Eastern Kentucky University Interim President David McFaddin addressed the campus community in an email on June 25 about the COVID-19 pandemic, social injustice in America and previewed the upcoming Board of Regents meeting that will take place virtually on Tuesday, June 30.

According to the email, EKU will freeze tuition, dining and housing rates for the upcoming year. Application fees are also waived for all students who wish to apply.

There will be adjustments made to improve the student experience, according to McFaddin, and starting July 1, Student Success and Student Affairs will be reunited to provide students with a consistent and comprehensive campus experience.

“In this realignment, Campus Recreation will be shifted to reporting to Matt Roan, Vice President for Athletics and Recreation. The remaining units will report to Dr. Tanlee Wasson, our Vice President of Student Success, Student Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness,” McFaddin said. “To launch our renewed Office of Student Success and Student Affairs, I am happy to announce a new initiative called the EKU Advantage. We are providing solutions that address the primary concern of every student and their families: COST.”

McFaddin announced that Vice President Skip Daugherty will be stepping down from his current role leading Student Affairs.

“I thank Vice President Dr. Skip Daugherty for his wisdom and administrative skills to lead the Student Affairs team. As he will be stepping down from his current role, I am reminded that Skip has given so much of his time and energy to EKU in countless roles for many years,” McFaddin said.

McFaddin also stated that EKU will accept non-official transcripts, and waive ACT and SAT scores from the admission requirements.

“EKU will remain the ‘School of Opportunity.’ Eastern supports and fosters success for students from all walks of life, with more than 50 percent of our graduates being first-generation students, low-income students, or both,” McFaddin said. “EKU is their launching pad for a successful future. We must support both in-classroom and out-of-classroom activities that produce well-rounded, critically thinking students who are the leaders of tomorrow and who will transform the world for the better."

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university’s budget has been impacted, but McFaddin said that they have found ways to balance this year’s budget.

“We will balance this year's budget with emergency relief funds, position vacancies, and diligent operational savings without creating a significant impact on our workforce,” he said.

Diversity, equity and inclusion leadership will be discussed during the upcoming Board of Regents meeting.

“To support EKU’s commitment to a welcoming and inclusive environment, a new cabinet-level position will help guide our institution in the important areas of diversity, equity and inclusion,” McFaddin said.

Dannie Moore has been selected as EKU’s first Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer. His appointment will become effective on July 15.

“Dr. Moore brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as both an established diversity and inclusion practitioner and student affairs administrator. His leadership and vision for EKU will challenge us to approach inclusive excellence as a strategic and collaborative goal for every area​ of our University,” said McFaddin.

During the Board of Regents meeting on Tuesday, academic and administrative adjustments will be covered, including the academic calendar, housing plans, dining plans, health protocols and more.

According to McFaddin, the plan is called Colonels Comeback will be available to the campus community after the board meeting. The plan centers on the health and well-being of the students and employees.

The Board of Regents meeting will take place on June 30. It will be the first time in EKU history that the Regents will meet entirely in a virtual setting.

This story will be updated when the EKU Board of Regents agenda is released on Monday, June 29.

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