Fayette County

Morehead State University introduces new president

Incoming Morehead State University president Dr. Joseph “Jay” Morgan plays with daughter Ella, 1, while his wife, Amber, looks on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky. Morgan will take up his new position July 1.
Incoming Morehead State University president Dr. Joseph “Jay” Morgan plays with daughter Ella, 1, while his wife, Amber, looks on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky. Morgan will take up his new position July 1. The Herald-Leader

In February, Morehead State University announced that there would be only one finalist in the search to replace Wayne Andrews as president.

On Wednesday, they made it official, presenting Joseph “Jay” Morgan as Morehead’s 14th president. Morgan, who toured the campus earlier this month, will start July 1.

“My family and I are honored and excited to become a part of the Morehead State family. It is a tremendous privilege to be selected to lead MSU,” Morgan said. “I look forward to building on the work of President Andrews, the board of regents and the university’s outstanding students, faculty and staff.”

Morgan’s four-year contract will be reviewed annually for any extensions. He will be paid $325,000 a year. He also will hold the academic rank of professor based on his experience.

Morgan is chief academic officer for the Council on Postsecondary Education, Kentucky’s higher education coordinating agency. He oversees curriculum, planning, legislative and policy development, and research and innovation, among other areas. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in agriculture at Murray State University before getting his doctorate in agricultural education from Oklahoma State University.

Morgan will join a host of other new presidents at Kentucky universities. M. Christopher Brown was recently hired at Kentucky State University, and Timothy Caboni is replacing Gary Ransdell at Western Kentucky University. The University of Louisville and Northern Kentucky University are conducting searches.

The new presidents will face enormous challenges, including state budget cuts and a new funding formula based on school performance. Morehead’s Andrews has said that the new formula will adversely affect smaller schools, including Morehead.

“Finding the most qualified person to be the right ‘fit’ to lead Morehead State University in the years ahead was the top priority for all of the regents,” said Paul C. Goodpaster, chairman of the board of regents. “We have found that in Dr. Jay Morgan. The landscape in higher education in Kentucky is changing, and we believe his knowledge and experience, especially with the new performance funding model, will enable him to partner with our faculty, staff, and administration to continue moving the university forward in challenging times and in providing MSU students with an extremely high-quality education.”

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