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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Henry Morris named first MSU, Mankato Presidential Fellow

Henry Morris has been named MSU's first Presidential Fellow an innovative pilot program created by President Richard Davenport to develop new senior leaders from within.


Henry Morris has been named Minnesota State University, Mankato's first Presidential Fellow - an innovative pilot program created by President Richard Davenport to develop new senior leaders from within.

As MSU's Presidential Fellow, Morris will be mentored by President Davenport and other senior leaders to help him expand his organizational leadership knowledge and skills. Morris, executive director of student involvement and director of MSU's Centennial Student Union, will begin his fellowship in mid-September, after a well-deserved sabbatical during which Morris will begin work on his doctoral degree and finalize his individual Fellow program with the president.

"Colleges and universities train leaders, so it's no surprise that leadership potential exists throughout higher education," President Davenport said. "The Presidential Fellow Program is intended to further nurture that potential among talented faculty and staff members who aspire to be senior leaders, allowing the University to develop and prepare them for the demands and responsibilities of top leadership."

"I am pleased and honored to be the first Presidential Fellow," said Morris. "I'm so proud of this institution and its students - especially the stunning new CSU. I look forward to learning from President Davenport and other members of the senior leadership team as we take MSU to higher levels."

Kenneth E. White, director of affirmative action at MSU, said Morris' appointment is further evidence that MSU is striving to be a leader in diversity by extending opportunities to people of color, and recruiting and retaining students of color. "Our commitment to diversity is real," White said. "The appointment of Henry Morris as the first Presidential Fellow is an example of President Davenport's unwavering dedication to diversity."

For the next year, Morris will work directly with Davenport, MSU vice presidents and other senior leaders, assisting with critical decisions and formulating and implementing strategic plans and policies. Morris will be involved with the MSU decision-making process: facilities development, resource allocation, institutional policies, legislative and public relations, and fundraising. He will participate in key University meetings and events, seminars, workshops, training opportunities and policy discussions.

As part of the Presidential Fellow development process, Morris will be involved in oversight of specific projects and priorities within the university.

The Presidential Fellow Program is a pilot project that may be used throughout the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system after it's tested at MSU. Davenport expects it to "create a culture of leadership mentoring and nurturing" that will enlarge the pool of highly qualified candidates for leadership positions within the state's colleges and universities.

 "The model has been used successfully by some of the world's most respected businesses and institutions," Davenport added. "I'm confident that it will be successful here. Not only will it identify and produce dedicated, results-oriented leaders, but it will enhance all of MSU's strategic priorities: Campus-wide planning, diversity, distance learning, graduate education and academic excellence.  I am looking forward to working with Henry to make this a meaningful and worthwhile experience."

Morris came to MSU in 1990 as Director of Student Activities. During his tenure as director of Centennial Student Union he has overseen two multi-million dollar renovations to the CSU.  During the past academic year, Morris participated in the Office of the Chancellor Leadership Academy.

He also has served as chair of the Mankato Area United Way Board of Directors, an officer and executive committee member of the YMCA, an officer and board member of the Boy Scouts of America, and a board member of the Girl Scouts of America. He has been selected to serve on the Blue Earth County Criminal Justice Review Task Force.

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