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President Returns from Travels

Eastern University President David Black returned to the St. Davids area and to his office at Eastern on March 24, after being away from the campus for a total of six months. According to Black, one month away was related to family needs, and the other five months were spent traveling to see people who have helped Eastern financially in the past and who may continue to do so in the future.

“The people I visited with were those whom we had considered the university’s major donor prospects,” Black said. “It was five months with people who matter very much to Eastern.”

Black spent the past months flying and driving throughout the country, but he also took advantage of some free time for reading and prayer. “It was refreshing,” he said.

Black did not worry about campus affairs while he was away because he trusted that everyone who leads the institution was doing a commendable job. While Black was away, the responsibilities of individuals such as Senior Vice President Tom Ridington and Provost Chris Hall were increased. These responsibilities included various kinds of decision making related to funds and systems on campus and being aware of how issues and happenings beyond the university were affecting students, faculty and the community.

“They did [the job] fine, and it’s my turn to start doing it again,” Black said. “There are an inordinate number of things to do [as president of a university]. I take that very seriously.”

Black would like to see progress made in various areas on campus. “As wonderful as our place is,” Black said, “we need better spaces for the performing arts, better spaces for the sciences and better spaces for recreation.”

Black noted that in comparison to other campuses, Eastern could be improved. “I think our students deserve better than we can currently offer them,” he said.

Returning to Eastern’s campus, Black has some long-term goals in mind. “I came back with a heightened concern over where our region and country are headed economically and the impact it has on all of our students and families,” he said. “That’s consuming a lot of my thoughts.” Despite the pressures of the job, Black maintains a devotion to Eastern.

“It’s great being back,” he said. “I missed students, colleagues, friends and this place.”

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