EKU presidential search committee makes unanimous recommendation

Dr. David McFaddin
Dr. David McFaddin

RICHMOND, Ky. — Eastern Kentucky University’s presidential search committee voted unanimously Monday to recommend to the university’s board of regents that the presidential search for EKU’s 14th president be permanently suspended, and interim president Dr. David McFaddin have his interim title removed and be appointed president.

“The Eastern Kentucky University Presidential Search Committee met this afternoon and discussed interim president Dr. David McFaddin, who was named to that position Dec. 12, 2019. These last few months have been a real-world, on-the-job interview process as the university has had to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic while keeping the university moving forward. The committee unanimously voted to recommend to the board of regents that Dr. McFaddin be named Eastern Kentucky University’s 14th president,” said committee co-chairs Dr. Bryan Makinen and Dr. Jason Marion. “We feel that he has performed extraordinarily, and possesses the visionary and strategic leadership skills that Eastern deserves in its next leader. We are confident that his working relationships with key stakeholder groups will not only provide EKU with stability at this critical moment in the university’s history, but he will also continue to advance the university alongside his existing leadership team.

“We have an individual from our service region who loves this institution and has a passion for leading and shaping the lives of our students, faculty and staff. We would be remiss if we did not recognize the foundation that has been laid by Presidents Benson, Whitlock, and those who served before them.”

Board Chair Lewis Diaz announced the members of the search committee for Eastern’s new president at the Feb. 28 board meeting. But less than a month later, Diaz announced the search would be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the safety and well-being of our students and employees at the forefront, and with so much uncertainty before us as we worked to finish the spring semester, postponing the search was the best approach for the University community at that time,” Diaz said in March.

“The recommendation by the committee today will be taken under review. The committee includes a diverse group of local business and community leaders, university faculty, staff and administrators, together with alumni and student representatives, all of whom want EKU to fulfill its mission as a school of opportunity. I appreciate the committee’s leadership and hold their opinion in the highest regard,” Diaz said.

McFaddin was appointed interim president in December 2019, replacing Dr. Michael T. Benson.

“I have the utmost respect for the decisions made by the presidential search committee,” McFaddin said in a statement. “My goal has always been to serve the institution in the best possible way. I’m positive the recommendation made by the committee will receive careful consideration and due diligence by the board of regents. As this process unfolds, I will remain focused on the business of re-opening our great university to continue its tradition of being the School of Opportunity. We must ensure that our students have every opportunity to transform their lives for the better through educational attainment.”

The board of regents’ next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 10.