Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Standard for September 12, 2019

Sep 12, 2019

EKU President Michael Benson on his new book about the origins of the modern research university. Council for Postsecondary Education President Aaron Thompson on the findings of his statewide listening tours. Prichard Committee Executive Director Brigitte Blom Ramsey on the results of a statewide survey on education in Kentucky.


Contact: Tom Martin at es@eku.edu or leave voicemail at 859-622-9358

Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson has signed a memorandum of agreement with the University Center of Southern Kentucky at Somerset Community College to partner on a degree program. 

The Center, launched this past May, provides space for four year partners to offer the third and fourth year of a bachelor’s degree on the Somerset campus. 

The partnership between the University Center of Southern Kentucky and participating universities like Eastern was formed based on community demands, workforce needs, and student access. 

Stu Johnson

Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training Commissioner Alex Payne announced Tuesday a new initiative to offer basic training police recruits an opportunity to earn an associate’s degree at no charge.  The program, which will start next month, allows recruits to simultaneously earn their degree and complete peace officer certification. 

It’s a partnership between the department and Bluegrass Community and Technical College.  With a degree  in hand, Payne said  an officer can further their career after law enforcement.

Stu Johnon

Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson says he believes finding additional state resources for public higher education remains a pressing issue.  Benson delivered his seventh convocation Tuesday. 

The EKU president said “it’s not like the pie of resources for the state of Kentucky is getting bigger.”


Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson said the new law pension reform measure is,  “the best option of some challenging options.” 


The just approved Eastern Kentucky University budget includes money to cover promotions for certain faculty members. 

Stu Johnson

Administrators at Richmond’s Model Laboratory School and Eastern Kentucky University continue to push for a designation to make Model the state’s lab school.  EKU Board of Regents members got an update this week.

Stu Johnson

The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents has adopted a $351 million budget that puts the school’s pension contribution rate at 49%.  Without state legislative action, that obligation would go to 84% come July. 

Following the meeting Tuesday, EKU President Michael Benson admits the board could be asked to revisit the issue. “We’re going to move forward on an assumption that a rate freeze will be enacted and we’ll see if that happens.  If not, we’ll then have to come back and revisit what scenarios we’ll have to consider,” noted Benson.

Amanda Cain / EKU

Eastern Kentucky University's President Michael Benson was selected on May 31 to represent the Ohio Valley Conference on the NCAA Division I Presidential Forum. President Benson tells WEKU about the role of the forum, issues the forum will address, and why a good education will always be important. 

To contact Wendy Barnett: wendy.barnett@eku.edu.

Richmond Register

The uncertainty regarding future pension contributions for Kentucky’s five major public universities is creating budgeting challenges.  Kentucky lawmakers could still be called to Frankfort to enact pension reforms before July, the start of the new fiscal year.

National Park Service

Museum goers across Kentucky have different preferences when it comes to how they experience history.  Eastern Kentucky University is playing host to more than 60 museum related professionals.

EKU Hosting 25th Special Olympics

May 31, 2019

The Kentucky Special Olympics is celebrating a milestone this weekend in Richmond. For the 25th year Eastern Kentucky University is hosting the annual competition featuring athletes from all across the Commonwealth. 

Special Olympics Spokesperson Mark Buerger said “I think one of my favorite things about this weekend every year is the energy on the campus, once our athletes get here.  The joy that they have, the excitement they have for being here is really contagious and it extends to staff like me, our volunteers, people who are just wandering around campus."

Jackie Couture

Eastern Kentucky University’s Department of Special Collections and Archives is holding an event to help people archive and preserve their family mementos. The event will include training sessions on how to preserve photos, letters, books, scrapbooks and other possessions. WEKU's Samantha Morrill talked to Team Leader Jackie Couture about the event and some of the interesting items already in the archives.

Lexington Herald-Leader

The head of the Office of Victims Advocacy in the state attorney general’s office says reporting of sexual violence on Kentucky’s college campuses remains very low. A three day training program wrapped up Wednesday at Eastern Kentucky University.


The Central Kentucky Regional Airport is one of four in the Commonwealth that will benefit from federal grant money to support aircraft maintenance training.  Federal and state officials made their first stop Monday at the Madison County airstrip. 

EKU Film Professor On Future Of Avengers

Apr 30, 2019
Kentucky Today

An Eastern Kentucky University communications professor understands why the Avengers movie has attracted large numbers of movie goers.  The EKU educator envisions the popularity extending beyond any series finale.


Come this time next year, many employees at Kentucky’s regional universities will be considering pension decisions.  The General Assembly last night approved pension reforms for quasi-governmental agencies like health departments and spouse abuse shelters and the four schools, EKU, WKU, NKU, and Murray. The measure provides a way to exit the state retirement system.


The fate for Kentucky’s pensions at public universities plus a number of quasi-state agencies like health departments and mental health entities is in limbo.

The state legislature adjourned last night without taking final action on the bill that had been months in the making.  Under the proposal, many university employees could be covered by a separate defined contribution plan. 


Eastern Kentucky University’s Board of Regent voted nine to one this afternoon to take over ownership of White Hall State Shrine and its property.  The house, built in 1798, was the home of Kentucky legislator and anti-slavery newspaper publisher Cassius Marcellus Clay. 

House Panel Approved University Pension Measure

Feb 22, 2019
Stu Johnson

Legislation to give several Kentucky universities the ability to opt out of the state pension system got House committee backing Thursday.  Instead of being a part of the Kentucky Employees Retirement System, new hires at the state’s regional schools would become part of a university-sponsored defined contribution plan.  

Richmond Register

What administrators at many of Kentucky’s public higher education institutions may view as a partial remedy to increasing pension costs is now before Kentucky lawmakers. 

The bill was filed by Representative James Tipton, who chairs his chambers' budget review committee on postsecondary education.

Courtesy Merritt Family

I’m not usually one to name-drop but my brother Pat Meehan is Santa Claus. A real, professional Santa.

Sitting in his home office fresh from work, he’s wearing black suspenders and a red T-shirt. There at least six other Santa outfits in his closet including beach Santa. His thick, white beard (yes, a real one) shimmers faintly with glitter.

It goes without saying that Pat is really into being Santa. He’s been doing it for 40 years.

But even Pat understands how the 

Cheri Lawson

Faculty at Eastern Kentucky University are finding ways to connect with students known as Generation Z.


The Gen Z-ers are sometimes referred to as “digital natives.”

Lane Report

Another quarterly meeting of two community-based groups monitoring plans for destroying thousands of chemical munitions at the Blue Grass Army Depot will be held this week.  With actual disposal set to get underway in 2019, these meetings may carry a slightly different atmosphere.

EKU Hosts NKU Saturday Night

Dec 7, 2018
Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team hosts Northern Kentucky Saturday night in McBrayer Arena. The Norse men easily defeated the Colonels last year on their home court.

EKU comes into the evening contest, off a close two point win at home over University of South Carolina-Upstate.  NKU, meanwhile, comes to Richmond after losing to their across-the-river rival Cincinnati. 

Stu Johnson

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows suicides and drug overdoses are contributing to a decline in the average life expectancy of Americans.   U.S. government data indicates the suicide death rate last year was the highest it’s been in at least half a century.

Meanwhile, a third season of the teen drama web television series “13 Reasons Why” is to be released in 2019.  The show focuses on teen suicide issues.  The intense on-line series has prompted debate regarding its impact on viewers.


Eastern Kentucky University, known for its video game development program, is hosting a statewide electronic sports competition this weekend.  It’s being promoted as the first time in the U.S. that a multi-title eSports competition has been organized by a state games program. 

College Football - This Week's Preview

Oct 31, 2018
eku.edu.com / Eastern Kentucky University

In college football, the Louisville Cardinals need to win their final four games of the season to avoid a losing record. The 2 and 6 Cardinals have a tough task ahead of them Saturday when they visit second-ranked Clemson. 

U of L has dropped five straight games and coach Bobby Petrino says he’s encouraging his team to stay positive and stick together. 


In college football, it’s homecoming weekend at the University of Kentucky, as the Wildcats take on Vanderbilt. 
UK is 5 and 1 on the season and resumes play after a week off. The Commodores are 2 and 4 but UK coach Mark Stoops says they’re a better team than their record suggests. 

Stoops told WFPL: "You see the team that’s very hungry, that plays very hard, and well-coached. They’re just looking for that breakthrough.” 

UK and Vandy kick off at 7:30pm tomorrow in Lexington. 

Bevin Responds to Ethics Complaint During Newport Visit

Oct 17, 2018
Creative Commons

He stopped in Newport today where a large portion of the conversation focused on taxes. A bill earlier this year aiming to increase the gas tax for road improvements stalled out, but Bevin expects something similar will come up again.

Bevin also responded to an ethics complaint filed against him by the Kentucky Democratic party over a tweet supporting embattled Congressman Andy Barr's re-election.