Mazachek returns to Washburn; Keith Lamb appointed interim president


JuliAnn Mazachek will be replaced by interim president Keith Lamb for the Spring 2023 semester.

After less than a year in the position, JuliAnn Mazachek vacated the presidential chair at MSU Jan. 11  to take the same position at Washburn University. Mazachek came to MSU after three decades at Washburn, and was among the Kansas-based university’s top choices when it came time to hire a new president. Keith Lamb, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs and chief strategy officer at MSU, is serving as interim president following Mazachek’s departure.

Washburn’s presidential search began shortly after MSU’s concluded. Mazachek was announced as MSU’s sole candidate for president March 28, a formality that preceded her hire and assumption of the presidency later in the spring. Three weeks later, on April 18, Washburn’s then-president, Jerry Farley, announced his intent to retire. According to Washburn’s website, the university appointed a search committee on July 28, which culminated in a round of interviews conducted the week of Dec. 15. By mid-January, Washburn zeroed in on Mazachek and offered her the position, which she accepted.

In a statement released Jan. 11, Mazachek said she was grateful for her time at MSU.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve Midwestern State University as its president. Our family has felt embraced and welcomed since the day we arrived in Wichita Falls. This was a very difficult decision for us to make. The MSU Texas Mustangs family has been incredible to be a part of and something I will always be appreciative of having had the opportunity to lead as its president,” Mazachek said.

Mazachek went on to thank Texas Tech system chancellor Tedd Mitchell, who wished Mazachek the best in a concurrently released statement.

“On behalf of the Texas Tech University System, I want to thank JuliAnn Mazachek for her contributions to our system and Midwestern State University. We were extremely pleased to attract a leader with the qualifications and leadership attributes of Dr. Mazachek to the presidency a year ago, and I am confident the university will draw an equal interest of qualified and esteemed leaders from across the country in our upcoming search,” Mitchell said.

In a separate letter released by Mitchell while he was on campus at MSU, Mitchell expressed confidence in Lamb, a longstanding MSU official. Mitchell said Lamb’s experience makes him a good fit to lead MSU in Mazachek’s wake.

“Dr. Lamb is well-known and well-respected at MSU Texas, where he started his career in 1999.  During his two-decade-plus tenure, he has taught courses and served in a variety of leadership roles, including director of housing and residence life, associate vice president for student affairs, vice president for enrollment management and vice president for student affairs. I am tremendously grateful for his commitment to stepping into this leadership position and know he will keep MSU Texas moving forward,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell went on to say that MSU will begin a new presidential search soon. For now, MSU enters the spring semester with an interim president for the second year in a row.