Search committee announced for next Midwestern State University President

A 12-member committee will help identify candidates to be the next president of MSU Texas

Search committee announced for next Midwestern State University President

The Texas Tech University System (TTU System) Board of Regents and Chancellor Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., named a search committee today (Sept. 16) to assist in finding the next president of Midwestern State University (MSU Texas).

“Midwestern State University has a celebrated history and tradition of excellence in higher education spanning nearly 100 years,” Mitchell said. “As a leading liberal arts university, MSU Texas is a remarkable institution with a tremendous future that we are proud to have as a member of the Texas Tech University System. We believe this opportunity will attract highly qualified candidates as we search for the university’s next president and, through this collaborative effort, I am confident the right leader will be selected to build on the university’s distinguished success while fulfilling its mission.”

The 12-member committee is led by Mark Griffin, vice chairman and current member of the TTU System Board of Regents. Griffin, who is serving in his second term on the Board of Regents, previously served as chairman of the search committee responsible for identifying and recommending Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s ninth president in 2020, Lori Rice-Spearman, Ph.D.

Mark Griffin
Mark Griffin, the vice chairman and current member of the TTU System Board of Regents.


“It’s an honor to serve the Texas Tech University System and Midwestern State University as chairman of the search committee who will have the privilege of identifying the next accomplished leader of this great institution,” Griffin said. “Our committee’s unique perspective will be invaluable in ensuring the MSU Texas community’s voice is heard throughout the search process.

“I am thankful for the time and expertise our committee members will be dedicating to this process,” Griffin continued. “The Board of Regents understands the importance of this decision and is grateful to the MSU Texas stakeholders and campus community for engaging in the process from which we will ultimately select the 12th president of this fine institution.”

Former president of MSU Texas Suzanne Shipley announced her retirement on June 2, following a six-year tenure (2015-2021) leading the institution to significant transformational accomplishments. James Johnston, MSU Texas’ provost and vice president of academic affairs since 2017, was announced as interim president on Aug. 5.

A national search will be conducted for the next MSU Texas president. The committee will help identify potential candidates, assist with initial screenings, and ensure their respective constituency groups are kept updated on the progress of the search. Candidate recommendations will be forwarded to the chancellor and the board to make the final appointment of president.

The search committee, which comprises representation from multiple MSU Texas and TTU System constituencies, including regents, former regents, faculty, students, deans, staff, donors, alumni and community members, will begin its work immediately. Members of the search committee are:

  • • Mark Griffin – Vice Chairman and Member, TTU System Board of Regents; President and CEO, The Griffin Companies and Pro Petroleum; Lubbock
  • Glenn Barham – MSU Texas alumnus; Chairman, MSU Texas Comprehensive Campaign Committee; President, Sheppard Air Force Base Military Affairs Committee; Former Mayor, City of Wichita Falls; Former Wichita Falls Police Officer; Wichita Falls
  • Kendra Burris – Deputy Chancellor, Office of the Chancellor, Texas Tech University System; Lubbock
  • Ginger Kerrick Davis – Member of the TTU System Board of Regents; Deputy Director, Exploration Integration and Science Directorate, NASA; Houston
  • Jeff Dillard – MSU Texas donor and Wichita Falls native; President, Cobra Oil & Gas Corporation; Founding Principal, Tailwind Advisors, LP; Fort Worth
  • Tony Fidelie – Former Regent, MSU Texas; Partner, Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins and Mott, LLP; Texas Tech University School of Law and Rawls College of Business alumnus; MSU Texas alumnus; Wichita Falls
  • Reagan Foster – Assistant Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Development/Community Outreach; Staff Senate Chairwoman, MSU Texas; MSU Texas alumna; Wichita Falls
  • Karen Moriarty, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC – Chairperson, Faculty Senate, MSU Texas; Associate Professor, Wilson School of Nursing, MSU Texas; Wichita Falls
  • Oku Okeke – Former Regent, MSU Texas; Customer Service/Facilities Manager, Pratt & Whitney Canada; MSU Texas alumnus; Wichita Falls
  • Austin Strode – President, Student Government Association, MSU Texas; Student, MSU Texas; Wichita Falls
  • Shelley Sweatt, Ed.D. – Former Regent, MSU Texas; President and CEO, The Priddy Foundation; Texas Tech University alumna; Wichita Falls
  • Sam Watson, Ph.D. – Dean and Professor, Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences, MSU Texas; Wichita Falls

About the Texas Tech University System

Established in 1996 and headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, the Texas Tech University System is a $2.5 billion, higher-education enterprise focused on advancing higher education, health care, research and community outreach. Consisting of five universities – Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Angelo State University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and Midwestern State University – the TTU System collectively has more than 63,000 students, operates at 23 academic locations in 20 cities (18 in Texas, 2 international), has more than 315,000 alumni and an endowment valued at over $1.3 billion.

During the 87th Texas Legislature under the leadership of Chancellor Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., the TTU System welcomed MSU Texas as its fifth member institution during the 25th anniversary of the system. MSU Texas is the only Texas university to become a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Students at MSU Texas choose from more than 60 majors and several pre-professional programs, are active in more than 100 student organizations and bring a spirit of competition to 13 NCAA Division II athletics programs.

In addition, the TTU System is one of only nine in the nation to offer programs for undergraduate, medical, law, nursing, pharmacy, dental and veterinary education, among other academic areas.