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EKU's president starts his new job

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) - Eastern Kentucky University's new president is starting his job on the Richmond campus.

Michael T. Benson's tenure as the school's 12th president begins Thursday. Benson had been president of Southern Utah University.

He succeeds Doug Whitlock, who retired. Benson brings nearly 20 years of administrative experience in higher education to his job at Eastern.

EKU's enrollment was above 15,000 students last academic year.

In June, 180 EKU staff members agreed to a voluntary buyout offer and 16 faculty members decided to take early retirement. It was part of a plan to reallocate funds to allow Benson to make strategic decisions.

Benson is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post as a blogger on higher education, and he is the author of a book titled "Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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