EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is part of a publishing partnership between the Richmond Register and Eastern Progress
UPDATE (Aug. 11):
Eastern Kentucky University spokeswoman Kristi Middleton said in an email that the university has not paid the search firm, R. William Funk any money. Middleton also stated that the contract with the firm will not be renewed since the search committee has made its recommendation that David McFaddin should be the next president of the university.
The Eastern Kentucky University Presidential Search Committee convened for the first time virtually on Monday, Aug. 10 and announced that the committee will recommend to the Board of Regents that the next president should be interim president David McFaddin.
“The committee would like to recommend that the search process be suspended at this time and that this committee recommends that the interim title be removed from Dr. David McFaddin’s title and that he be named the president of Eastern Kentucky University,” said Richmond Chamber president Mendi Goble, who served as one of the community representatives on the committee.
“This will give the university the needed stability and support needed to carry the institution forward,” Goble said.
After going into closed session for two hours, the committee announced its recommendation.
McFaddin has served as interim president since January after former president Michael Benson resigned in December.
According to faculty regent and co-chair for the search committee, Jason Marion, no candidates had applied for the president position, and the search process was delayed several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A traditional presidential search would have consisted of faculty forums, staff forums, alumni forums, community forums and the advertisement generation,” Marion said. “There was also concern about the ability to recruit and attract a talent pool particularly from industry and higher education where many people were absolutely consumed, as many may still be today, with the COVID-19 situation.”
On Feb. 28, the Board of Regents authorized the university to utilize the services of the search firm, R. William Funk and Associates.
Board of Regents Chair Lewis Diaz named the full committee during the Feb. 28 Board of Regents meeting.
According to Marion, within a matter of days of that meeting, many on-campus university operations, including classes, moved virtual due to the pandemic. This caused the search committee to postpone its search.
The search committee will provide its recommendation to the Board of Regents during the Sept. 10 meeting. The Board will then have the chance to vote.
The Eastern Progress has reached out to the university to learn more about the contract with R. William Funk and Associates. It is unclear how much money was paid to the firm for its services at this time.
This story will be updated when more information becomes available.