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McMurry University
Abilene, Texas
Competitive compensation and excellent benefits package

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Executive Administration Jobs
Presidents & Chancellors
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

McMurry University invites applications from, and nominations of, dynamic and inspiring leaders for the position of University President.




The Board of Trustees at McMurry University has launched the search for its 11th president. The Search Committee invites nominations of, and applications from, accomplished, dynamic and inspiring professionals who will provide the university with outstanding and visionary leadership.


Located on 52 acres in Abilene, Texas, a city of more than 122,000, McMurry University is poised to excel in its Second Century.  The next McMurry president will inherit superb administrative and academic teams, a solid financial foundation, growing enrollment, spirited athletics and student activities, and a caring community.




Founded as a Methodist institution in 1923, McMurry University is a vibrant and comprehensive center of undergraduate education.  After a highly successful eleven-year tenure, President Sandra Harper will retire in January of 2025, leaving McMurry University poised for continued excellence in its Second Century.   


At McMurry, students find a welcoming, friendly, and supportive campus community. They experience personalized and interactive learning while growing personally and gaining independence.


McMurry celebrated its Centennial in 2023.  It currently enrolls over 1,200 full-time students with a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio. No graduate assistants teach courses, and 69% of professors have achieved the highest degree in their academic discipline. Students experience nationally recognized liberal arts and sciences education while preparing for a fulfilling career and lives of purpose.


McMurry University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate,  baccalaureate, and master’s degrees. The University also is accredited by the Texas Education Agency and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. McMurry is a member of the North American Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges, and Universities (NAAMSCU), the National Collegiate Honors Council, the Council of Independent Colleges, the Association of Governing Boards, and the College Board.  McMurry is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution.


In cooperation with the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) and Abilene’s Dyess Air Force Base (AFB), McMurry is making it easier than ever for active military personnel to earn their college degree. Through an initiative referred to as Blue Streak, active duty military personnel can take selected courses through the University at the Dyess AFB campus, main campus, or online. Blue Streak classes count both toward the CCAF General Education Course component, as well as a full, four-year undergraduate degree from McMurry or other schools.




Shaped by Christian principles, McMurry University challenges students to examine our complex world from multiple perspectives in preparation for lives of leadership, service, and professional success.


Core Values


  • CHRISTIAN FAITH as the Foundation of Life. PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS as the Catalyst for Life. LEARNING as the Journey of Life. EXCELLENCE as the Goal of Life. SERVICE as the Measure of Life.



As a higher education thought-leader, McMurry University’s total student enrollment has increased by almost 80% from 1,244 in spring 2023 to 2,237 in spring 2024. The launch of the McMurry Dual Credit Academy has significantly boosted enrollment in dual credit programs at McMurry, providing high school students with an opportunity to explore the benefits of a private, affordable college education.


McMurry University achieved national recognition again this year for its outstanding academic programs.


2023 U.S. News & World Report Rankings


  • #23 Regional Colleges West #5 Best Value Schools #5 Best Colleges for Veterans #7 Top Performers in Social Mobility

STRATEGIC PLAN – The Second Century


The Second Century provides strategic direction for McMurry as it embarks upon its next century of education.  The plan identifies several macrotrends—demography, the value proposition of higher education, and the challenges of maintaining financial stability – all of which are permeating through the higher education environment.


The plan describes the planning process, the McMurry Identity, Vision 2030, and the Second Century Pillars.  The five Second Century Pillars, upon which all activity for the next seven years will be focused are the following:


  • I. Enhance institutional self-esteem and community perception by increasing the frequency and the quality of internal and external messaging. II. Advance Academic Program Development that is mindful of vital skills (specifically oral communication, critical thinking, ethical judgment, working effectively in teams, working independently, self-motivation, written communication, servant leadership, cultural competence and real-world application of skills and knowledge) needed for the 21st century workplace leading to the professional success of McMurry graduates. III. Recruit, Retain, and Graduate a diverse student body by developing engaged learners with the propensity to connect proactively in their communities. IV. Recruit, Retain, and Advance/Develop a diverse and engaged McMurry faculty, staff, and administration by investing in employee talent attraction, alignment, and a culture of belonging. V. Enhance McMurry’s financial stability and long-term viability through investment, development and acquisition of traditional and alternative revenue streams, and intentional acquisition and management of its physical and technical resources.



A visionary leader, the President serves as the chief executive officer responsible for steering the University towards excellence in education, service, and community engagement. This role demands strategic foresight, a commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, and the ability to cultivate partnerships locally, nationally, and globally. The president serves as the guiding force in shaping, supporting, and achieving the institution's mission, values, and long-term objectives, ensuring its continued advancement and impact in the ever-evolving landscape of higher education.


Position Profile


Strategic Leadership:  Provide visionary leadership to advance the University's mission and strategic goals, fostering a culture of innovation, collaboration, and academic excellence.


Institutional Governance:  Oversee the effective governance of the University, working closely with the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and students to ensure transparent and accountable decision-making processes.


Financial Stewardship:  Ensure the institution’s financial sustainability through prudent fiscal management, resource allocation, and revenue generation strategies.


Academic Excellence:  Promote a rigorous academic environment that supports student success, faculty scholarship, and interdisciplinary research initiatives.


Student Success:  Recruit, retain, and graduate students through constant improvement of the student experience, to include facilities, services, spiritual & personal support, athletics, and clubs. 


Inclusion:  Champion inclusion efforts, fostering a campus culture that values and respects the contributions of all members of the University community.


External Relations:  Cultivate strategic partnerships with alumni, donors, government agencies, industry leaders, and other stakeholders to enhance the University's reputation and support its strategic priorities.


Community Engagement:  Foster meaningful engagement with the local community and beyond, leveraging the University's resources and expertise to address societal challenges and promote positive social change.


Essential Characteristics


  •  Steadfast commitment to the development of faculty, staff, and students, and a proven track record of inspiring people and organizations through principled leadership; Expertise in assessing institutional strengths, opportunities, threats and weaknesses, and using solid analytical skills and exceptional financial acumen to assist in the development and execution of a strategic plan and ongoing operations; An operating style and professionalism that enables the academic community to flourish.



McMurry values its history and bond with the United Methodist Church. Its campus culture, rooted in its foundational values, fosters inclusivity, acceptance, and respect for all individuals, alongside a strong dedication to service. The incoming president's recognition of McMurry as a community that upholds spiritual principles will be important. 


Refer to the linked Position Specifications for more details about McMurry University and the community.


EFL Associates (, an executive search firm, is assisting McMurry University with its search for this important leadership position.  All calls and inquiries should be made through the search firm. Nominations and applications will be held in strict confidence and candidates will remain confidential until the final stage of the search, at which time the express permission of finalists will be obtained before making their candidacy public. 


Application Process


  • STEP 2:  Send us your cover letter and résumé or curriculum vitae Send in PDF format Send to Email subject line should read “McMurry – President Application”

Key Dates


  • Application deadline - June 30, 2024. Semifinalist Video Interviews - August 21, 22 & 23, 2024. Finalist On-Campus Interviews – Week of September 23, 2024.

Confidential Inquiries


Steve Waldron, JD


Managing Director, Higher Education Practice


816-945-5423 (direct) 


Application Questions & Nominations: If you would like to provide a nomination, please email all pertinent information (including an email address and phone number of the nominee) to:


Edith Ketay


Project Manager


816-831-4001 (direct)


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