President Michael Benson speaks at an event sometime in the fall of 2017. Benson released the news about the Provost search on Nov. 5. (Progress Photo File)

After a national search and the identification of several final candidates, EKU's provost search has once again been halted.

"Despite our best efforts and negotiations, we were unable to agree to terms with the preferred candidate," President Benson said in an email statement on Nov. 5. "The search committee will take some time to consider next steps and determine a revised timeline to continue the Provost search."

The pause in the search process comes nearly a year after it was put on hold with an impending budget crisis on the horizon. This semester's search, which was publicized through live-streamed forums, campus visits from candidates and a provost search website, yielded five candidate finalists.

Benson said Jerry Pogatshnik, Dean of Graduate School, will take over the interim provost role when current interim provost Deborah Whitehouse retires on Jan. 1, 2019.

"Thanks to Dr. Pogatshnik for assisting in this transition," Benson said. "We are also grateful for Dr. Whitehouse’s leadership through some unprecedented challenges, and we wish her the best in her well-deserved retirement at the end of the year."

Benson thanked the Provost Search Committee for their work in selecting a pool of candidates.

"Finally, the search committee has provided a tremendous service to the University through the search process, and this deviation is no reflection on their diligent work in choosing our next Chief Academic Officer," Benson said. "We thank the committee, and especially the co-chairs Dr. Matt Winslow and Dr. Shirley O’Brien, for their commitment to this important task."

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