Dr. Michael T. Benson has been named president of Eastern Kentucky University.
The unanimous selection of Benson, currently the president of Southern Utah University, was announced at a special meeting of the EKU Board of Regents on Friday, April 5, and follows a nationwide search that culminated recently in campus visits by Benson and two other finalists.
Benson will assume the EKU presidency on Aug. 1. He succeeds Dr. Doug Whitlock, who last year announced his intention to retire, effective July 31.
“Dr. Benson is the right fit for Eastern,” said Craig Turner, chair of the EKU Board of Regents and chair of the Presidential Search and Screening Committee. “Following his intensive and successful interviews and forum discussions with Eastern students, faculty, and staff and with Richmond and Madison County leaders, Dr. Benson was the resounding choice as our next great, visionary leader.
“Dr. Benson’s distinguished record of success as an innovative executive is impressive and well recognized among peers and colleagues,” Turner continued. “He has devoted himself to students and their academic success, is an accomplished communicator and scholar committed to diversity and expanding global academic opportunities, and is a proven financial manager who will develop and sustain political and external support for EKU.”
Benson, 48, has served as the 15th President of Southern Utah University, an institution with approximately 8,300 students, since 2006. A Salt Lake City native who grew up in Texas, he brings nearly 20 years of administrative experience in higher education, also including the presidency of Snow College.