Dunn Withdraws From Missouri State's Search for New President

Oct 15, 2012

Ahead of a Monday night Board of Governor's meeting to decide on a new president of Missouri State University, Murray State President Dr. Randy Dunn has self-selected out of the running for that post. In an emailed statement Dr. Dunn cites his love for Murray and Missouri State's affinity to it's internal candidate Clif Smart, as reasons for withdrawing. Smart currently serves as Missouri State's interim president, he also served as the university's general counsel. The University hosted both Dunn and Smart last week for on-site interviews.

Dunn's Statement is below:


Monday, October 15, 2012 – 2:00 p.m.

Effective immediately, I am withdrawing as a candidate for the Presidency of Missouri State University. 

I take this action this afternoon in advance of the meeting of the Missouri State University Board of Governors where they are slated to make their pick for the 11th President of MOSU. 

Having come through a wonderful Racer Homecoming Weekend at Murray State, both Ronda and I have been heartened by the ongoing statements of support and encouragement from many alumni, donors, friends, and community members—expressing their hope that we might remain at Murray State to continue our work here. 

At the same time, it has become increasingly clear to me in the past few days from various statements, reports, and editorial commentary that the Springfield community has wanted “one of their own” to provide the next era of leadership for Missouri State.  As such, I have come to the conclusion that—even if I were to be chosen to be Missouri State’s next president—the level of support necessary as an external candidate to guide that institution into a bold and dynamic future would be lacking.

Missouri State faces significant demands in expanding beyond its immediate region to fulfill a true statewide mission symbolized by the name change from Southwest Missouri State in 2005.  As a public regional university—the same sector of higher education institutions that includes Murray State—MOSU has much work to do to heighten its profile in the Midwest region and nationally among such ranking agencies as US News and World Report and others.  These challenges were a big part of what attracted me to that school.

However, for any university to ignite that kind of upward trajectory takes an absolute buying-in of the complete University Community behind a new  President…and I’ve decided that it would be very hard for an outsider to achieve that at Missouri State and in the larger Springfield region. 

Indeed…Murray State University, Murray, the Purchase, and the entire west Kentucky region we serve are places we’ve come to love.  So we’ve decided that Missouri State is neither the institution nor the locale for which we should leave this place.

I wish MOSU and the new President the best in their future endeavors.  It has the potential to be a great public mid-major institution.

In the meantime, I will continue my efforts to be the best President for Murray State University that I can be for the time I am blessed with the honor of continuing in that role.