September 16, 2021

Dear Midwestern State University family:

I hope this note finds you all well and that the fall semester is off to a successful start. 

It was an honor to be on the MSU Texas campus earlier this month with fellow members of the Board of Regents and leadership across the Texas Tech University System to celebrate the commencement of our historic new partnership

During this visit, the board took action to begin one of its most important processes: the identification and appointment of the next President of MSU Texas. This summer, Dr. Suzanne Shipley announced her retirement as President after a remarkable half-dozen years at the helm. Under her leadership, MSU Texas grew in both stature and ambition, and she leaves a lasting mark on this institution.

Dr. Shipley also was a key contributor to MSU Texas joining the TTU System, and so it’s fitting that, today, the TTU System Board of Regents and Chancellor Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., announce the formation of a search committee to find MSU Texas’ next leader.

For a search of this kind, we appoint a committee that works over several months. The 12-member committee was selected for their support of MSU Texas and its mission, their service in higher education and the community, and for their diversity—both in background and professional experience. 

I am honored to be selected and serve as chairman of the search committee, and I believe we have assembled a remarkable team—one that will do justice to this joint effort between MSU Texas and the TTU System. In addition to myself, our committee includes the following individuals:

  • Glenn Barham – MSU Texas alumnus; Chairman, MSU Texas Comprehensive Campaign Committee; President, Sheppard Air Force Base Military Affairs Committee; Former Mayor, City of Wichita Falls; Former Wichita Falls Police Officer; Wichita Falls 
  • Kendra Burris – Deputy Chancellor, Office of the Chancellor, Texas Tech University System; Lubbock
  • Ginger Kerrick Davis – Member of the TTU System Board of Regents; Deputy Director, Exploration Integration and Science Directorate, NASA; Houston
  • Jeff Dillard – MSU Texas donor and Wichita Falls native; President, Cobra Oil & Gas Corporation; Founding Principal, Tailwind Advisors, LP; Fort Worth
  • Tony Fidelie – Former Regent, MSU Texas; Partner, Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins and Mott, LLP; Texas Tech University School of Law and Rawls College of Business alumnus; MSU Texas alumnus; Wichita Falls
  • Reagan Foster – Assistant Athletics Director, Student-Athlete Development/Community Outreach; Staff Senate Chair, MSU Texas; MSU Texas alumna; Wichita Falls 
  • Karen Moriarty, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC – Chair, Faculty Senate, MSU Texas; Associate Professor, Wilson School of Nursing, MSU Texas; Wichita Falls
  • Oku Okeke – Former Regent, MSU Texas; Customer Service/Facilities Manager, Pratt & Whitney Canada; MSU Texas alumnus; Wichita Falls
  • Austin Strode – President, Student Government Association, MSU Texas; Student, MSU Texas; Wichita Falls
  • Shelley Sweatt, Ed.D. – Former Regent, MSU Texas; President and CEO, The Priddy Foundation; Texas Tech University alumna; Wichita Falls
  • Sam Watson, Ph.D. – Dean and Professor, Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences, MSU Texas; Wichita Falls

MSU Texas is held in the highest regard across the state and throughout higher education, and we seek an exceptional leader who can live up to that legacy and embrace the university’s traditions and values. The search committee will work diligently to identify candidates, conduct interviews and keep our stakeholders updated. The recommended candidates will be put before the chancellor and board members to make the final appointment of President.

I am grateful for your support and commitment to this great institution, and I welcome you to reach out with any questions or suggestions through the MSU Texas Presidential Search email:

We are excited for our shared future with the MSU Texas family, and I look forward to connecting with all of you throughout this search process in finding the best leader to guide the university into its next 100 years. 


Mark Griffin
Chairman, MSU Texas Presidential Search
Vice Chairman, Texas Tech University System Board of Regents