New MSU Texas president resigns after less than a year
Dr. JuliAnn Mazachek is resigning as president of MSU Texas to lead the university she left last year to come to Wichita Falls, according to a media release.
The chancellor of the Texas Tech University System will work with officials in the coming weeks to engineer the search for a new president of Midwestern State University.
Mazachek was officially appointed president of MSU in March last year, leaving Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, to take the position.
"This was a very difficult decision for us to make," she said in a statement Wednesday. "The MSU Texas Mustangs family has been incredible to be a part of and something I will always be appreciative of having had the opportunity to lead as its president."
The TTU System chancellor, Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell, announced Wednesday that Mazachek is resigning from MSU to become the next president of Washburn University, according to a media release.
Mitchell thanked Mazachek for her contributions, saying officials were extremely pleased to attract a leader of her caliber to the presidency.
"I am confident the university will draw an equal interest of qualified and esteemed leaders from across the country in our upcoming search," Mitchell, a medical doctor, said in a statement Wednesday.
He will be working closely with MSU Texas and the TTU System Board of Regents to formalize the next steps in the search for a new president, he said in a chancellor's message written from the MSU campus.
Mitchell said MSU is a well-respected, thriving university with talented, dedicated faculty, staff and students.
"There is no doubt we can find the best talent — from near and far, with the qualifications and leadership attributes the Mustangs family desires and deserves — to lead MSU Texas," Mitchell said in a public message Wednesday about the changes in leadership.
He will share the details and timing of the search when that information becomes available.
Mazachek, who holds a Ph.D., accepted the new position at Washburn where she served 30 years before her appointment as the 12th president of MSU, according to the media release from Mitchell.
She was the vice president for academic affairs, chief academic officer and an associate professor at Washburn when she accepted the leadership role at MSU, according to a previous Times Record News story.
"While this news may be unexpected, we are fortunate to have a strong leadership team and university community at MSU Texas," Mitchell said in a message written.
Mitchell said he asked Dr. Keith Lamb of MSU to serve as the interim president.
Lamb was appointed interim president effective Wednesday, according to the media release. He has been serving as vice president for enrollment management and student affairs, and chief strategy officer at MSU.
"I am tremendously grateful for his commitment to stepping into this leadership position and know he will keep MSU Texas moving forward," Mitchell said.
Lamb, who holds a Ph.D., will serve MSU in a dual appointment, performing the duties of president and his current duties.
"Dr. Lamb is well known and well respected at MSU Texas, where he started his career in 1999," Mitchell said in his message.
At MSU, Lamb has taught and served in a variety of leadership roles. They include director of housing and residence life, associate vice president for student affairs, vice president for enrollment management and vice president for student affairs.
Lamb recently became chief strategy officer, working closely with campus leaders to ensure progress on key initiatives and to ensure resources and support for the work toward future success, according to the media release.
His significant experience leading special initiatives over 24 years includes developing and opening the MSU Texas Flower Mound Student Learning Center, as well as co-chairing the university’s response to COVID-19, according to the media release.
Mazachek will work with Lamb through Jan. 31 to transition the president's duties and responsibilities, according to officials.
Mitchell said he wished Mazachek, her husband Keith and their family the best.
She said her family has "felt embraced and welcome since the day" they arrived in Wichita Falls.
"The people of this university and community are truly special," Mazachek said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve Midwestern State University as its president."
She said she looks forward to following the great things ahead for Midwestern.
Mazachek was the second woman in the 100-year history of MSU to serve as the university's president. She replaced Dr. Suzanne Shipley, the first woman to become MSU president. Shipley, who holds a Ph.D., retired Aug. 31, 2021.
Check back with www.timesrecordnews.com for more on this developing story.
Trish Choate, enterprise watchdog reporter for the Times Record News, covers education, courts, breaking news and more. Contact Trish with news tips at email@example.com. Read her recent work here. Her Twitter handle is @Trishapedia.
This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: New MSU Texas president resigns