By Melody Bailiff
The Staff Senate hosted an open forum featuring the preferred candidate for the position of executive vice president for finance and administration, Eric Monday.
“We need to get to a point where everyone in Kentucky can say the University of Kentucky does something for them or has an impact in their life,” Eric Monday said Thursday morning.
Monday is currently the vice chancellor for finance administrative services and chief financial officer at Louisiana State University.
A search committee began the process by reviewing 50 potential candidates.
From there, UK had 10 personal interviews and brought five candidates to Lexington. Monday is the selected preferred candidate.
Monday spent the majority of the forum answering questions from both those present and those watching online.
“In my first 90 days I plan to listen and learn by meeting with students, faculty and groups on campus. The idea of people coming to you doesn’t work. You have to go to them,” Monday said in response to an online question. “I go to the dining halls, interact with those on campus and respond to their needs.”
Monday said he enjoys days filled with meetings and learning about campus projects, and that listening to faculty and students is a major aspect of his management philosophy.
Building relationships among university legislative bodies, corporations and the community is something Monday said he has experience with and can use to better UK.
Monday was asked how he would handle problems. He responded by saying that he seeks to understand the side of every party involved, know the risks and rewards of a decision and go in a direction that is best for the university.
Student Anthony Pendleton asked Monday how he would handle projects on campus that cause disruptions, such as building renovations in White Hall Classroom Building. Monday said that as a university UK must look at transitions, and strong communication among departments will be necessary.
As part of his management philosophy, Monday said he “must focus on the student in order to build the best environment for success.”
“We … can disagree in private but must support each other in public,” Monday said.
UK Student Government Vice President Mary Katherine Kington asked Monday what he believed were the strengths of the university. Monday said focused leadership, a supportive board and a growing student body are major strengths right now.
Monday went on to say that the SEC has many schools with record-setting numbers of students in their freshman classes and a lot of diversity exists within those classes, and that UK is in that group.
When asked why he wanted to come to UK, Monday responded, “This is an amazing and exciting time for UK. The book is already bound and the pages are being filled in for the growth of the university.”
And arguably the most important question for Monday was left for last: basketball or football?
“Both,” Monday responded with a laugh.