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Michael Benson
Michael Benson is President of Eastern Kentucky University, one of the Commonwealth's largest institutions with over 16,000 students. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young, a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, and a doctorate in modern Middle Eastern history from the University of Oxford.

Entries by Michael Benson

A Redress of Grievances

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 4:38 PM

Most students in my American Government class at Eastern Kentucky University can readily list the rights enumerated in the First Amendment: freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly -- along with the establishment clause and free exercise clauses relative to religion. What they tend to forget, however, is one...

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The Meaning of Libraries

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 8:40 AM

I have always loved libraries. Ever since I was a little kid, I eagerly anticipated visits to the local public library for story time or to check out the latest Hardy Boy novel. Granted, I should have been reading classics at a much earlier age but fiction held my attention...

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Roots and Wings

(0) Comments | Posted November 1, 2013 | 8:40 AM

In my twenty years of working in public higher education, I have attended countless graduation and presidential inauguration ceremonies. With these events have come scores of speeches, presentations, and tributes -- some of which have been incredibly inspiring and memorable. None I have ever heard, however, was as good or...

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2013 | 3:48 PM

Commencement exercises are set to launch on college campuses across America. For those of us fortunate to be involved in higher education, this season marks the pinnacle of the academic year as we celebrate the accomplishments of graduating seniors and the myriad sacrifices made by them and their loved one...

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What Good Is College?

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2013 | 3:22 PM

Recent headlines from newspapers and periodicals across America portend the imminent burst of the higher education bubble while calling into question the usefulness of a postsecondary diploma in the face of crushing debt encumbering so many college graduates. Even the noted pundit and author Charles Murray advocates "getting rid of...

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A New Year and a New Attitude

(1) Comments | Posted January 2, 2013 | 11:01 AM

With the dawn of a new year come the requisite New Year's resolutions to lose weight, to be a better person and, in my case, to shave a few strokes off the golf handicap. But I've also decided to focus on the principle that suggests that life is really about...

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Democracy's Miracle

(10) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 8:31 AM

I witnessed a miracle Tuesday morning. I did not have an epiphany or experience any type of revelation or reckoning. Rather, like millions of other Americans I walked into a polling place -- not unlike thousands across this country -- and in the privacy of a booth, cast a ballot...

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The Unifying Power of Language

(2) Comments | Posted October 22, 2012 | 2:05 PM

I recently had the chance to make my 17th visit to the State of Israel and was struck, once again, by a phenomenon unique to a nation created in May of 1948. Never before had a "dead" language been resurrected to become the national language for a new state. While...

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The British Empire, the Olympic Games and the Power of Sport

(2) Comments | Posted August 9, 2012 | 2:29 PM

London is a city of monuments. This is especially evident as images of this remarkable city and its Olympic venues are beamed to billions of people around the globe during this unparalleled sporting event. Equestrian statues, buildings, arches, parks, bronzes, boulevards -- all these speak to the glorious history of...

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Responding to the Graying Presidency

(0) Comments | Posted July 19, 2012 | 1:16 PM

A recent Chronicle of Higher Education cover story detailed the "graying presidency" and the inherent challenges are facing in grooming the next generation of university chief executives. Having become a president eleven years ago at age 36, I recognize the incredibly small group of us under the age...

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The Irreplaceable Value of the Liberal Arts

(2) Comments | Posted June 18, 2012 | 3:26 PM

Sociology, history, political science, economics and philosophy -- some have maintained that these and other "liberal arts" subjects are throw-away degrees offering little to no promise that those pursuing them will have any chance of employment in today's uber-competitive job market.

However, this list also represents, respectively, the undergraduate...

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To the Class of 2012

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2012 | 9:59 AM

As I approach my twentieth year working in public higher education, there are two times of the year that remain my absolute favorite: the excitement that surrounds the start of each academic year in the fall, and the collective sense of accomplishment -- and relief! -- that accompanies graduation in...

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What's the Big Deal With College Football?

(1) Comments | Posted May 29, 2012 | 4:34 PM

The following is not intended as a defense of the current BCS system, racked as it is with imperfections and inherent unfairness. Rather, I choose to celebrate the pageantry that is college football. And it is meant as a counter to an argument, recently promoted, by Buzz Bissinger...

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