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Office of the President

Dr. Jay Morgan is the 14th president of Morehead State University. Upon arriving, Dr. Morgan began his presidential tenure at MSU by quickly focusing on stabilizing enrollment, improving MSU's rankings and reputation, and educating the campus community on the new performance funding model. He also has put a heavy emphasis on connecting with the campus community, alumni and the region on a grassroots level and devoting more private fundraising efforts to establish more scholarships for students.

In addition to strongly believing in MSU’s mission to change the lives of people in the region, he also connects with the University because of its tight-knit campus community.

“People want to give to help students. People don’t necessarily want to give to repaint the third floor of a building. As costs go up every year, we are going to need more scholarship dollars to push us forward.”

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President, Morehead State University
Dr. Jay Morgan


Dr. Joseph A. (Jay) Morgan has served as the 14th president of Morehead State University since July 1, 2017. His focus at MSU has been on student success, performance outcomes, academic excellence, as well as university rankings and responsiveness to the region.  

Prior to service at MSU, Dr. Morgan served as the state-wide chief academic officer and vice president for academic affairs and student success for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education in Frankfort. Before state-wide service at the Council, Dr. Morgan served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Murray State University, as well as associate provost, university faculty regent, leadership program director, graduate program coordinator, and professor/teacher educator. He also has career service in business and as a high school teacher and coach.  

Dr. Morgan holds a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University, a B.S. and an M.S. from Murray State University, and completed a graduate track for school superintendent, as well as a certificate in management from Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Morgan served as Board Chair of the Council of Presidents of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference/ Division 1, as well as Board Chair of the Pioneer Football League, among other boards. He is a former board of trustees and executive council member of the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). He has also served as a board member of a medical university, vice chair of a public university board, an economic development board, a bank board, the Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board administering public school teacher licensing and educational standards, and on several foundation boards and financial boards. Additionally, his former public service includes four terms as an elected member of a city council, board president of a chamber of commerce, board chair of the United Way, was formerly named Citizen of the Year, is a Rotarian, and has been involved with economic development, banking and other regional initiatives. He has taught, worked and traveled in more than 15 countries for academics, business, research, and development. 

Since joining MSU, the University has broken records for private fundraising for scholarships, student retention, U.S. News and World Report rankings, as well as logged several athletic championships. He has led the way for major facility upgrades, including a new science and engineering building, a new residence hall, and a new music and business building. His tenure has marked over $300 million in campus facility improvements.

Dr. Morgan notes that MSU is striving to become a Top 10 Regional University in the South and to stay focused on student success, and we are well on our way.

Contact the Office of the President

202 Howell-McDowell Bldg.
Morehead, KY 40351

PHONE: 606-783-2022