EKU Named to Forbes List of America’s Best Employers

Published on February 22, 2024

By Sarah Bashford

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) was named as one of the best employers in Kentucky in the Forbes fifth annual list of America’s Best Employers by State. The university was among 49 employers across the Commonwealth recognized for worker satisfaction. EKU employs nearly 2,500 full- and part-time faculty and staff, making it one of the largest employers in the local community.

“Over the last three years, we’ve made a $10.3-million investment in our employees, through across-the-board pay raises, addressing market inversion and strategically elevating positions across campus,” said EKU President David McFaddin. “We are committed to making EKU a great place to work and an Employer of Choice for the region. Our priority is serving the amazing people who serve this institution.”

According to Forbes, 70,000 workers were anonymously surveyed at companies (minimum of 500 employees) across all 50 states. Participants were asked if they would recommend their employer to others, and to evaluate their employer based on working conditions, diversity, compensation packages, the potential for development, company image and more. 

Per EKU Human Resources, former employees have shared that they most liked the camaraderie among faculty and staff as well as the work environment, benefits, flexibility and time off.

EKU’s competitive benefits include health, dental, vision and life insurance, and state retirement plans with matching contributions. The university, taking pride in its quality academic programs, offers a generous tuition waiver for employees and their families. Additional perks include access to state-of-the-art campus facilities, like the new Campus Rec Center; early childhood and pre-K-12 education, including the Burrier Child Development Center and Model Laboratory School; the BlueMine health clinic, offering those on EKU’s health plans and their spouses and children with basic healthcare for zero co-pay; and an employee wellness program, rewarding employees for healthy habits.

In 2022, McFaddin signed a policy enacting parental leave for all eligible employees including maternity, paternity and adoption leave. EKU became one of the first higher education institutions in Kentucky to adopt a telework policy, offering hybrid and summer and winter flexible schedules. EKU also provides 26 paid days off for holidays and spring break, boasting one of the most competitive leave schedules among public institutions in the Commonwealth. Additionally, employees receive up to 22 vacation days per year, depending on years of service, and one sick day per month with no maximum. 

“EKU is the place where every morning, you get up and you’re excited to come and make a difference in the lives of not only the students who choose EKU, but also your fellow employees. When we talk about being a family at EKU, we mean it,” said McFaddin. “We’re investing in our employees; we’re supporting our employees; and we deeply value each and every member of our faculty and staff.”

EKU offers a variety of careers from administration to faculty to facilities maintenance and more. Those interested in joining EKU’s workforce can search and apply for open positions at careers.eku.edu.