Board names Shipley as next president

Austin Quintero

The nine voting members of the Board of Regents made history when, after a 10-month search, they named Suzanne Shipley as the first woman and 11th MSU president.

Rogers spent his whole career at MSU, meaning that when he took office everyone already had an idea who he was.

Growing up in the Texas panhandle, Shipley participated in campus performances, athletic events, and summer programs for children at nearby Texas Tech University, the same school from where she obtained both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

“I am from Texas,” Shipley said. “I grew up in Lubbock and I love the landscape and size of Wichita Falls.”

She’s started her career working at University of Cincinnati in Ohio, and later worked at universities in Arizona and Maryland before moving to West Virginia to her former position as president of Shepard University and current president of the Council of Public Liberal Art Colleges. However, through all her travels MSU was able to catch her eye.

“The range of programs is remarkable for a public liberal arts institution,” Shipley said. “The variety in degrees in health sciences, engineering and human services, alongside art, science, humanties and business and education, was very impressive.”

While the Board of Regents selected Shipley as the “final candidate” back in early March, she wasn’t appointed until the end of the month and will begin her term as president in August. For those who feel Shipley may not know enough, she says she has an open-door policy to adhere to student and faculty concerns.

“They’ll see I’m very available on campus,” Shipley said. “I interact with students just about everyday, that’s the best part of the job. I try to be there whenever they need me.”

One person that doesn’t worry how the community will accept her is the soon to be future former MSU president.

“There’s no doubt that they will accept Dr. Shipley with open arms,” Rogers said. “She’s been in important and difficult jobs, she’s at a university today that’s very much like Midwestern State University, and I don’t have any doubt that she is going to be a student and a faculty and a community president.”

Rogers spent his entire 48-year professional career at MSU. Shipley says she is a new president, with a new vision and while still plans to build on what Rogers has created, hopes to induce change as well.

“When you are some place longer you develop deep ties.” Shipley said. “With fresh eyes you get a new perspective. The way I look at things will be different and I believe will be well received.”



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