Murray State University’s Board of Regents have appointed Bob Jackson as Interim University President after a lengthy closed meeting Tuesday afternoon.
The board voted 9-1 in favor of Jackson. Student Regent J.T. Payne was the lone dissenter. Payne said he would support Jackson as Interim President, but he was “not who his constituents recommended.”
Jackson will begin the role on August 16 and will hold the position until the board selects a permanent president. His salary will be $309,218.
The appointment comes as current President Bob Davies resigns effective September 1 to be the next president of Central Michigan University.
Jackson said during his time as Interim President he wants to focus on increasing Murray State’s enrollment- which he said has had a 10% decline over the past four years.
He said the revival of a program called “Road Scholars,” will help increase enrollment. The program utilizes faculty, staff and administrators as active recruiters in about 100 targeted high schools.
“Just making sure they see Murray State and hear about Murray State. So they really know who we are, what we are and all of the wonderful programs we have here,” Jackson said. “And what it means to this entire region to come here versus somewhere else.”
Jackson said he believes this could be a “wonderful new chapter” for the university.
“I think everyone is looking for change and looking for positive budget outcomes and enrollment changes and all of those things,” Jackson said. “So let’s hope that we can impact that over the next several months.”
Public universities in Kentucky including Murray State have experienced setbacks due to recent state budget cuts, enrollment declines, and increased pension obligations.
When asked if he is considering applying for the permanent position, Jackson said he hadn’t thought past accepting the interim position.
New Regent Eric Fletcher Crigler and Student Regent J.T. Payne were also sworn in at the meeting.
This story has been updated.