New Murray State President takes office - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

New Murray State President takes office

Posted: Updated:
MURRAY, Ky - Dr. Bob Davies is the 13th president of Murray State University and started his job Monday. He's mostly moving in boxes and meeting the people he'll work with every day, but told Local 6 he's already laying the groundwork for some of his plans for campus.  

Arriving from Eastern Oregon University, Davies said MSU is very different, especially in size. EOU has about 4,000 students and MSU has about 12,000. 

"It really hit me as I looked around at all these buildings and all these different things," he said. "I thought, 'I'm going to be responsible for this.This is a whole new level."

He's spent some time every day walking the campus and talking to nearly everyone he meets. He said he has scheduled walk-abouts once a week where he'll spend two hours wandering and talking to people. Students should be ready for him to sit down and join them for lunch, too. 

"That's how we'll break down those walls. It's a lot larger, but there are ways to make it more of a small community," he said. 

Getting to know the people and the culture of the campus is just one thing he's working on. He said one of the keys to financing the school is found off campus. 

"I will be in Frankfort a lot," he said. "We are a public university and we need to continue to have public investment."

He already has some trips planned to introduce himself to lawmakers.  

Davies said even though most of the campuses he's worked on have been different, he said they all have tuition concerns in common. He said he'll be developing a strategic plan over the next six months to a year which will help him monitor lots of aspects of the university. He said among other things it will help provide them with measured and predicable growth, as well as help them keep services affordable. 

"We're not here to change the culture of the university or change the culture of the area," said Davies. "That's impossible to do that, but we want to blend into that."

Among it's strengths, Davies says the campus has a  lot of stability in its governing agencies and even though it's less than in the past, public funding. He said he hopes to be able to help emphasize the things the school already does well. 

Davies was voted unanimously to the presidents position by the Board of Regents and said he communicates with them frequently. 

He said,"When we've been able to thrive is when the Board of Regents, the president, and the university were all working in tandem."

Over the next few weeks Davies plans to visit the 18 surrounding counties to help get acquainted with the entire region, not just the campus.

Powered by Frankly