EKU Fall Convocation 2015

EKU Fall Convocation 2015


Good morning. Hello. Good morning everybody. All right. [APPLAUSE] Good morning. [APPLAUSE] Wow, what a sight. This is fantastic. Welcome to another great
academic year at EKU. I want to start by thanking
Joel Alberts and his staff for hosting us here
at what I believe is one of the most beautiful
buildings in Kentucky. And let’s thank Joel and his
entire team this morning. [APPLAUSE] I told Joel before,
I imagine this crowd with a few more people
in October of next year if we’re fortunate enough to
host a presidential debate. And we’ll find out
here in about six weeks if that’s going to happen. But John Roush, a friend
of mine at Center College, told me that that event, more
than anything else they’ve done at Center, has helped
transform that campus and get its message out and
its image out to the world more than anything else. So we’re certainly hopeful
that– we’re one of 16, so we like our chances. But we’ll find out
here in a few weeks. I also want to,
before I get started, welcome all of our
new faculty and staff. And house lights are up, so
I want all of our new faculty and staff to please stand up. [APPLAUSE] Welcome. We are delighted
to have you here, an infusion of new blood to an
institution, to organization is so important. And we’re delighted to have you
as part of the Colonel family. Just to give you an idea
of what we’ll do today, and I’m the only
thing between you and the white tent and lunch,
so I’ll step lively here. But we’re going to have
kind of an update on what’s going on on campus
and a little bit about some exciting
things for the future. And then, Dr. Richard
Day of the Faculty Senate tells me that the faculty
we need to have a meeting. Surprise, surprise,
the faculty need to have a meeting, Richard. So we will let the
faculty do that. So after my remarks
and some Q and A, we’ll excuse all
the staff, we’ll go outside, get
started on lunch, and the faculty will have
a very brief meeting, and they need to
conduct some business. Richard, does that
sound agreeable? I want to start
also by sharing– and I’m going to
put him on the spot for a second– but our new Vice
President for Development, Nick Perlick. Stand up here for
a second, Nick. Get off your phone, Nick. OK. [APPLAUSE] Of course, he claims
he’s tweeting. So Nick, I was working on my
presentation late last night, and Nick sent me an email. And if it’s OK, I’m going to
read just a portion of what he said to me. Good luck tomorrow. It’s a great time of year. Good to start anew. How many other industries have
such a chance once every year to begin again with
complete optimism and hope for the future
to change the trajectory of people’s lives? I think that’s–
thank you, Nick. [APPLAUSE] I want you to think
about that for a second. You’ve chosen a
profession, we’ve chosen a profession
where every single year we realize that freshmen are
getting younger and younger, but that sense of optimism,
that we are making a difference, that education is that
portal to a better life. And our job is to make it
as accessible and impactful and profound as possible. And I don’t know of too
many other industries that can claim that. So I hope today, as we
discuss the future of EKU, and yes, some of
the challenges we’re facing, that we always bear in
mind that we chose to be here. We voted with our feet. We’re part of a big EKU family. And it’s great to work
in higher education. So Nick, thank you very much
for sharing that with me. We’ve welcomed our
new faculty and staff. Again, we’re so delighted
to have you all here and part of our family. And today is the
first time we’ve ever held this welcome back
convocation in the Center for the Arts, and we hope
it’s the first of many. A couple of campus events,
just so you’re aware, that will be
happening this week. Move-in Week is this–
Move-in Day is on Friday. Deidre had to run to the
bookstore today, and so I said, Deidre, I’ll cover the phones. And if I fielded two
calls from two parents about what time move-in
starts on Friday. So it behooves all of us
to know when it starts. It is this Friday, and
we’re excited to welcome our on-campus students
into the residence halls. REC the Ravine is also
a great activity put on by our Student Life, and
that’s Friday night as well. If you have any questions
or your students have any questions,
this is the first year they experience this, please
refer them to that website. By the way, we will post this
presentation on my website right after today’s
convocation so you can have all this information. Our first home football game,
which is a Thursday night game. I know that impacts some
Thursday night classes, and for that, I apologize. But we are in some ways beholden
to our conference schedule and the OVC scheduled this
game, our first home game, on Thursday night
against Valparaiso. And we’re excited to kick
off the football season very, very soon. This student is already
ready for fall break. And I wanted to make sure
you all knew when it was. And that will be October
the 12th and 13th. A couple other dates
to bear in mind, we will close campus on
Wednesday before Thanksgiving. So enjoy a three days off. [APPLAUSE] There we go. I took a little
office bet how long it would take to get the
first round of applause. [LAUGHTER] And yes, it was
tied to days off. So Wednesday November 25,
we will shut down campus and we’ll come back
on Monday ready to go for that final push. Our Christmas break will be even
longer, from December the 18th until Monday, January the 4th. And enjoy some time off. [APPLAUSE] We’re off to a great start. Days off, all right. Beautiful. We knew that would elicit
that kind of response. OK, all right. Raises for everybody
and days off. OK. Barry just went into
apoplectic shock, so we’ll get to that
in a second, Barry. December graduation. One thing we found this year
is that the colleges love doing their own graduation. Yes, it’s more work for the
administrative team, the deans. I challenged each dean to come
up with their new verbage, with their own verbage, to use
in the graduation ceremony, but we’re going to have
ceremonies for each college. So we’ll start for the December
graduations on Friday the 11th, and finish up on
Saturday the 12th. So this is a chance
for the colleges to showcase your
factually, your department chairs, your administrative
assistants, everybody, the staff, in a way that you can
fashion your own ceremony just as you like it. You can have anybody speak
that you want to, do the music. I know arts and sciences
did a steel drum band last year, which was
great fun, but it’s really a chance for you to put your
imprimatur, or your imprint, on your own ceremony. So those are the dates
for December graduation. Spring Break. We tried last year to coincide
it with Madison County Schools. It was popular with some, and
more unpopular with others. We decided to go back to
our traditional Spring Break time, which will be the
14th through the 18th. [APPLAUSE] More tepid response there,
but still, it’s days off, OK? March 14th to 18th,
OK, we’re on track. All right. Spring Commencement. It was one of the
greatest celebrations I think I’ve ever been to. [APPLAUSE] Not only does Tina Davis
control the registrar’s office, she controls double rainbows. So Tina, I tip my cap to Tina. It was a great celebration. My only regret– and I know we
shouldn’t have regrets in life because we can’t do
anything about them– but we didn’t have
that many students there because
there was, I think, some confusion as
to what it meant. And so this year, we’re
going to try something a little bit different. And that is, we’re going to do
the university-wide celebration on a Thursday
night, May the 12th. And then the next two days will
be the College Convocations, again, individual colleges
on Friday and Saturday, all held in Alumni Coliseum. So I don’t have to
respond to any more tweets of hashtag
#grannyneedsaticket– [LAUGHTER] –because I did
get those messages, we will make sure every single
student has ample seats for all their family. And that will be May
the 13th and 14th, OK? Granny does need a ticket, so
we will make sure she is there. Now, the Spring 2016 Schedule. I know there have
been some questions, some angst expressed
about what’s happened. We tried our best to accommodate
a lot of different things. We’re not sure it was
the best decision, but it’s what we have right now. I will tell you that we’re
working our level best to ensure that next year we make
sure the schedules coincide. It may mean that we move up
the e-campus classes a week, so then the
schedules will align, and they can have
a Spring Break. But that also will
necessitate some changes in our financial aid. And Laurie Carter [? Schoff ?]
is working right now on making sure we can do that. But I apologize that this
has happened the way it has, but there was just
some mitigating factors that we tried our
best to address. And if you have any
other questions, you can refer to Janet’s
e-mail that she sent out today for what’s going to happen
this coming spring, OK? Part two. We talked about the
Wright brothers last year, I thought we’d talk
about them again today. And of course, I’m
joking only slightly, but my favorite author, David
McCullough, twice winner of the Pulitzer
Prize, one for a book that he wrote about my hero,
Harry Truman, the other one, 1776– I beg your
pardon– for John Adams. He just came out with
this in the summer. And if you haven’t read it,
I encourage you to do so. I enjoyed it so much, I
took my family back up to Wright Patterson this last
summer and we had a blast. We had a chance to see
the planes that my wife’s grandfather worked on. This is the F106
here on the left. That’s the T38. Planes that he both
worked on and flew. The common theme here is
[INAUDIBLE] goofy face in the photographs. But we had a great time seeing
this amazing museum that really is a tribute to the
temerity and vision of two brothers. Now there’s a lesson to
be learned from this book that I found this summer. And that is, when Wilbur went
to France to try and convince the French to purchase his
airplanes because they worked. Of course, you might
know that Orville had sustained some pretty
severe injuries in an accident, during which his co-pilot,
the partner on the plane, was killed. But when he got to France and
saw the runway, such as it was, there were people
that said, you know, you ought to do what you
did at Huffman Prairie, and dig out the
bumps, and smooth it out, and make it more passable. And this is what happened. This is from page 217 in
Mr. McCullough’s book. One of the few problems
that Wilbur had to contend with was the ground was
filled with bumps, some the size of a bowler hat,
that made takeoffs difficult. Someone suggested that
with a bit of spade work, the ground could be leveled. It was just what
Wilbur and Orville had done preparing
for the first test flights at Huffman Prairie. But Wilbur by now felt he could
dispense with all of that. Quote, “If we have to
alter the face of the earth before we can fly,” he
replied, “we may as well throw up the proposition.” Such was the way of
the man, observed a rider who was present. He never sought to escape
by the easy way around. As a kid, my father often
used to quote what is known as the Serenity Prayer. And it’s been attributed to
different people, one of whom, of course, is the great
theologian of the last century, Reinhold Niebuhr. But the Serenity
Prayer is this– and I’m sure you’ve heard
it– God grant me the serenity to accept the things
I cannot change, the courage to change
the things I can, and the wisdom to
know the difference.” There is a lot of kind
of the I would call it extraneous noise around us. There’s a lot that
we can’t control. But the things we can control
are the exciting things. The course that we can
chart as an institution is the way that we’re going
to make a difference at EKU. And part of that
process has been through our strategic
planning that has involved a lot of people
and a lot of different meetings. And I encourage you
to visit the website to take a look at what’s come
from these conversations. Because the job is not done. We have still more work to do. But, in point of
fact, this process has helped refine the fact and
the knowledge that what we do, we can control our own destiny. What they do up the
road, or what they do out at Western Kentucky, or
what they do over at Eastern Kentucky is their business. But what we do is impact
Eastern Kentucky University. From this process, we have
come to the conclusion that there are four areas that
we were going to focus on. The first is
academic distinction. What do we do well and how
are we going to do it better? What programs are
we not offering that we should be offering? What programs may
have run their shelf life that need to be either
revised or jettisoned? The second part is a
comprehensive capital fund-raising campaign. In the next several
months, you’ll be hearing more about
our leadership team, the timing of it, the
goal, the launch of it. And it’s going to
be– I’ll tell you this– the most ambitious,
aggressive, and achievable campaign in our history. And it’s going to be, I
think, terribly exciting that will forever change our campus. The third is campus
revitalization. And I want to spend
some time talking about that this morning. What are we doing to improve
the campus beautiful? What are we doing to
make our campus even more appealing to our faculty,
our staff, our visitors, our prospective
students, our donors? Because that’s important
and it says a lot about how we feel about our institution. And finally,
enrollment management. What are we doing in terms
of recruitment, Even. More importantly, retention,
and the ultimate goal of graduation? And all of this is done
within the parameters of financial stability
and effective stewardship of resources. We have finite resources. That is an accepted fact. The state of Kentucky, while
we pay attention every quarter to the revenues, public
higher education, as you know, has taken one of the
biggest hits percentage wise of any states in the country. So the new normal is we accept
what we get from the state. We’re grateful for it. But we’ve got to do
better in terms of being stewards of what we have. But also increasing that pie,
through grants, contracts, private gifts,
donations, et cetera. So those are really
our four, if you will, prongs of our strategic
plan as we move forward. And again, we’re not
done with the process, and you’ll hear more from
Matt and his colleagues as we finalize that process. I wanted to share
as we start, also, some just points of pride. It’s important for us to
talk about the challenges, yes, what we want to do. But it’s also, I think,
important for us to pause and reflect on where we’ve
come and what’s happening. That number is very significant. We have 125,000 living alumni. Think about that. That’s a lot of people. Are they engaged with campus? When’s the last time
they got a piece of mail from Nick’s office? When’s the last time they got
a thank you note from somebody for an annual gift? Or for coming to campus
to mentor a student? We’ve got to do better,
and we will do better. And we’ll talk about
some of the platforms we’re using to reach
out to these alumni to reengage them in
what we’re trying to do. You can see some of the rankings
that have come out recently. Military-friendly school,
very proud of that. America’s Best Colleges for
the sixth consecutive year. And of course, fifth consecutive
year ranked by US News. That’s all fine and
good, but we also recognize that to
achieve more, we need more new people
and more fresh blood. And I’ll just kind of rifle
through these, our new hires in both faculty and staff. We’re delighted to welcome
Dr. Tanlee Wasson, who’s doing Institutional Research. Tanlee, where are you? There you are, right there. Thank you for being
with us today. Also Sherry Robinson,
our new Vice Provost. Everybody knows
Sherry from her days as an English faculty
member and an important part of Janet’s team. Joslyn Glover, has Joslyn
started yet, Laurie? She starts Monday. Our new Director of
Inclusion and Equity. Very important endeavor that
we’re undertaking, or refining. Paul Gannoe. Paul, where are you? Paul comes to us as a deputy
director from the state. We are going to start
being a lot more intentional as to
our projects that we manage and do more
of it ourselves, be less reliant on Frankfort. Yes, we need their approval. We need their support. But we want to run
our own projects. And Paul is the linchpin
to that process. Kristi. Kristi I met yesterday. Kristi, stand up if
you would, please. Kristi is our new Chief
External Affairs Officer. I made you do that because
she’s the face of EKU now. And we’re delighted to have
her as a member of our team. She will be our spokesperson
and comes to us from KCTC. So she knows higher
ed very well, but she’s also been
in the news media. Bryan Makinen, a familiar
face, one of my 11 bosses. Bryan, where are you? There he is. Bryan, stand up, will you Bryan? Bryan Makinen. [APPLAUSE] Bryan’s a member of
our Board of Regents, but also on our new Executive
Director of Public Safety and Risk Management. Also, he will join us
soon, Patrick McKee, our Sustainability Manager. Oh, there he is. Patrick. It’s appropriate he’s
wearing a green shirt. Way to go, Patrick. Thank you for being
here, Patrick. Delighted to have him here as
we continue our efforts to be a more sustainable campus. And as you know, that means
reducing our footprint. Some academic and
faculty news and notes. Vic Kappeler, our new dean,
a familiar face to all of us, our new dean of
Justice and Safety. Vic, are you here? [APPLAUSE] In absentia, we’re
applauding for Vic. We’re happy that Vic has
that new responsibility. I read, of course,
on EKU Stories, which I encourage you to
read on a daily basis and pay attention
to what’s going on, but Isaac Powell,
one of art faculty, has an exhibition at the Kennedy
Center in Washington, DC. Very talented artist. Tom Appleton is working
on yet another book. Tom, are you here? Tom, there he is. Tom Appleton. [APPLAUSE] Co-editor of the groundbreaking
Volume on Kentucky Women, and I heard a speech this last
summer from a Dr. [? Clauder ?] from Georgetown University. I asked him the five
greatest Kentuckians in our commonwealth’s history. He said Henry Clay,
John Marshall Harlan, the great dissenter,
Daniel Boone, the woman who was a suffragist–
her name escapes me right now. Tom, help me out. Madeline Breckinridge. Madeline Breckinridge,
thank you very much. And the fifth, Robert Penn
Warren, the great author. And Tom will be working on
helping people learn more about the great women
of Kentucky, including Ms. Breckenridge. Tom, along with
Professor Mohallatee, were named the
Foundation Professors when they were recognized
at the graduation ceremony back in May. We congratulate both of them. Peter Kraska, of
course, continues to gain national
notoriety for his work. He will soon be testifying
before the US Senate on police militarization. So it’s great to
see our faculty, whether it’s Professor Gray,
also in his department, and her being recognized in
an article in the LA Times recently. As we address important societal
issues, and I commend him. Manuel Cortes-Castaneda wins
Colombia’s highest award for literature,
excellence in literature, which is a real tribute to him. Professor, are you here? He’s in Mexico. There we go. Thank you very, very much. Congratulations to him. Sherwood Thompson, I saw
Sherwood on the way in. Editor of the New Encyclopedia
of Diversity and Social Justice. Sherwood, congratulations. Thank you for what you do. [APPLAUSE] Sheila Pressley, the
effervescent Sheila Pressley. There she is. Sheila, congratulations. The new Associate Dean. [APPLAUSE] Congratulations to her. I don’t think she has ever
had a bad day in her life. And I so appreciate
how upbeat she is. I think we can all
take a cue from that. Todd Hartch, my through
the backyard neighbor, more and more recognition
for his land– really, fantastic book, Rebirth of
Christianity in Latin America, published by Oxford
University Press. Todd, congratulations. Are you here? All right, thank you Todd. Congratulations. Finally, we did a newscast
out on the runway. That was a joke. It looks like a
newscast, doesn’t it? Kristi, what do you think? Live at six, Benson Adkins. This is the president of
Ashton Community and Technical College. And I’m here on the right. And we are on the runway at
Ashland Regional Airport. We’ve signed how many of these
agreements now, David, four? Number five and
six are imminent, but this is a great
example of a partnership with our fellow institutions,
our sister institutions at KCTC, where the
local students can take their general ed
requirements for the first two years, and then our
aviation faculty will take our program to them. And our goal is to
fly the EKU flag over every regional
airport in Kentucky. So congratulations to
everybody that’s helped work with that program. And Minh, of
course, where is he? He’s another– [APPLAUSE] There he is. [APPLAUSE] Interdisciplinary
Asian Studies Program. We had the launch last semester,
a great symposium for a day, and Minh, we’re so thankful
for what you do as well. Thank you very, very much. Our Fermentation
Science Program, over in the College
of– yeah, there you go. So times off and fermentation,
that’s what you’re all about. [LAUGHTER] Somehow, the two go
together, apparently. We’re excited about
this certificate. And yes, there is a
chemistry focus to it. And there are all sorts of
restrictions and guidelines and requirements. And we had the
alcohol control people on campus just a few weeks
ago talking about that. But we’re trying to be
responsive to the needs that are particularly kind of
indigenous to Kentucky. And this is one of them. We’re excited about that. Also, our STEM. And part of this goes with our
unbelievable science facility that will be doubled here
shortly as construction moves ahead. But our STEM, our progress
in our STEM fields and the partnering that we’re
doing with local schools has been recognized
by many, many people. Our Mock Trial Team. Professor Noblitt, are you here? Is your husband here, too? There they are. They’re in the
back, there we go. [APPLAUSE] Look at that, 11th place
finish in the nation. Beat some pretty good
train techs out there. Beat a lot of very,
very good schools, and we’re very proud of these
young people and their coaches. You may have heard that I had
my review from the faculty, and I took to heart the
recommendations that were made. And I’ve tried to address the
support and the interaction with faculty in three areas. And I want to touch
on those very briefly. The first is the Support
of Faculty Scholarship. And what my office
has put forward has been matched by
the chair of our board. And I want Sara and
Jerry to stand up. There’s Jerry, right here. Sara Zeigler, are you hear? There they are. They’re the co-chairs
of this committee. [APPLAUSE] They are the co-chairs
of the committee that will have a representative
from each college, and they will be
responsible for reviewing the applications that come in. And believe me,
we’re going to make this as simple as
possible, aren’t we Jerry? Yes. Sara, correct? One page, if possible. And the idea is to try
and recognize and support and advocate for
our faculty that are out there
making contributions in scholarship and research. And our goal is to
award these stipends, if you will, at the end
of the academic year, so April, May of next year will
be the awards for this year. And you’ll hear more about it. They’re building a website
with more information. And Jerry and Sara,
I thank both of you for your willingness to
chair that committee. Second area, and I
had a great meeting a few days ago with Matt
Winslow, the EKU Faculty Innovators Program. How many innovators
do we have here today? Faculty innovators,
please stand up. Will you please? I see Lisa. Surely there’s Matt. There we go. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Please refer to their website. I met with Janet a few
days ago, and I said Janet, let’s see if we can do not
only release time or a stipend for Matt who helps
direct the program, but for every
faculty member that participates as an innovator. It’s time, it’s effort. Once you are done
with your course, or even during the
course of the semester, the idea is to put
into this repository the information that is produced
by that respective faculty member. So you’ll hear more
about this, and we’re going to put more support into
the Factory Innovators Program. But it’s a great way
for peer to peer. I see Rusty. I see Charlie and– are
Charlie and Hal here? By the way, I kid
you not, last night I needed a picture
of Hal and Charlie. So you know what I did? I googled Hal Charlie EKU. And that’s what came up. [LAUGHTER] Hal Charlie EKU, and
that’s what we got. It’s a great program. And again, it’s peer-to-peer
support, help, association. And we’re delighted to
support it even more. And finally, I look forward
here in the next while, to Fireside Chats. 25 randomly selected faculty,
where we have an hour together over in the faculty
lounge of King Johnson, and you get to tell me
what’s on your mind. No set agenda. No PowerPoint. No placards. It’s just a chance for you to
tell me how we can do better and what’s on your agenda. So we start those I
think on August the 31st. Coming up here real soon. A bit about student success. I wanted to give you a snapshot
of the incoming freshman class, which, by the way,
is one of our biggest, if not our biggest, Laurie. But also our most
academically prepared. Take a look at this
little bit at the bottom, 206 fewer students with
developmental needs in various areas, which means
students are coming to us better prepared, which,
if the numbers are true, and they will bear out the
facts, they will retain and they will graduate. Take a look at the averages
in terms of the English, math, reading scores, the
high school GPA. You can get an idea there of the
quality of our incoming class as we welcome them to campus
here in the next few days. Take a look at if we were the
first choice of those that fill out a FAFSA,
which of course is the federal financial
aid required form. So if they put EKU as
their first choice, look what our yield was. 76% of those students enrolled. Second choice, third choice, and
you can see the numbers there. So they are voting
with their feet and coming to EKU because
they want to be here. And the numbers tell us that
they’re even better prepared. 2,860 new first-time freshmen. And on Sunday, they’re all
going to be right here. And it’s our chance to tell them
what I tell them every year. College is fun. It should be a time
of exploration, and you should
have a great time, but there are times
to be serious. And you represent an
incredibly small segment of the world’s
population that has the right, and the privilege,
and the opportunity to study in a university. So there’s a time to have a
great time and to enjoy it, but there’s a time to hunker
down and be serious and work hard. And we will hopefully
imbue into each of them and inculcate into each
of them that message. This is, I think, one of
my favorite statistics. Look at that. Class of 2019, 800. [APPLAUSE] How many of you are
first-generation college graduates? Look at that. You are representative of
that 800 student cohort. Behind that number is a story. 800 stories. 800 families, and
friends, multiple friends that helped out that
young man or young woman apply, navigate
the FAFSA process, get through the housing
application process, and is coming to our campus. And my friends, it is
so important for us to recognize that it
behooves all of us to give each one
of those 800, it [? gives ?] every
one of our students, but particularly these 800
the best possible experience. Because so much– [APPLAUSE] Think about what
hangs in the balance. If they have a good
experience, what do they do? They go home at Thanksgiving
and they say mom and dad, you won’t believe
what I learned at EKU. You won’t believe
the people I met, or the experiences that I had. And I’m sure their moms
and dads will think, man, I wish I had had that chance. But like every
parent in here, you want to give your kids
things that you never had, and that’s what these
parents are trying to do. That’s why it’s so
important for us to make sure on every
point of contact, as I told Student
Success yesterday, they are the tip of the
spear, aren’t they Gene? They are the tip of the spear. They are the first
point of contact for many of these students
before they set foot in your faculty
classrooms on Monday. What’s their experience
going to be like on Friday when they move in? What was their experience
trying to buy a meal plan? What was their experience
signing up with the rec center? Please, customer
service is so important. I’m not talking about coddling. I’m not talking
about babying them. They’re adults. They should be accustomed to
the fact that college is hard. But the fact is, we can
help turn that experience into a positive one at every
single point of contact. Our Freshman Academy
for Diverse Students enters its second year. I didn’t have time to put
up some of the numbers, but Salome and her colleagues
have done a fantastic job putting this together. And the retention
numbers bear that out. And these are at-risk
students that if they succeed that first year
and come back, chances are, they’re going to persist. And that’s so very,
very important. Our Colonel Success Center, and
the process of launching that, we really want to make
it one-stop assistance with everything that a
student will need to succeed. Excuse me, I need to have
a Mark Rubio moment here. Don’t mind me. Let me walk back
to the podium and– The fact is also we’re trying
our best to put more resources into additional scholarships. You can see the
number there of what we committed, $1.7 million,
in addition to what we already have. And we’ve also put more
money into the Rodney Gross Scholarship Fund. People have asked, well, you
want to raise all this money, and it’s going to go for
bricks and mortar and athletics and blah blah blah. Yes, it will go for
some of those projects. But what is the most
important scholarship dollar that we can raise? [? Nick ?]
and I gave you a hint there. Scholarships. Scholarships. It’s about opportunity
and it’s about access. Very proud of our fact
that we were nationally ranked again as number two
in the country Best for Vets. If you paid attention
to our GURUs program, Mandy are you here? We should be able to hear
Mandy if she is here. Mandy and her GURUs
program is unbelievable. So proud of them
and what they do. Again, it’s that
peer-to-peer mentoring, students helping students,
that it’s so successful. Proud of them. Congratulations. Our Diversity Initiative
helps all of us recognize that if there’s
any entity, if there’s any public entity
or institution that should be as welcoming as
any place in the world, it should be a place like EKU. EKU, of course,
describes where we are, describes our institution,
but it does not define us. We are a broad cosmopolitan,
eclectic amalgam of all different kinds of
people from all different kinds of places. And it should be a welcoming,
inviting environment for everyone. On September the
1st, we’re going to launch our
Women’s Health Clinic within our current
Student Health Clinic that will pay particular attention
to our larger student population, which is females. [APPLAUSE] So I encourage you to come the
ribbon cutting on September the 1st, just a few days. Colonels First, we’ve tried
our best with our housing. April, are you here? April and her team are
looking at support services for first-generation
students, making sure that that cohort of the
800 I was talking about has that best possible
experience in our housing operation. Let me talk for just a
second about athletics, then I’ll get off
the topic, I promise. First, I want to recognize
our new Athletic Director. Steve, will you stand up please? Steve Lochmueller. [APPLAUSE] We’re delighted
to have Steve here who brings years and years of
business experience and acumen and contacts to our
Athletics Department. He’s joined by Matt Roan,
who has moved from my office over to Athletics as the
Deputy Director of Athletics. Everybody knows Matt, his help
through the strategic planning process. Thank you very much, Matt. We also have several
new head coaches. Dan McHale, our new head
men’s basketball coach. Edwin Thompson, our new men’s
or new head baseball coach, came to us from Georgia
State University. The Going Big event, which was
our Colonel Club event, which we held just a few days ago. I have to say, McBrayer Arena
has never looked better. It was an unbelievable night. And Matt told me today that
as the fiscal year, which started July 1, in just over
30 days, 40 days roughly, we have raised close to
$200,000 in that period of time, thanks to the support of
our Colonel Club members, which is double what
we had last year. So Austin Newton,
congratulations. Way to go. [APPLAUSE] As I say to recruits when
they come by my office, chances are you are not
going to play on Sundays. If you do, great, bully for you. If that’s your goal,
we’ll help you get there. But our job is to
get you a degree and to graduate you,
regardless of your sport. And that’s what the
Colonel Club’s about. Yes, it’s about supporting
student athletes while they’re here,
but with a view to what they’re going to do
beyond their athletic career. Very proud of the fact
that we’ve won two straight Commissioner’s Cups. So this is all the points
for all your sports that are part of the core
sports within the OVC. We’ve won three of
the last four overall, and we are dominating the
competition in the OVC and we’re very proud of
all of our student athletes and their accomplishments. This is a great story. Ole is from Sweden. Or is it Denmark? Denmark, thank you. Ole graduated John [? Wade ?]
with a degree in what? Physics. OK? Kind of a tough subject. I shook his hand at
graduation in May. He hustled off the stage, took
off his robe, hopped in a van, and drove to the
conference championship, where he won the steeplechase. I had a chance to go up and
watch him run at Hayward Field, along with Carina, who was
a freshman, finished 15th in the country, as a freshman. All-American. [APPLAUSE] And to see these two athletes
compete at the highest level and do as well as
they did, all of us should be incredibly proud. Ole finished third. He was beat by a runner
from Arizona, one from UTEP. But this was the back
of the Oregon paper. There’s Ole right there. He’s coming off the water jump. And there’s the Michigan runner
that’s– that’s not where you want to be. [LAUGHTER] But to his credit, I
went up to him after. He got up, and he finished
fifth in the race. And I said young man, that was
a very courageous performance. But Ole, I was so proud of him. He’s going to try and
qualify for the Olympics. I said what are your chances? He’s said well
President, have you checked the
population of Denmark? [LAUGHTER] And I said Ole, don’t
be a smart aleck. I haven’t looked at
it recently, but I think your chances are better
than if you try to qualify in the United States. So he’s going to head
back home and run and train very, very hard. But very proud of Ole. It’s really something to see a
kid with the Eastern Kentucky bib on, running around
the track, beating athletes from Stanford, Oregon,
UCLA, UTEP, Arizona, Texas A&M. Very, very exciting. Development and
Alumni Relations. If you haven’t
heard, this last year we raised over
$4.1 million, which is the biggest amount
raised, the largest amount raised since 2001. So congratulations to
our development team. [APPLAUSE] I encourage you to take
a look at EKU Stories. Go online, take a look at
some of the things that are happening. But you’re going to
see more we think progressive, forward thinking
publications coming out of development and
alumni relations as relates to our alumni
magazine, the communication that we send out to
all of our donors. And this is all, of course,
focused on a campaign that we’re going to launch here
in just the next little while. I told Nick, to use a boxing
term, that pound for pound, we’ve got the best
development team anywhere. And I’m really proud
of them and I’m really excited about what’s ahead. Let me talk just a second
about government relations. If you heard about the SOAR,
Shaping Our Appalachian Region project, which has been
launched by two gentlemen from two different parties,
and in many respects, two very different political
orientations and perspectives. But Governor Beshear
and Hal Rogers have recognized that some of
the intractable problems facing Eastern Kentucky
are not political. They shouldn’t belong to
one party or the other. They should be
addressed by all of us who have concerns
about what’s going on in that part of the state. And two of our campuses, both
our Corbin and Manchester campuses, have been designated
as regional workspaces. We’ve had students
that worked as interns. David and I have attended
a whole bunch of meetings. Terry and his crew have
hosted various meetings down in Manchester. We continue to be actively
involved in this effort, and we’re very proud of
the fact that I think it’s getting some traction. We’re making some headway. Just a few weeks ago,
right on this very stage, I had a chance to talk
about some of the things I’ve talked about today. And some of these
next little slides I’ll show you a
little bit of what we discussed as it
relates to the partnership that we have with the city. I don’t think I can
overstate how important it is that we’re a good partner
with the city of Richmond. They view our students in
many ways as transient. And they are. But when you have
this influx of 14,000 plus young people that
come to town every August, in many ways, it’s
very disruptive. Traffic, congestion,
lines in stores, but think about the
economic benefit that these students
have on our community. And it goes both ways. And so we had a very open
and frank conversation about how we can do better and
how we can partner even more. Let me talk just for
a second about some of the things
happening on campus. Just a few months
ago, back in October, we hosted the
congressional debate between Elisabeth
Jensen, the challenger, in Andy Barr, the incumbent. This was a lead up
to another debate that we’re going to be
hosting in October for Jack Conway and Matt Bevin. It will be here in this
hall, in the last televised debate before the
election in November. It’s going to be on
what station, David? KYT. KYT, hosted by probably
Bill, isn’t it? So I encourage you. It’s open to the public. Get here early for a seat. But Sunday, October 25,
will be a chance for us to showcase this beautiful
hall, which we then hope will be a
precursor to the chance to host a presidential debate. And we’ll know
here in a few weeks whether or not that happens. Craig King is a new member
of our Board of Regents. Craig is the CEO of RJ Corman,
a fairly significant business venture here in Kentucky. And I talked to Chairman
Turner yesterday. He had just spent three
hours with our new member of our Board of Regents, and
he’s very excited with the role that he will play. Also, Katie Scott, Katie,
will you stand up please? Katie’s our new Student
Body President, new member of the Board of Regents. [APPLAUSE] I introduced Katie to
a group the other day that, no, two, three majors
was just not enough for Katie. She had to go with four. And she’s an example,
a great example, of a very committed,
dedicated EKU student. If you haven’t heard, I
got bumped back a slot. And I’m happy about that. I’m now president number 13. Because Mary Roark
has officially been recognized as
EKU’s second president. [APPLAUSE] If for nothing else, Charles Hay
will not bother me about this anymore. [LAUGHTER] Charles was an amazing
advocate for this, along with [? Demir. ?] And we’re
so proud of the fact that our board approved this. And in October, to coincide
with graduation– I mean, beg your pardon, I’m getting
ahead of myself– to coincide with
homecoming, we’re going to unveil the portraits
of all the presidents, that are being reframed in matching
frames, along with Mary Roark in Keen Johnson. So stay tuned. It will be that
week of homecoming. We’re going to invite as many
of Mary Roark’s relatives that are living to help
celebrate this very significant event for the university. Our brand strategy
process continues. I encourage you to take
a look at the website. They’ve completed the research. They presented to our
board just a few weeks ago. But the next thing
we’re trying to do is is our brand where
we want it to be? You may have heard that the
Colonel Head, as we currently have it, the current
Colonel in its iteration, the current iteration,
we’re not sure that’s the image that our
student athletes like, that a lot of the faculty
like, or that our staff like. So how can we be better
in portraying what EKU is and what we represent? So I encourage you to
be part of that process. They’re going to
be back on campus, Bullhorn is, in the
next little while as we talk about the brand, and
the launch, and all things EKU. How many of you have been over
to the new improved Hummel Planetarium? Fantastic. If you haven’t, I encourage
you to get over there. Take a look at it. Take your kids, or grandkids,
or friends, or whatever. But it really is something. I encourage you
to get over there. Finally, EKU Center for the
Arts, where we are today. They will open their season
on September the 12th with Vince Gill. And if you haven’t taken
a look at the program outside in the
lobby, Joel tells me that there are
plenty of pamphlets about the season, some
great shows coming to town. I mentioned EKU Stories,
but this gives you an idea that it’s a platform that’s
much easier to navigate. I think it’s easier to digest. It’s very clean, it’s
effective, and it also helps tell the story of
what our faculty, our staff, our students, what
our campus is up to. And, of course, you can connect
all sorts of different ways through social media. Our EKU License Plate program. Now some have said, why
on earth is it so small? You can’t read it. There were some limitations
as to what the state allowed us to do or not do. But we have sold or issued–
DMV has– almost 600 plates. And that is about a
seven-fold increase as to what we had before. More exciting is that every time
a plate is issued or renewed, the university gets $10. And that goes into a
general scholarship fund to support those students
that we talked about at the beginning. So I’d encourage you, this
is your parking, or at least your permit to park. It’s not a guarantee
of a parking space. Now bear that in mind. It allows you to park with
that plate on designated lots throughout campus. And even better, I
love going around town and seeing the EKU plates
proudly displayed on vehicles. If I can, let me talk for,
in the last 30 minutes or so, about the sense of place. What does it mean to
be at EKU at this time? And how is our region doing? And to kind of set
the table, I want to share some slides
with you that I think will paint a picture
of how our region is doing in relation to other
parts of Kentucky, and why it’s such
a great time to be at EKU and in Madison County. This is not new information. I took this from Paul Coombs. I got his permission. He’s a professor, a retired
professor of economics. John, do you know Paul? He is summoned by all
sorts of various groups and legislative committees
to present his information. But he’s divided Kentucky
into nine economic regions. And when I heard him
give this lecture, I said, Professor–
I raised my hand and I said, have you
heard of the book the Nine Nations
of North America? It was written by a
Canadian social demographer back in the early 1980s. And he makes this argument
that North American could be divided into these
very distinct, both geographic, and political, and
cultural areas. And in some ways, what we
have in the Commonwealth is a mirror of what this
gentleman came up with again in 1982. We are put into
the Lexington area, because we are defined
as a micropolitan area. And what that means is that
the Census Bureau looks at employment interchanges
between counties, and they try and
figure out, are there counties that can be
taken into a larger area? And a point of fact, we are
taken into the Lexington area that also includes Frankfurt. So let me show you
some key statistics on what Kentucky looks like. And there’s a little
bit of quiz here. So let’s see how y’all do. What is the most densely
populated area of Kentucky? Northern. And why is that? Well, it’s smaller. You’re across the
river from Cincinnati. Being more densely
populated, the fact is that there are
economies of scale here in terms of
public services. It’s a smaller distance to go. You can put more
into a general area. But you can see the
population in terms of densely populated
weighs heavily in favor over Northern Kentucky. Where is Madison County? You probably can’t
see these bar charts, but again, this will
be on the website. You can see Jefferson County,
Fayette County up here, up above Kenton County. And we’re about to come
to the bottom floor tile there, in the largely
blue shaded areas. The three counties
over 30 times are more dense than the sparser
counties, so those three right there. Which of the nine regions
has the least population growth this decade? These are your choices. Mountain, Cumberland, Paducah
– Purchase, Louisville. Mountain. That’s fairly easy. And you can see here that last
year, the census data suggests that Kentucky, we
gained 74,000 persons, but the declining population
is at the tails of our state. The Paducah – Purchase area and
the Mountain area to our east. In fact, they had more deaths
than births in the Mountain region. And you can see the percent has
changed over the last 15 years. Again, a net gain
of 54,000 people. But look what’s happened to the
two tail areas of our state. So what does that mean? That means that the
population growth really is focused in on our region. And you can see
that, back in 19– the blue shaded
areas– 1969, they were the fifth–
beg your pardon– they were third in
terms of populated, but look what’s happened now. They’re fifth, headed
toward seventh. So their population is
going the other direction. What has had the strongest
job growth since the 2008-2009 recession? As economists, as political
scientists, historians, even those in the legislature,
we pay attention to these kind of key benchmarks. And 2008-2009 is one of
those kind of markers, if you will, that
we look to and say, what’s happened since then? What’s had the
strongest job growth? Lexington– excuse
me– our region. Is that surprising? How many of you would
have thought Louisville? Heavily manufacturing. But you’ll see here in
a second, the job growth has come in an area we’re
perfectly attuned to address. So that is where the
biggest job growth has come since the recession. Employment growth since the
bottom of the last recession, and that’s all industries. Let me show you a
couple more here. We’ll get through these. There we go. Which of the nine
regions– again, think of all the ones out in
the western part of the state, too– has the highest
government payroll per capita? This can be state, it can be
federal, it doesn’t matter. Which one do you think? Stephen, you have your hand up. Which one is it? [INAUDIBLE] No, sorry, I didn’t
mean to be harsh on you, but that’s not right. [LAUGHTER] I know Stephen,
so I can say that. Anybody else? I was surprised by this one. It’s actually Bowling
Green – Hopkinsville. Anybody know why? Well, there you go. Fort Campbell. Fort Campbell, as you know,
straddles both states, but their payrolls run out
of the Kentucky side of it. So Frankfurt, of
course, and Fort Knox accounts for some of those
other government jobs. So that’s where the largest
government payroll is. Which region has the highest
rate of high school graduates? Lexington, Owensboro –
Henderson, Northern Kentucky, Bowling Green. What do you think? Northern Kentucky. Again, think about
densely populated, more high schools within
a smaller geographic area, and that has the highest
high school graduates. Now the next one,
look at this, OK? We are in the 89th
percentile in Kentucky in terms of the high school
graduates in our state. The problem is that we
plummet to the bottom floor tile in percentage
of our citizens with at least some
post-secondary education. The national average,
if you can see this, this is high school diploma. There we are. 83rd percentile of the
United States, 86th. But look at the highest
rate of college graduates. And this is what, to me, is more
telling and more frightening. Which one do you
think has the highest rate of college graduates? Right here, Lexington. Our region. Again, Lexington, Madison
County, Frankfort. So what happens? We go from the 83rd,
85th percentile for high school graduates. And then we plummet
to the 21st percentile for college graduates. That’s not the kind of
economy that our state leaders want to continue,
engender, and build upon. We need more college graduates. These statistics I
hope give you an idea that it’s a great time
to be in Madison County. We are having significant
growth in terms of our economy, net migration into our county. All the folks that travel
back and forth to Lexington, or Frankfort, or
other areas to work, but spend many of
their tax dollars right here in our county. So it is a great time
really to be where we are. Not a day goes by that I don’t
think about this gentleman. I didn’t have a
chance to meet him, but I’ve read enough about him,
and I’ve had plenty of people tell me about him. He cast a very long
shadow on our campus, literally and figuratively. He, of course, Robert R.
Martin was the president, and he arrived in 1960. This slide shows
our square footage from the inception in 1904,
1906, all the way projected through 2020 and beyond. Robert R. Martin
arrived here in 1960. And we were fairly
steady, somewhat static for several decades. He arrives in 1960,
he’s here until 1976. Look what happens to
our square footage. It goes up almost five-fold. What are we dealing with now? Is infrastructure that is
50, 60, almost 70 years old. That is why we are talking about
this campus revitalization. And part of that
process is a master plan that is now being undertaken
by a very, very good firm out of Blacksburg,
Virginia, called HEWV. They will be back
here in about 10 days, and very– they’re going
to have open meetings. They’re going to have forums
on campus and in our community. It is your chance
to participate, to give your input
as to where we should go in terms of growth. Where should the
residence halls go? What about traffic flows? What about making campus
more pedestrian friendly? What about hearkening back
to the Olmsted Brothers architecture along Lancaster,
and not the Moore Building architecture. How do we make campus feel
more easily navigable, more pedestrian friendly? So I really hope
you’ll participate. I want to give you
just one example. And we’ve only had
one– I’ve only had one meeting with this group,
because we only hired them just a few weeks ago. But they came to campus. They walked around. They spent a week
here, and they talked to a whole bunch of people. And they came back
and they said, what is your favorite
building on campus? I said, without a doubt,
my favorite building is the Keen Johnson building. Not only because of
its architecture, but the history of it,
and the story of it. They said that’s ours, too. And they said,
how would you like to see it more kind of focused
or showcased on campus? And I said well, that’s
why we hired you. You tell us. So they said OK, we
did a little sketch. And another really unique aspect
of this campus is the ravine. We have never seen right smack
dab in the epicenter of campus this big open space where
students can hang out, and they can go to a
concert, and if you want to teach a class out
there and put up a hammock, it’s right there, right
in the middle of campus. The problem with
the ravine is it’s blocked by a bunch of cars
that park along the side of it. So they said, well why don’t
you take the traffic coming off of Crab and Second, and have it
drive that direction as opposed to coming off of Lancaster,
and showcase with benches, with decorative flag
poles, would make it a lot more pedestrian friendly. And as you drive
up, what do you see? The most spectacular building
on our campus, Keen Johnson. That is one idea. And I called them
yesterday to make sure it was OK that I
shared this with all of you. But that’s one idea that came
out of their walk around, if you will, during
their first visit. Winston Churchill once said
we shape our buildings, and thereafter, they shape us. This is our chance
to shape our campus in a very significant way
that will be felt for decades and generations to come. Again, to quote Mr. Churchill,
he talks about our finest hour, and how destiny touches
each of us on the shoulder and gives us the
chance to do something that’s really unique and
fitted to our talents. And I really believe this is
one of our finest moments. We’re going to look
back on this period of this revitalization project
as one of those moments where we had a chance
to make a difference. And we’ve got to grasp it. I mentioned Professor Klotter. I had a chance to
meet him back in July. And he wrote a book called The
Concise History of Kentucky. And it was actually
really interesting. I didn’t know we had a
Monkeys Eyebrow, Kentucky. Anybody know that? Monkeys Eyebrow, Kentucky. He talked about this governor. Now, Professor
Appleton, who is this? [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGHTER] He can’t see that well. OK, well, we’ll give
you a pass, Professor. You’ve written 10
books, so we’ll give you a pass on that one. This is Governor Fields. Now Governor Fields
was elected in 1924. I didn’t know
anything about him. And Professor Klotter said
not too many Kentuckians do. He was from Olive Hill. And apparently, his kind of
tag line for his campaign was Honest Bill from Olive Hill. And his opponents
took that and said, he’s Dodging Bill from Olive
Hill who answers no questions and never will. So it got nasty
back there in 1924. But, he came into office and
proposed what at that time was as a bold a plan as
anybody had ever talked about. He, if you can imagine,
again, kind of getting the historical context. You’re only six, seven
years removed from the war to end all wars. It’s the roaring ’20s. The Great Depression is a
few years in the future. But he proposed for the state
of Kentucky a $75 million bond issue. In today’s dollars, that would
be about a $20 billion bond. $75 million, and
it was going to go to roads, charitable
institutions, prisons, and schools, and
address a whole kind of panoply of needs
that the state had. What happened was the fight
over this bond issue turned into an urban and rural issue. As you can appreciate, the rural
parts of the state loved it. They were finally
going to have access to schools and to services
that they never had. The urban areas
said absolutely not. In fact, the two big
newspapers, the Courier Journal and the Herald Leader
were divided on it. If you can believe it, it
passed the legislature. But then it went
to a general vote, and the bond issue went
down by 100,000 votes. And Professor Klotter in
his speech– his speech was entitled “Lost
Opportunities.” He said what would have happened
in Kentucky if we had built schools, and infrastructure,
and services in the 1920s, far in advance to what our
surrounding states were doing in the region or in the country? That was a lost opportunity. And I am committed not to
lose this opportunity for EKU. We are making no little plans. We’re going to think big. And this revitalization
program is part and parcel of that plan. And the last few minutes that I
have, and then I’ll open it up to some questions, this
is the quote, of course, from Daniel Burnham, one
of my favorite characters of the 18th and 19th centuries. He’s a great architect
and a great city planner and a great visionary who talked
about making no little plans. But the proposed Center
for Student Life, if you were to add it all up
in terms of the investment, in residence halls, in
a new dining facility, in new mixed-use
spaces that includes both athletics and other
purposes, is about $215 million of investment. Think about the
impact that will have on local contractors,
subcontractors, suppliers, workers, our economy kind of
writ large in Madison County. Let me share a couple
of ideas an images of what we’re talking about. Of course, the tennis
courts have been relocated. What we have planned
for this space here, I’ll show you in
just one second. But this is an
aerial shot of really what is the center
of our campus. Kind of all built
around the same time. These, of course,
are the Olmsted designed buildings that also–
Olmsted Brothers, as you know, are the ones that
designed Central Park, and did many parks in
Louisville as well. But you see the [? Cohens ?]
Building, the Weaver Building, Martin Hall, of which
is a 1960s vintage. But it looks a little
tired, doesn’t it? It looks a little tired. So our job, our task,
is to revitalize this middle of campus in a
way that our students will appreciate. It will attract more students,
increase our retention efforts, and again, lead to we believe
greater graduation rates. Let me– this, I won’t
go through all this, but again, this will
be on the website. This gives you an
idea of a synopsis of what we’re talking about. The public private
partnerships that we’ve done, this $25 million each, in
the aggregate, $75 million in new residence facilities,
a wellness center that will be a privately-funded
proposition, the Center for Student Life, which
includes, of course, the renovation of
Powell Building and a new Student Rec Center. The new campus
entry point, which I’ll show you in a second,
the Carloftis Garden, the Wellness Center. All of these things are part
of the complete package, if you will. We had some challenges with the
bid when this first went out, but the entrance point off
of Barnes Mill and Lancaster, this will be the new
pedestrian gateway that is privately funded. And we’ll do a ribbon
cutting and an official groundbreaking here in
just the next few weeks. But our goal is to, we hope
to have this wrapped up by the end of the year. But a contractor should
be selected soon. But y’all remember
what was here before. Combs Hall. Combs Hall. And we will have
an appropriate spot to memorialize and
recognize Earle Combs, one of the greatest
Richmond residents and a member the Hall
of Fame for baseball here in the next little
while, part of Murderers’ Row in the 1927 Yankees. This is what we’re
proposing– again, privately funded– to go in
the spot of where the tennis courts are. So where the tennis courts were,
right there along Lancaster, this will be a new Alumni
and Welcome Center. And the idea is to
have on the back side of it Carloftis Garden. And the very first
point of contact, remember I talked about
that first interaction, how important it
is for a student to have a positive experience
when they first come to campus. They will begin their tour
at this Welcome Center. And the idea is to
have parking, to have the history of the intuition,
to have a small theater where the orientation can take place,
and then you walk the students out the back side
through the garden and right into the
middle of campus. And this will be, not only
for our prospective students, but also our Alumni Center,
where our alumni will come back and enjoy their class
reunions, various functions. We’ll continue to
use the Blanton House for various luncheons
and other functions. Some of our development
folks are there right now. But Nick and his team
are working on a plan. You can see the
architectural rendering of what it will look like,
or what it might look like. And we hope this will be
one of the great additions to our campus. What’s happened in
the last 18 months in terms of how we’ve tried to
beautify and improve campus? A couple of things, we’ve
rebranded our University Club. I see Kim and her
associates here. This is a great asset
for the university. It’s a great asset
for our community. And we try to make
it very clear that it belongs to the university. It’s one of our, if
you will, showpieces. If you haven’t been
out there lately, the house has been in a lot
of ways redone and improved. The paddock, it’s a great place
to host individuals and guests. And we’re very proud
of what’s going on at the University Club. Alumni Coliseum, of
course, hosts a lot of our games and activities. But, even more
significantly, it’s home to really signature moments
for our students– graduation. This is what it
looked like before, and this is what it looks
like now, with a new lining and a new floor. And you’ll see even more
improvements and additions here in the next little while. Take a look at it
on graduation day. That’s the game against
Belmont that was on ESPN. And even the
announcer said, man, I can actually see in here now. [LAUGHTER] They were really impressed
with the lighting. But that’s what it looks
like on graduation. And again, every college will
have their own ceremony in AC, and they can craft
it any way they like. The Science Center. How many faculty
staff out there are going to have the chance to
move into the new science building, phase two? That is going to be
a maroon letter day. And there’s [? Mal, ?] even
[? Mal ?] gave us one of these. All right, [? Mal. ?] That is
going to be a maroon letter day for all of our
campus, but especially for those that are
in the Moore Building that will have the
chance to migrate over to our new facility. Look at that, $128 million and
340,000 square feet of space. Just an unbelievable addition. Our housing, of course,
this was a project that we did on our own with
our own bonding authority. And Katie tells me
that to a person– is this where you live, Katie? No, last year. Last year. To a student, everybody
wants to live there. A lot of students want
to live in New Hall. And for the proper
amount, see Nick after, we might put
your name on New Hall. But a great facility that,
by the way, is the only gold LEED certified residence
hall in Kentucky. Our new tennis court, thank you. [APPLAUSE] New tennis courts. If you haven’t had a chance to
go out there and try them out, it’s a very fast, nice
surface, but right there across from our current tennis complex. So those are the projects
that we’re working on now. But I wanted to give you
a summary of what we’re going to focus on,
that actually I present tomorrow to one of the
Capital Review Board on what our state
requested projects are. So we have three. Priority number one
is a new Model Lab School and a new College
of Education Facility. [APPLAUSE] Some have said, well,
you’re only doing this because your kids go there. No, that’s not true. Sure, I like to walk
in there and see the cornerstone that says 1963,
which was two years before I was born. And, in a lot of ways, I don’t
think it’s changed since 1963. The fact of the matter is, we
have in the Model Lab School, and its partnership
with our College of Ed, the only remaining lab
school in Kentucky, and one of the
few in the region. We’re going to make
a case tomorrow that this can be just like
our Justice and Safety Center, where you train all of the
commission law enforcement officers in the
state of Kentucky. Every teacher will
have to come back to Model or our
College of ED to get reaccredited,
recertified, retooled, retrained in their
specific teaching area. The latest pedagogy,
the latest technique, all can be refined developed
within our College of Ed than tried at the
new Model Lab School. It’s a great place,
and a great school, and a wonderful facility
with a wonderful history. That’s project number one. Number two is the renovation
of the Moore Building. So we’re going to try our
best to make a case with very graphic photographs of the
busted pipes from last winter, or two winters ago, of just
how bad the Moore Building is. And I’ll say it
nicely, but it’s bad. And that is project,
or priority number two. Number three is a
new aviation facility at Madison County Airport. So, new hangar space, new
really central facility that will host and be home
to one of the best, if not the best, aviation
program in the United States. Those are our top three
state-funded requests. Now, as you know, it
follows to legislature to make the decision
as to how they fund, or which ones they fund,
and they may take one, they may take two, they
may take three and two. We’ll see what happens. But it falls to us to
do our very, very best to exercise our first
amendment rights for a redress of grievances. So that’s what we’re
going to try and do. Again, to talk a little
bit about the Center for Student Life, which again,
is non-state funds, but let me conclude with a few images
of what we’re proposing. A renovated Student Powell
Union, where we propose, and we’ll– again,
this is a still fluid. But we’re proposing taking
the food service elements out of Powell and putting
them into a new dining facility or facilities, maybe a
few remote locations on campus, and letting the students
determine what they want in their student union. What does Katie want
in terms of club space? What does she want in
terms of meeting space? What would she like in terms
of maybe a faculty student lounge, where faculty
and students can come for a cup of coffee
and talk about things. So, if we can gut it [INAUDIBLE]
stern and redo Powell, that will be one of the
options that we’re considering. It’s a great spot. It’s the best
location on campus. But it’s tired. And it’s cut up. And they have staircases
that lead to the ceiling. And– [LAUGHTER] You all think I’m
joking, but I’m serious. Go in and to take a selfie. [? Dave, ?] isn’t that right? There’s a staircase
that leads nowhere. You’ve heard about
the bridge to nowhere, we have the
staircase to nowhere. Again, these are renderings of
what the Powell Student Union may look like when it’s done. Very exciting though. Betina Gardner, where’s Betina? Betina gets to look out every
day, and her colleagues, at what the Noel Reading
Porch will add to our campus. But, just think
about two years ago what that little plaza
area looked like. You had a driveway. You had wrought iron fence. You had dead trees. You had steam coming
out of the ground. [LAUGHTER] And look at it now. We’ve really made some I think
very significant progress to beautify that area and
make it a place of gathering for our students, an outdoor
reading area that will, I hope, be utilized by everybody. This is the proposed
site, of course, for the new Model Lab School. We took out these
ball fields and we’re in the process of finding
some temporary fields for them to use. But this is what the proposed
look of the new model school might consist of. We’ve asked– [APPLAUSE] Thank you. [APPLAUSE] We’ve been very specific. We don’t want one of
those middle schools with a blue roof, or
even a maroon roof. We’d like one that fits into
the general architecture, that one sees walking
down Lancaster with the Georgian
columns and the facades that will really make it tie in. Imagine if you’re
sitting at the light there at the bypass
in Lancaster. And instead of seeing
what you see now, you’ll see this beautiful
complex that on the backside would also house
the College of Ed. So again, these
are just renderings that a firm has done
for us to give us an idea about the
connectivity, et cetera. Some of the improvements we’ve
made to our athletic facilities that of course is used
by our student athletes, but also by locals. Local teams use our new
baseball– or our old baseball field, with the new
lights, that now it lends them to play extended hours. Let me give you an idea
of– this is an older one. I don’t think it will be
nearly this big, where we’ve gone through various iterations
of what a new baseball stadium may look like,
again, named for Earle Combs, but it will be much
smaller than that and much more kind
of scaled down. But the idea, Earle
Combs, his grandson lives across the street from me. So he keeps very close
tabs on what we’re doing. And I told him, when
the building came down named for his grandfather,
that we needed to recognize his contribution. Not every day you
have a chairman of the board of
your regents that’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Softball, to be
compliant with Title IX, and to support our
female student athletes just every bit as much as
we support our male student athletes, proposing a new
seating area, and media area, concession area for softball,
that if all goes well, we’ll be breaking ground on this
just in the next little while. So coach Worthington get another
600 wins in this new complex. Roy Kidd Stadium. What can you say about
the Begley Building? We don’t know what we’re going
to do with the Begley Building. And if you’ve been in it
lately, it’s not ADA accessible. It’s got some real challenges. We tried our best. Our maintenance crew
has done a great job trying their best to
maintain it and preserve it, but we’re trying to figure out
exactly how to better utilize it. If it’s going to be the home
to our graduation ceremony, and to the students if they
want to go out and have a movie on a movie
night on the field, and put it up on the Jumbotron,
if they want to use it for high school
band competitions, and if we want to start hosting
high school playoff games where you bring a whole bunch
of prospective students to EKU and to Richmond
and to our economy, we can’t do it with
what we’ve got. The irony is that
Western Stadium was built, or designed and
built by the same people in the same year. The only design difference
is they did theirs in this kind of little curve,
a little concave, if you will. Same kind of
reinforced concrete. And the idea was, when
they redid theirs, they built a whole
new grandstand on the other side,
which is something that we’re considering as well. This is our new facility. I’m just kidding. This is Notre Dame. [LAUGHTER] When you have a $7
billion endowment, like the Fighting Irish in Notre
Dame, you can do a $450 million renovation to your
football stadium. Now the interesting
thing about Notre Dame is we’ll never, ever be able
to do what they’re doing. But the concept is this. There’s touchdown Jesus
on the Hesburgh Library, and nobody ever wants to
kind of obfuscate that view, so in the north end zone,
they won’t do anything. But this on the east side is
now their athletic offices, their training center,
their student athlete academic center. In the south end zone
is the conservatory and the School of Music. So practice rooms, a concert
hall overlooking the football field, in the south end zone. On the west side is a
student union, a rec center, and, all told, that is– I can’t
remember how many square feet. It’s just staggering. But they’re spending
$450 million to renovate what they’re
calling the Crossroads Project. And Father Jenkins
said, why would we have a football stadium that
you use six days a year? Why not have something in
the middle of your campus that’s used every single
day by every single student if they choose to come
and go the student union, or practice in a practice
room, or some other activity. From that, we’ve taken
the idea that maybe we can come up with a stadium
design, a renovation idea, that can have multiuse space. So on the east
side, if we choose to do something like this,
could it be mixed use? Yes, football would
be the primary tenant. But what other spaces could
be utilized by other people at various times? That grew into a discussion
of what about the west side? What about partnering
with our students and maybe looking
at a rec center, where you share
HVAC and you share cable and conduits and
all that sort of thing, and tie it into both a rec
center and part football stadium? I tell you this because, again,
everything is very fluid. We are looking at a
lot of different ideas. And one thing we’re
going to do is to listen from our students,
their input as to what they would like in
their new rec center. These are just
concepts and ideas, but I wanted to show them to
you tonight– or today, rather. It feels like night. We’ve been here a long time. [LAUGHTER] So I wanted to show
them to you today as a kind of a precursor
to the fact that we’ll have more conversations
in the future about what the facility might look like. I encourage you to follow
what is going on on campus through various social media. Doug and his team I think
do a fantastic job keeping current on what’s happening. And, as you know, the students
had me hijack apparently our Instagram
account and Snapchat. So I’m supposed to be taking
pictures throughout the day and Snapchatting
it to our students, because that’s how
they communicate. And if you get a message
through Twitter that comes to me and I forward it to
you, that’s the best way I know how to communicate
students’ concerns. But please pay attention to
those areas of social media. Finally, let me
conclude with this. The future really does
look bright at EKU. This is one of our graduates
from just this last May. I want to end where I started. And that is, as we reflect
on a new academic year and the excitement that comes
with a new freshman class that will set foot on campus
on Friday, that remember how incredibly fortunate
we are to be here today, to be where we are,
to work with students, and hopefully change
in a positive way their lives and their futures. Thank you very, very much. And go Colonels. [APPLAUSE] Richard, before I
turn it over to you, I’ve got some time
for some questions. I know I’m meeting with
some faculty today, and I try to get to
as many as I can, but some are scheduled the
same time, so, any questions? How can we help? Beg your pardon? How can we help? How can you help? Wow, thank you very much. I appreciate that. The fact is, one thing I
love about our university is that we have a lot
of differing views, and different
perspectives, and opinions, but I hope that
we’ve engendered here on campus a collegial
place, where at times we may agree to disagree. But if there is something
that you feel like you can help us with, if there’s a
project that you particularly find fascinating, or
intriguing, or compelling, that you’ll volunteer your
time to serve on committees. That you’ll advocate for it. I look out on this
room, and we’re what? Almost 1,000 probably today. That’s 1,000 people
who, in a lot of ways, can be emissaries for what
we’re trying to do at EKU. So go out and tell
your friends, one thing we’ve done with our board
is, if you’ve noticed, we never meet in the
same place twice. And each board meeting is
hosted by a different college, because at the end of the
meeting, the college– whether it’s Dean Whitehouse,
or Dean Wade, or Dean Kappeler, it doesn’t matter,
they get the chance to kind of do their dog
and pony show of what’s going on in the college. And the board then leaves
and tells their friends, you will not believe what’s
going on in Health Sciences at EKU, or what they’re
doing in Justice and Safety. You can be the same
kind of advocate for us. Go out and tell the story,
recruit your friends, follow what’s
going on on campus. I flew back into town
just the other night, and without fail,
every time I go down the escalator at
Blue Grass Airport, it’s like hitting the sign,
play like a champion today at Notre Dame. I hit that little thing
of the placards that have EKU ads on them,
and telling our story, getting our message out, I
think is so vitally important. And faculty and staff
can help us do that. Any other questions? Wow, I had the easy
button with that one. Thank you very much. Yeah? Is that Fran? Yeah. Hey Fran. [INAUDIBLE] Great. Can you please address the
issue about [INAUDIBLE]? Yes, thank you. I had a feeling
that might come up. [APPLAUSE] As you know, when
I first got here, we did an across the
board raise for everybody. We follow that up with
phase one of our IPEP, which was our Institutional
Pay Equity Program. Phase two of IPEP has been
funded, has been put in place. Our next task is to finish
phase three of IPEP, and also continue to
refine the process whereby merit pay will be determined. We found that when we started
this conversation, that there was no really criteria that
was uniform across departments, or colleges, or even
for staff, as to how to evaluate people and
give them a merit pay increase, or a merit bonus,
however you want to call it. The one thing we’re
really looking at now is our enrollment,
and where we are, and if we can afford
to do a cost of living adjustment for everybody. And I don’t want to
promise anything now, because Barry, kind of, he
promised death if I did. But we are considering, looking
very carefully at where we are, and if we can do something
on the [? COL ?] side, that will be our next step. And other state
agencies have done it. We did our cost of living,
or across the board increase for everybody at a time where
not too many other places were doing increases. But our IPEP program I
think has gone pretty well, and we funded two of the three
cycles that we want to do. All right? With that, thank you very much. And here is Richard Day. Thank you. [APPLAUSE]