MSU launches Study of Regional Outreach and Empowerment

Staff Report

MOREHEAD – Morehead State University’s Blue Ribbon Committee to “Study of Regional Outreach and Empowerment” held its first meeting Wednesday (Sept. 28) at the Center for Health, Education and Research (CHER).

MSU President Wayne D. Andrews introduced the group and gave the charge to the committee.

Dr. Dan Connell, assistant vice president for adult education and college access, will serve as chair. He gave an overview of the structure and the goals of the group.

Connell explained, “The committee’s goal is to institute a unified and comprehensive system at Morehead State University to empower communities in the University’s service region through collaborative initiatives between the region and Morehead State University.”

The panel also will develop a plan with recommended strategies, outcomes, and impacts to empower the region through collaborative initiatives between the regional entities and Morehead State University utilizing MSU’s regional campuses.

The focus areas are: Educational Development; Economic and Workforce Development; Community Development; and School and Alumni Relations.

The Blue Ribbon Committee consists of Dr. Connell; Dr. Bob Albert, College of Business and Technology dean; Jared Arnett, Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) executive director; Chuck Charles, MSU at Ashland representative, Ashland mayor, Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital Foundation; Dr. Laurie Couch, interim associate vice president of academic affairs and academic programs; Denise Dials, TENCO director; Dr. Lynn Geurin, associate professor of social work and public child welfare program director; John Karaus, MSU at Mt. Sterling representative, vice president Boneal Inc.; Dr. Will Kayatin, senior director for higher education, Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative; Ancil Lewis, MSU at Prestonsburg representative, CEO Big Sandy Healthcare; Dr. J. Marshall, executive director for regional engagement; Dr. Wayne Miller, College of Science dean; Jennifer Reis, gallery director and arts entrepreneurship coordinator; Tim Rhodes, assistant vice president for enrollment services; John Will Stacy, economic development director; Brett Traver, Southeast Kentucky Economic Development executive director; Jeff Whitehead, EKCEP executive director; and Gail Wright, Gateway Area Development District executive director.

The committee will work as teams and research best practices and interview internal and external constituents and develop multi-year recommendations, outcomes, and impacts. In January, the group will review the work team plans and develop final recommendations. In April, a plan will be presented to the President and Cabinet for implementation with annual assessments each July.

Additional information is available by contacting Dr. Connell at 606-783-2612 or

Staff Report

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