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Message from Chair Diaz

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Dear faculty and staff,
As a proud graduate of this outstanding university, and one of its youngest board members, I am humbled and grateful to be selected as the next Chair of the EKU Board of Regents. I thank our elected and appointed Regents for their confidence in my ability to lead the board, and I accept this important role with the utmost respect and admiration for each and every member. I will continue to work closely with our Regents, University leadership, Foundation and partners throughout the region to continue the momentum that will propel EKU and the students it serves into the brightest possible future.

We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Mr. Craig Turner for his unwavering devotion to EKU. Craig expended an incredible amount of time, energy, resources and expertise during his 12 ½ years of service on our Board of Regents. As Chair, Craig led the physical transformation of the Campus Beautiful, which now gives us a revitalized foundation to renew our journey together. In appreciation for Craig’s service, the Board of Regents, by motion of Vice Chair Alan Long, enacted the attached Resolution. As the newly elected Chair, I was honored to sign it.

Eastern has always had, and will forever have, an important place in my heart. When I arrived as a student-athlete in 1996, a Cuban native who was raised in Miami, Florida, my transition to becoming a Colonel was not easy at first. But because of the community of classmates, coaches, faculty and staff who welcomed me into the Eastern family, the trajectory of my life was forever changed. I can vividly remember each individual who said the right thing or set the right example to shape my EKU experience in a positive light. Many of these difference-making individuals remain at EKU or later became employed at EKU. I now look forward to supporting them, along with all faculty and staff, as we continue to shape experiences and prepare our students for careers that will make an impact on the Commonwealth, the country and world.

When I was a first-year student-athlete, still unsure of my abilities, there were two distinct signs in our locker room and practice field that spoke to me. They said, simply, “Those who stay will be Champions” and “Expect to Win.” In time, these words taught me the importance of persistence and adopting a winning mindset when going into any new challenge.

As I think about our direction moving forward, I find that I am grateful to have President Benson at the helm of our University. Dr. Benson and I share a similar mindset, similar values and an unwavering commitment to institutional excellence. To me, this means that we will “Expect to Win” in every endeavor that we undertake, from student achievement, to degree attainment, to academic excellence in teaching, learning and discovery, to our first-class staff support services, to our men’s and women’s athletic programs. EKU will remain the University of choice in our service region and beyond.

In addition to my personal determination to ensure success for EKU, there are several shared priorities that I am positive will help us excel to new heights. It is through our united efforts that we will realize greater prosperity and accomplishment. I look forward to working with you as we focus on these areas/goals:

1. Academic and Operational Excellence;
2. Institutional Research & Student Success;
3. Faculty and Staff Innovation; and
4. University Development.

By keeping the focus on our priorities, I am positive that 2019 will be another great year. It is our responsibility to create a beneficial learning, working and living environment for our students, faculty and staff. Each of you, our students, alumni and the citizens in our Commonwealth deserve nothing less.

EKU is known as the school of opportunity. I believe that working with the Colonel community and the University administration as the Board Chair is yet another opportunity that EKU has provided to me, and I am thankful to serve my alma mater in this new role. Together we can accomplish great things for Eastern Kentucky University.

It’s a Matter of Pride

Lewis Diaz

Chair, EKU Board of Regents

Published on January 18, 2019

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