Students react to the selection of Murray State’s 13th president

Presidential candidate Robert Davies speaks at an open forum Monday afternoon. Photo by Kate Russell // The News.

Incoming president Robert Davies speaks at an open forum Monday afternoon. Photo by Kate Russell // The News.

Several students were excited to learn Wednesday that Robert Davies will be the next president of Murray State.

Jeremiah Johnson, student regent and Student Government Association president, said he is excited to see Davies get the position.

Davies will transition from his current presidency at Eastern Oregon University to the Murray State presidency.

Johnson said during Davies’ University visit, he walked through campus to meet students and received a positive reaction.

Johnson said students told him they liked Davies’ personality and feel he will be transparent with his administration.

Johnson said he hopes to see the University progress under Davies’ guidance.

“I want to see Murray continue to move forward,” Johnson said. “Murray’s got a lot of room to grow.”

Michael Dobbs, executive secretary of SGA, said he believes Davies is a good choice for president. As moderator for the student committee meetings, he had the opportunity to meet and speak to Davies.

“He’s a very outgoing guy and I think he is a great fit for the University,” Dobbs said. “You would think for western Kentucky, we would be very homogenous, but we are actually very different and I think he will be able to bring even more diversity.”

Dobbs said he believes Davies’ student-orientated principles can improve the relationship between the administration and students.

Davies’ will be able to adequately balance the responsibilities of president while maintaining a good and active relationship with the student body, Dobbs said.

Dobbs said he hopes Davies will be able to work with the SGA and that they can develop a vision together for the University.

“He’s only been here for a couple days,” he said. “I think it’s important for him to make a connection with students right off the bat. Making them a top priority, they’ll support him in what he does.”

Residential College Association President Sidney Anderson said she believes the incoming president will be able to interact with students like President Tim Miller.

“Dr. Miller has done so much and has a great relationship with students and I think Dr. Davies will do the same,” Anderson said. “He’s student-orientated and it’s clear he wants to form a relationship with students.”

Anderson said she believes Davies will be able to help the residential college system develop and grow as president and said he was supportive of the system.

She said Davies does not know all of the ins and outs of the residential college system yet, but believes that once he learns, there is no doubt he can help improve the colleges.

Patrick Hook, senator for Lee Clark Residential College, said he has high hopes for Davies being president at Murray State.

“I feel that (Davies) will promote better progress and ideas for the University,” Hook said. “That is something we need.”

Hook said he attended as many events during the presidential search as possible to stay informed. He said he feels it is important for students to be aware of presidential selection process.

He said his main hope for Davies is that he will be a fresh start for the University.

Said Hook: “This is a new page for Murray State.”

Story by Rebecca Walter and Mary Bradley, staff writers