New EKU president to receive $400,000 salary

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) - Eastern Kentucky University will pay its new president an annual salary of $400,000, a 60 percent increase over the current president's salary.

Michael T. Benson will become Eastern's 12th president on Aug. 1. The 48-year-old Benson has been president of Southern Utah University. He succeeds Doug Whitlock, who is retiring.

Board Chairman Craig Turner said university compensation has to compete with other schools as well as corporations.

The university said in a statement Tuesday that Benson will also receive benefits that include a housing allowance, car and deferred compensation, in addition to a longevity and performance clause.

The university said Whitlock's salary is $250,000 annually.

Benson and his wife, Debi, announced a $50,000 commitment to create a scholarship endowment, and the school said he has secured another $50,000 from friends and supporters for the endowment.

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