are really excited for is our Colonel Pride Program, which was started last year as an incentive program to get students to come out to more events on campus. So things at the Center for the Arts, football games, basketball games. We ended the last academic year doing seven total events and I am happy to say that for this semester alone we have 15 events already,” Wiggins said.
Wiggins reported to the Board that student Senate elected 13 new senators in elections with four more open spots that student government hopes to fill within “the next two weeks.”
Wiggins informed the Board that student government is still without a chief justice, and that student government is forming a committee to find someone to fill the position in order to have student court up and running.
Faculty Senate Chair Matthew Winslow gave his report to the Board of Regents, which included information on EKU: Forward, an initiative to set aside time for faculty to discuss what they can do to make things better on campus.
Winslow also gave an update on the continued university provost search, saying that out of 12 candidates, the Senate had narrowed it down to five candidates who will come to campus in the third week of October.
The five names were released in a statement on Tuesday and included Robert “Bud” Fischer of Middle Tennessee State University, Nathan Klingbeil of Wright State University, Andrew Hamilton of University of Houston, Tamara Brown of Prairie View A&M University and Mark Anderson of Kennesaw State University.
In other business, Shelley Clark, a retired administrator who was with EKU for 36 years, was approved by the Board of Regents to receive the distinction of Staff Emeritus.
The Board heard different reports relating to the 2018-19 budget, budget implementation and performance based funding, diversity efforts at the university, demographics of the 2022 freshman class and a presentation on the newly-assembled Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, among other topics.
Towards the end of the meeting, a motion was made to enter a closed session pursuant to KRS 61.810(1)(b), which allows the closed session for “deliberations on the future acquisition or sale of real property by a public agency, but only when publicity would be likely to affect the value of a specific piece of property to be acquired for public use or sold by a public agency,” according to the Kentucky Statute on Open Records and Open Meetings.
The Board remained in closed session for an hour. When the regular meeting convened, Turner said that no action was taken during closed session.
The next regularly scheduled Board of Regents meeting will be Dec. 3 at 10:30 a.m. in Martin Hall.