Bonnie Higginson, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, has announced her resignation at the end of her term in July, 2013.
Under her original contract from two years ago, Higginson was to serve three years, with an option for four – she has decided she will end her contract at the end of the three years in order to return to the classroom, where she said her heart is.
Higginson said she has spoken with President Randy Dunn and they discussed a fourth year, but her final decision was to bow out of the position before starting the optional fourth year
Higginson has the option to return in a half-time teaching position in the College of Education, and she said she plans on doing so.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the (provost) position,” she said. “In a way, I feel like I’m just getting started. What it boils down to are the students. Like I said, I’ve enjoyed the position, but I miss the day-to-day contact I had with the students in my first 27 years here at Murray State. I want to teach again before I really retire.”
Higginson said the thoughts of resigning at the end of her three years began in the fall of 2011. She said she started thinking about the big picture.
“I thought about my life and what I’ve done,” she said. “I thought about time and how much anyone really has, I don’t want to regret working full time for so long. This job has been amazing, but it is very time consuming.”
She said her husband, Cliff, would not take a stand on whether she should complete three or four years. In the end, she decided she wanted more free time to spend with him and the students she loves teaching.
Higginson has a few regrets leaving the position, but she said one of the bigger ones was leaving the administrators who have become her friends. She said she would miss the close connection the position brings with the other University vice presidents, deans of the colleges and with Dunn.
At the end of her term, Higginson will have been at Murray State for 33 years. She began her career at the University in 1979, and spent time as a professor, chair of the College of Education, White College Head and associate provost.
She held the associate provost position for three years before applying for the combined position of provost and vice president of academic affairs. Before starting her career at Murray State, Higginson received her undergraduate and graduate degrees here, receiving her doctorate from the University of Georgia.
The positions of provost and vice president of academic affairs coordinates the academic side of the University.