Eastern Kentucky University is ahead of schedule as it nears the public phase of its current capital campaign.
Dan McBride, interim vice president for development and alumni relations, told the EKU Board of Regents at its regular meeting on Monday, June 25, that approximately $29.7 million had been raised through last month, easily surpassing the goal by that point of $25 million. It appears that the University will eclipse $8 million in gifts this fiscal year, which ends June 30, for the third consecutive year.
“That speaks to the fact we’re making real headway,” said President Michael Benson.
The public phase of the campaign, titled “Make No Little Plans,” is expected to launch in Fall 2019. The “current working goal” is $50 million.
In other business, the Regents:
- heard a report from Interim Provost Dr. Deborah Whitehouse, who noted that work by the Summer School Task Force has already led to an increase in summer enrollment this year, with an even larger increase expected next year. The task force, chaired by Dr. Russell Carpenter, was established to increase enrollment and maximize efficiency.
- heard a positive report on retention and graduation rates from Dr. Eugene Palka, vice president for student success, who noted that official numbers will be available on Oct. 15. Currently, Eastern boasts the highest freshman retention rate of all the regional universities in the Commonwealth.
- approved an asset preservation fee of $10 per credit hour (capped at 15 credit hours per semester), effective this fall, to generate financial resources for the maintenance and renovation of campus facilities for instructional and administrative purposes. The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education had earlier given its general approval for the Commonwealth’s universities to levy such a fee for up to 25 years. “There’s no other avenue to maintain our buildings,” said Faculty Regent Dr. Richard Day. Last November, EKU became the first public university in Kentucky to enact a tuition freeze for the 2018-19 academic year.
- approved resolutions of recognition for award-winning Colonel cross country/track coach Rick Erdmann, who is retiring after serving the University for 39 highly successful years; senior Knate Bartosch, one of two winners nationally of the 2017 Award for Academic Achievement Abroad presented by The Forum on Education Abroad; and outgoing Student Regent Laura Jackson.
- approved the suspension of the University’s graduate program in school psychology. The department will continue to explore options for offering the program in a cost-effective, accessible online format.
- heard a construction update from Brian Wilcox, newly named associate vice president for facilities services and capital planning, who said the University’s new recreation center is expected to be completed by November 2019, with the renovated Powell Student Union facility slated to open the following month. A pedway across the Eastern By-Pass near Alumni Coliseum is in the design review phase.