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Ireland accepts position as dean of University Libraries

June 24, 2015 News

Story by Mary Bradley, Editor-in-Chief

Ashley Ireland; Photo provided

Ashley Ireland; Photo provided

Ashley Ireland, director of user and instruction services, has accepted an offer from President Bob Davies to serve as the new dean of University Libraries, pending the Board of Regents’ approval in August.

Ireland will replace Adam Murray, who submitted his resignation in January and accepted a position at James Madison University. His last day as dean is June 30.

Ireland graduated from Murray State in 2005 but returned to the University in an assistant professor role as a reference librarian and library liaison to Hutson School of Agriculture and the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

In 2012, she became the director of user and instruction services, followed by receiving the Outstanding Researcher Award in 2013 for the University Libraries and becoming an associate professor in 2014. … Continue Reading

Sivills leaves marketing position

June 18, 2015 News, Slider Featured stories

Story by Mary Bradley, Editor-in-Chief

Photo courtesy of Catherine Sivills

Photo courtesy of Catherine Sivills

Assistant Vice President for Marketing, Branding and Communications Catherine Sivills will see her last day at the University come June 19 as she leaves to take a new marketing position with Baptist Health Kentucky.

In her new position, Sivills said she will lead and manage all the marketing efforts for the western region of the state, including Baptist Health Paducah and Baptist Health Madisonville. Baptist owns eight hospitals, manages one hospital throughout the state and was voted the one of the top 15 best places to work in Kentucky.

She said it was a hard decision for her and her husband to leave Murray.

“My time here has been very rewarding mainly because I was able to work with many wonderful colleagues,” she wrote in an email to The Murray State News. “We accomplished great things here and it’s also an extra special connection (and passion) to be able to work for my alma mater. No matter what, we will always remain Racer fans.”

Her husband, Scott, has been hired as the head girl’s basketball coach and as a science teacher at McCracken County High School. He is leaving Calloway County High School and they will be moving to Paducah, Ky.

Correction: This story originally stated there was a national search to fill Sivills’ position. That is incorrect. The News regrets the error.

University dispatch center, first accredited in western Kentucky

June 12, 2015 News

Story by Mari-Alice Jasper, News Editor


In a joint effort between Murray State and the surrounding community, the first accreditation award given to a 911-communication center in western Kentucky was bestowed upon Murray State’s Public Safety and Emergency Management dispatch center June 10. This award recognizes accomplishments made by University police department employees and enhances Murray State’s strategic plan efforts to engage in community partnership.

For a dispatch center to earn the accreditation award the center must have a backup generator in place so the center is able to take calls 24/7 regardless of a weather emergency, among other requirements.

Assistant Chief Jeff Gentry said he heard about the accreditation for dispatch centers while attending the Police Chief Conference last year.

… Continue Reading

McMahon hired to replace Prohm

By Mallory Tucker, Staff writer

Matt McMahon was hired to replace Steve Prohm as Murray State men’s basketball 16th head coach in program history. At a press conference addressing the future of the Racer program, Director of Athletics Allen Ward announced McMahon’s hiring at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Racer Room at the CFSB Center. Media, fans and the team were in attendance as McMahon was formally introduced.

“I had always envisioned Matt as the next guy up should we ever lose Prohm,” Ward said. “I told Matt when he left that I’d be calling him someday. I wasn’t going to let Mary and his kids move. His only option was to come back to Murray.”

McMahon served as an assistant coach at Murray State under Steve Prohm for four years. During this time, he worked particularly with the back court and the team’s recruitment efforts. McMahon left Murray State in late May to accept an assistant coaching position at Louisiana Tech, but Murray State was still on his mind.

“It happened so fast,” McMahon said. “This is the place that I’ve always dreamed of being the head coach. It’s one of the greatest programs in the history of college basketball.”

Before Murray State, McMahon played college ball at Appalachian State. He started two years as part of teams that won three Southern Conference North Division Championships and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in the 1999-00 season. He continued his basketball career at Appalachian State on the coaching staff before joining the University of Tennessee’s staff in 2001-02 as an administrative graduate assistant. He then returned to Appalachian State to serve as an assistant coach on their staff for nine more years before working under Buzz Peterson at UNC-Wilmington during the 2010-11 season. … Continue Reading

Prohm hired at Iowa State

By Mallory Tucker, Staff writer

File photo

File photo

Iowa State hired men’s basketball Head Coach Steve Prohm to replace former coach Fred Hoiberg. Hoiberg accepted a head coaching job with the Chicago Bulls June 2. Prohm agreed to a five-year contract with a base salary of $1.5 million. The hiring was first reported by Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com before Cyclones Athletics released an official statement Monday. Prohm will be formally introduced at a press conference at 10 a.m. June 9 at the Sukup Basketball Complex in Ames, Iowa.

Prohm spent nine years with the Racers, taking over the head coach position from Billy Kennedy in the 2011-12 season and holding a 104-29 record during his four seasons in that role. He led the Racers into postseason play three of his four years as head coach, advancing into the third round of the NCAA tournament in 2012, winning the College Insider Tournament in 2014 and making it to the NIT quarterfinals in 2015.

Prohm’s first year as head coach ranks as the best in Racer basketball history, led by 76er player Isaiah Canaan. During 2011-12, the Racers set the OVC and school record for winning percentage and total wins with a 31-2 record and ranked in the top-10 in the Associated Press poll for the first time in school history.

Prohm’s departure comes not long after former Racer point guard and OVC Athlete of the Year Cameron Payne announced his intent to enter the 2015 NBA draft after his sophomore season.

Before Murray State, Prohm served on the coaching staffs at Centenary College, Southeastern Louisiana University and Tulane. A 1997 graduate of the University of Alabama, Prohm also served as a student assistant coach and student manager for the Crimson Tide.

… Continue Reading

Regents discuss, approve long-term plans

June 5, 2015 News

Story by Mary Bradley, Editor-in-Chief

With the approval of the Strategic Initiatives plan, the 2015-16 budget, new freshman admission standards and the transition of the provost, the Board of Regents began to shape the upcoming academic year and beyond during its quarterly meeting June 5.



While discussing the Strategic Initiatives plan with the board, President Bob Davies said the plan was a living document that carried with it the declaration of rigor, relevance and excellence for the University.

After a year of developing objectives and strategies and with the approval from the board, the 7-year plan will provide guidelines for the University in an effort to focus on improving the four pillars of Murray State: academic excellence, student success, scholarship, research and creative thought and community engagement.

The objectives, which will be implemented through key stakeholders in specific areas of the University, will be reviewed through the years spanning to 2022. … Continue Reading

Budget proposal to include salary increases

File Photo

File Photo; The Board of Regents meet at the December quarterly meeting in 2014.

Story by Mary Bradley, Editor-in-Chief

The proposal for the 2015-16 budget cycle that will be presented to the Board of Regents Friday will include core priorities for the University, including salary adjustments based on a sustainable strategy.

The Cost-of-Living Adjustment, or COLA, is financial strategy that raises salary adjustments for the University based on cost of living increases, and is a topic of particular note for the budget cycle.

In an email to the University community, President Bob Davies stated that the recommendation he will take to the board is financially feasible for the University while achieving increases when fiscally appropriate.

Specifically, the recommendation will include two categories for base salary dollars. For salaries up to $25,000, the raise percent will be a 1.5 percent increase and for salaries above $25,000, the raise percent will be 1 percent.

Davies wrote that the University will look to continue to implement COLA increases annually in a way that is sustainable. This year’s increase will total approximately $930,000, with $730,000 in salaries and $200,000 in increased fringe benefits that will supplement an employee’s salary. … Continue Reading

Todd named interim Provost for 2015-16

Story by Mary Bradley, Editor-in-Chief

Tim Todd, dean of the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, will be interim Provost during the 2015-16 academic year. Photo courtesy of raceralumni.com.

As Provost Jay Morgan steps down from his role to become vice president of Academic Affairs for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, or CPE, Tim Todd, dean of the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, will fill the open spot as interim Provost.

Starting in the fall semester, there will be a national search conducted for the position. A search committee will be formed and a national search consultant to assist in this process will be selected. Associate Dean of the College of Business Gerry Muuka will be interim dean during 2015-16.

Todd said Morgan has a tremendous opportunity presented to him at the CPE and he has been wonderful at the University. He said he is excited to fill the role as interim Provost and his humbled to do so as Morgan transitions out of the Provost’s Office.

In this interim time frame, President Davies has asked me to serve as the interim Provost,”  he said. “I am honored and humbled by this, and with my love for Murray State over the past 20 years, I have accepted. This next year will be exciting as we will be in the first year of implementation of the MSU Strategic Plan. In addition to that, we will continue serving our students through teaching, research and service. In other words, we won’t ‘miss a beat’ in this coming academic year.”

In an email sent to the University community, President Bob Davies said he selected Todd because he wanted someone who will be a strong leader and advocate.

“In all of my interactions with Dr. Todd, as well as the numerous comments I have received regarding him, I have found him to be a stalwart advocate for Murray State, our faculty, staff and students, as well as the community,” Davies wrote. “He has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to build consensus, to make difficult decisions when necessary in a fair and transparent manner, to engage others in a way to shape forward thinking objectives and to lead others in the pursuit of a shared vision of academic excellence and student success. I also know, as he has over this past year, provided me excellent advice, insights and wisdom that has shaped, or reshaped, my thinking on numerous issues. Moreover, through his leadership in guiding the strategic planning process, I know that he will have the sense of urgency needed to pursue the agenda for our University.”

Todd has been at Murray State since joining the organizational communication department in 1995, and has served as Assistant Provost in 1998 and Associate Provost in 2002 before becoming dean in 2006.

He will assume the position beginning July 1.

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