Kratochvil retires from Board of Trustees

Analicia Haynes, Administration Editor

Roger Kratochvil, 77, is stepping down from Eastern’s Board of Trustees Feb. 1 after serving for 12 years.

“I enjoyed the camaraderie on the board,” Kratochvil said. “It was a joy to be with the Board of Trustees for 12 years.”

Kratochvil, from Mt. Olive, was first appointed in 2004 and served multiple positions including the Board chairman for two terms.

“I was the only one from the original Board still on,” Kratochvil said. “I had to get to know them (new members).”

Kratochvil said former Sen. Vince DeMuzio, requested he be appointed to the board and died the night Kratochvil was appointed.

“When I got the phone call from Vince (about the appointment), I was thrilled,” Kratochvil said. “I didn’t know he did this on his death bed.”

When he was the chairman, Kratochvil said he had a reputation for short meetings because he kept everyone on topic.

Kratochvil said he was not racing through the meetings; he just wanted to get people back on subject.

Kratochvil said he used a lot of humor in his speeches because if people can not laugh, they cry.

“Live life the way you want to live life,” Kratochvil said. “Don’t let anything stop you.”

As the president of the Mt. Olive Academic Foundation and chairman of the Macoupin County Housing Authority, Kratochvil said it was his time to leave the Board.

“I have to cut back,” Kratochvil said.

Kratochvil said driving to Eastern, a 129-mile trip both ways, was a long trip and his others positions take up a lot of time.

However, he said he would be keeping these other positions because they are closer to his home.

“There’s only so many hours in a day and you need to take the time to stop and smell the roses,” Kratochvil said. “Well, I’m smelling the roses but I don’t want to be under the gun.”

Kratochvil when Board members could be have to be a good member by going to games and activities on campus and getting involved with the university, not just attending the Board meetings.

The death of Kratochvil’s good friend Robert Webber had an influence in his departure from the Board.

Kratochvil said the key advice for remaining and future board members is to continue to do the very best for Eastern.

“I think they will do that,” Kratochvil said.

Kratochvil said everyone is equal on the board and their work is a collective effort rather than an individual one.

Kratochvil graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in education from Eastern in 1960 and was inducted into the Eastern’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998 for his time playing baseball.

During his time as an undergraduate, Kratochvil said he lived in Douglas Hall in the same room for all four years.

As chairman, he and several other members of the Board visited his old room before a meeting.

“We just wanted to see who lived there,” Kratochvil said.

A cancer survivor, Kratochvil said people should not let stuff set them back. Instead they have to deal with things, take care, and move on.

“Enjoy each year,” he said. “Before you know it you’ll end up like me, retired.”


Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]