Murray State’s staff re-elected Phil Schooley for another term as staff regent, tasking him with serving as their advocate on the Board of Regents for a seventh consecutive year.
Running unopposed, Schooley was elected two weeks ago with 115 votes cast by staff.
Staff Congress President Laura Lohr said she believes other individuals will run for the position in three years when the term is up for re-election, and they are preparing now. But she said that’s not a knock against Schooley.
“Everyone is happy with the work Phil has done on behalf of staff and Staff Congress,” Lohr said.
Before being elected as staff regent, Schooley served as Staff Congress president from July 2008 to July 2009.
Lohr has worked closely with Schooley for at least four of her eight years at the University and is currently serving her first term as Staff Congress president.
“We all have a high regard for Phil,” she said. “He is an excellent representative of Murray State and Staff Congress, and is always in support of staff issues and always wants to do what is best for staff.”
Schooley said the position of staff regent includes representing the staff during discussions of pay raises and benefit changes, advocating for staff members and working with SGA to improve the University.
Schooley said he believes the challenge of the position is the time commitment. The staff regent is encouraged to attend different events on campus and is required to prepare for board meetings by reviewing 600 pages of documents related to each board meeting agenda.
Despite that commitment, Schooley said he enjoys the position.
“It gives me the opportunity to work with the MSU administration, faculty, staff and students across the board on our main campus and our extended campuses,” he said. “I want to see MSU continue to grow and move forward, and I want to contribute to its growth and forward movement.”
Schooley’s goals for his new term include continuing to work with President Bob Davies to establish a cost-of-living adjustment for faculty and staff salaries to be built into the budget. Schooley said he’s also looking forward to seeing through the completion of the University’s science complex and new Breathitt Veterinary Center being built in Hopkinsville, Ky.
Schooley said his ongoing goal is to “protect the interests of Murray State University staff members” and continue to work with the Staff Congress, administration and Board of Regents to insure that projects and policies are in place to aid the staff.
Not only does Schooley advocate on behalf of staff, but he said he wants to help students succeed.
“I want students to know that I’m always happy to help them if they should need it,” Schooley said.
Lohr said that’s one of Schooley’s strengths.
“Phil listens to everyone and he wants to make this a good place for students and staff,” Lohr said. “He is very much an advocate for this University and we are very lucky to have him.”
Schooley taught industrial arts and computer technology in public high school for 33 years before coming to Murray State in 2001.
Since joining the University, he has worked with the University Research and Scholarly Activity Office and the Institute of Engineering’s Telecommunications System Management program as an adviser to online and transfer students.
Schooley said his love of Murray State runs deep within his family. His son and daughter-in-law are Murray State undergraduate and graduate alumni. Schooley said he believes “once a Racer, always a Racer” is a phrase that is deeply rooted in his family.
“Murray State is in my blood,” Schooley said.
Story by Abby Siegel, Contributing writer