Michael Benson will be the next president of Eastern Kentucky University.

Benson, currently head of Southern Utah University, was chosen Friday after a closed-door session of the EKU Board of Regents.

Benson takes over an institution with shrinking enrollment, that’s undergone dramatic budget cuts and staff reductions.

Board of Regents Chairman Craig Turner says the new president can now be the good cop and help heal staff morale.

Benson will probably visit the Richmond campus again next week. The regents hope he can assume the presidency in early August. He replaces EKU President Doug Whitlock, who retires this summer.