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Murray State’s board of regents gets update on school’s centennial capital campaign

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Murray State University’s board of regents heard an update on the school’s recently announced capital campaign during Friday’s quarterly meeting.

The “Be Bold: Forever Blue and Gold Centennial Campaign” – officially announced during the school’s homecoming celebrations in October – aims to raise $100 million dollars for university support.

Half of these funds will be used to increase access and affordability for university students. The other half will be dedicated to academic excellence and the modernization of campus facilities and athletic programs.

Gifts from alumni and university friends and community partners have the school already more than halfway to its goal, with $52.5 million dollars raised during the campaign’s quiet phase.

This fundraising campaign comes in the midst of a downturn in enrollment for many colleges, with 1.3 million fewer students enrolled nationwide since 2020.

Murray State officials said this downturn hasn’t made its way to its campus, as outlined during September’s quarterly meeting when they announced enrollment was up 2.3% overall.

Even more recent numbers shared during Friday’s meeting indicate the number of applications received, students admitted and housing applications submitted in recent weeks has been slightly up. Applications are up .5% over the past couple of weeks, admitted students 1% and housing applications 17%.

The school also announced it would be adding one academic program – a Master of Science in Wildlife and Conservation Biology – and retiring eight others:

  • Teacher Education and Professional Development Specialist in Education
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development/Elementary Specialist in Education
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development/Middle School Specialist in Education
  • Global Language/Japanese Translation & Interpretation Track Bachelor of Arts
  • Global Language/Japanese Teaching Certification Track Bachelor of Arts
  • Global Language/Japanese Track Bachelor of Arts
  • Creative Writing Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts

University Provost Tim Todd said these programs were “performing poorly” and called it a “academic inventory cleanup” while confirming that it would not impact any current university staff.

A native of western Kentucky, Operle earned his bachelor's degree in integrated strategic communications from the University of Kentucky in 2014. Operle spent five years working for Paxton Media/The Paducah Sun as a reporter and editor. In addition to his work in the news industry, Operle is a passionate movie lover and concertgoer.
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