Dr. Joseph (Jay) Morgan has been selected to serve as Murray State University’s next provost by Dr. Randy J. Dunn, MSU president. He was selected from a national pool of 84 candidates and was one of four finalists who interviewed for the position. The Provost serves as the university's chief academic officer.
Morgan holds a B.S. degree in agriculture science and business, and an M.S. in agriculture science from MSU. He earned his Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University in agricultural education.
He has been the associate provost for graduate education and research at Murray State since 2010. Morgan began teaching at MSU in 1997 in the Hutson School of Agriculture. He worked his way through the academic ranks, becoming a full professor in 2008. Morgan also served as graduate coordinator for agriculture for six years, and was the director of the Agriculture Leadership Development Program for nearly a decade. Prior to beginning his career at MSU, Morgan spent several years teaching and coaching at the high school level.
Morgan was the faculty regent at MSU from 2007-10, and has contributed service to a number of university committees. He also served on the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System board of trustees. Morgan is also a Murray City Councilman.
“MSU has a strong academic reputation that will continue to grow even stronger as we plan to implement new programs and expand our offerings in the near future,” Morgan said.
Current provost, Dr. Bonnie Higginson, has held the position since 2010. She is retiring from the provost’s office on June 30. MSU's Board of Regents will vote on Morgan's appointment in May.
Morgan will likely take the job amidst uncertainty surrounding MSU's presidency. The Board of Regents voted not to extend President Randy Dunn a new contract. Dunn is currently a finalist for two other presidencies, however his contract with MSU doesn't expire until June 30th 2014.
Regarding the university's future Morgan said, "I hope that I can work to reduce some the uncertainty that many feel - both on and off campus. Our University is very resilient and we will continue to concentrate on maintaining and furthering our great academic reputation. As we enter the next couple of years we are going to keep our main focus on our students and continue to provide them with a quality education. We have been educating students since 1922 -- and will continue to do so well into the future."
If the board approves Morgan's appointment he will begin his new duties on July 1.