Barbara Jean Morris, Ph.D.
President Morris came to SUNY Oneonta in July 2018 from her position as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. In her seven-year tenure there, she reported to the president and served as chief academic officer overseeing educational policy and programs of instruction; the development and assessment of academic programs; and faculty recruitment and development. She also had broad oversight of internal operations, including strategic planning, data-driven modeling, budgeting, fundraising, and state and legislative policy. Prior to her position at Fort Lewis, President Morris served 16 years at University of Redlands in southern California, where she held many leadership roles and rose to the position of dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
President Morris received her Bachelor of Arts in political science from San Diego State University, and a master’s and a doctorate in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
As a political scientist, President Morris believes that good teaching grows out of a continual pursuit of scholarly endeavors and that is why, throughout her career, she has devoted significant time to research, particularly on organizational theory, leadership practice, and strategies for cooperation. Her most recent research focuses on women and politics, tribal governments and the presidency. Her co-authored manuscript, “Recreating the Circle,” is a “collective undertaking by Indian people and their allies that focuses on American Indian and Alaska native self-determination.” Her co-authored article “Faith and Sex: Presidents under Pressure: Electoral Coalitions and Strategic Presidents” looks at the Executive Office of the President and women’s and religious interest groups.
President Morris is deeply committed to diversity. She is proud to be SUNY Oneonta’s second female president, and proud of her Native American ties. Coming from an institution where nearly half of the student population identified as minority, Dr. Morris believes that colleges and universities should be learning communities based on respect, and from this, shared governance, including participation by students. She said the Native American symbol of the circle best illustrates her desire for how this process should work in the academic environment—with mutual understanding, respect, communication and shared commitment.