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Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson and Board of Regents Chair Craig Turner have underscored their commitment to twin core missions of the University – teaching and scholarship – with investments in the newly established President’s Research and Scholarship Fund.

In a recent e-mail to faculty and staff, Benson said the President’s Office would commit $100,000 per year to the Fund for the next five years. Each of the University’s five academic colleges will be allocated funds each year. Dr. Jerry Pogatshnik, dean of graduate education and research, and a committee of evaluators (one from each academic college) will develop “a very simple and straightforward application process,” Benson said, and determine how the monies are divided.

At the same time, Turner and wife Madonna, both 1975 EKU graduates, agreed to match the initial contribution with their own $100,000 personal donation for the first year of the five years. That means each academic college will receive $40,000 for the 2015-16 academic year.

“This is the first of several gifts we will make to the University,” Mr. Turner said, “and we wanted the first gift to send a message to our faculty that we recognize and support their exceptional work. We are excited about the President’s Research and Scholarship Fund and for the chance to play a role in it.”

In the same campus-wide e-mail, Benson said he and his administrative leadership team “will harness our efforts and direct our energies toward four major components of improvement” at EKU: academic distinction, a comprehensive capital fund-raising campaign, campus revitalization and enrollment management.