Murray State Faculty And Staff Want President Who "Really Cares" And Understands Region
The next Murray State president should have roots with the university and should understand the region. That was the general consensus from faculty, staff and community leaders at an open forum on Monday of the recently-formed presidential search committee.
Committee Chair Lisa Rudolph and others on the committee talked about the importance of including faculty and staff input in the decision-making process. WKMS News estimated more than 60 in attendance.
Faculty and staff said they wanted to see a president who “really cares about Murray State,” who is not always on campus but rather out fundraising, recruiting students and engaging alumni; someone who respects and values faculty and staff and will place an emphasis on the “academic endeavor.”
Music professor (and volunteer host of Cafe Jazz on WKMS) Todd Hill said Murray State needs someone who “understands” the university and regional community. “We’ve had kids last longer in Racer Band than the presidents that we’ve brought in from the outside,” Hill said. “And I’ll say this: the kids in the Racer Band have seemed to have a little bit more commitment to the institution than the people we’ve brought in.”
Gayle Rogers is an adjunct and her husband Bob Rogers is Murray mayor-elect and former Murray Independent School District Superintendent. She said MSU’s outreach into school systems could be improved. “I think we need someone who works very closely with superintendents, counselors and principals to get these kids interested in Murray State from freshmen level on,” she said. She added that her husband campaigned for mayor on the idea of ‘working together,’ and sees a partnership between MSU and the city as a strength when seeking funding.
Renee Compoy of the Women’s Faculty Caucus called for the committee to consider women candidates and candidates with diverse backgrounds.
Harold Doran of the Murray State University Foundation read a letter expressing support for interim President Bob Jackson. Doran credited Jackson for growing the foundation by $40 million over five years and for giving out $12 million in scholarships. "We strongly recommend the Board of Regents to move forward with the appointment of Dr. Jackson as 14th President of Murray State University," Doran read. Jackson served as foundation president prior to his appointment as interim president in August following the departure of Bob Davies.
The committee will hear input from students on Wednesday.
Committee Chair Lisa Rudolph said the process will be set in the December 7 Board of Regents meeting. The formal meeting process will begin December 14.