Sydni Dunn / Houma Courier Staff Writer
BATON ROUGE – Bruce T. Murphy was named the next president of Nicholls State University Tuesday by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.
Murphy — the vice president for academic affairs at Air University in Alabama, which provides education for all of the U.S. Air Force airmen except those attending the Air Force Academy — will begin his new appointment in January, but the exact date has not yet been determined.
He will be the university's fifth president.
“I am honored and humbled,” Murphy told the board, which unanimously appointed him. “Nicholls is a great institution and together I want to take us to the future.”
Murphy was one of two finalists for the top role, and both candidates interviewed with the board back-to-back before a winner was announced.
During his interview, Murphy detailed his vision for Nicholls in the short and long term.
In the short term, he said, he wants to take care of the warning the university recently received from its accreditation agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Murphy, who has extensive experience working with the agency, plans to research the roots of that warning when he returns to Alabama so he can come up with a solution by the time he takes the helm.
In the long term, he said, he plans to establish relationships on and off campus, conduct a thorough academic program review, and increase the student enrollment. He also wants to build and market some of the university's “gem programs,” such as culinary arts and the dyslexia center.
“The role of the president is to facilitate the dreams of all the different constituencies: the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community,” Murphy said. “You have to learn what those dreams are, then you have to get the financial resources to enable them. You have to tell the Nicholls story.”