Presidential Evaluation: Whitlock Viewed as "Effective" Leader
Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock is viewed as “an effective leader” who has been able to “guide the institution with a steady hand,” EKU Board of Regents Chair Gary Abney said in summing up the results of a regularly scheduled evaluation of the university’s 11th president. Abney spoke at the special meeting of the Board on Friday, Dec. 16 to discuss the results of the evaluation, which included a survey of faculty, staff and students and the assistance of the Pappas Consulting Group.
Whitlock, who was named EKU President in 2007, is under contract through July 2014.
“The responses were generally consistent from all groups (and) I am happy to report that Dr. Whitlock is viewed as an effective leader,” Abney said. “The President is perceived as someone who has been able to guide the institution with a steady hand during economic times that have grown even more complex since his last evaluation in June of 2009.”
Abney added that “most respondents would like to see the President provide personal leadership” with regard to:
• “clarifying his vision” for the university.
• taking “bold and decisive” action on the recruitment and retention of more undergraduate students as well as improving graduation rates.
• “ensuring that the senior leadership team is serving optimally the needs of the university, its staff, faculty and students.”
• focusing his efforts on the university’s service region
• enhancing student engagement.
“We are pleased to report that the Board will be working with Dr. Whitlock to address these issues, and that he will be developing an action plan to present to the Board” on Jan. 17, 2012, Abney said.
“I have a real appreciation for the professional and thorough way the evaluation was conducted (and) I feel good about the positive things that came out of it,” Whitlock said. “There are things we need to pay attention to, and I’m committed to doing that, working with this board.”
On behalf of the Board of Regents, Abney extended “my sincerest appreciation to the university community as well as those external to it for participating in this process. Every member of the Board provided input as did several presidents of universities based here in Kentucky and our local legislative representatives through interviews.
The campus survey addressed questions of leadership, management, communication, effectiveness, personal relations, fairness and overall performance. It generated 138 responses from faculty, 149 from staff members and 211 from students.