Dr. Barbara Jean Morris Appointed as SUNY Oneonta's Next President

Dr. Barbara Jean Morris


The State University of New York Board of Trustees today appointed Dr. Barbara Jean Morris as the next president of SUNY Oneonta, effective on or about July 1.

“Dr. Morris is a dedicated higher education professional who constantly strives to ensure that colleges and universities foster learning communities based on shared governance and respect, and that students’ needs are put at the forefront of every college’s mission,” said SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall. “We look forward to Dr. Morris bringing that passion and vision to SUNY Oneonta as its newest president, and we welcome her to SUNY.”

“Over her career, Dr. Morris has focused on nurturing a collaborative learning environment, one which supports faculty and student development, academic excellence and community involvement,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “It is that focus that aligns with SUNY Oneonta’s core values of excellence in teaching, learning, and scholarship. My congratulations to the SUNY Oneonta family.”

“Chancellor Johnson and the Board of Trustees have made a wise choice in selecting Dr. Barbara Morris to be SUNY Oneonta’s next president,” said SUNY Oneonta College Council Chairman Patrick Brown. “I am sure that Dr. Morris will provide fresh leadership and an authentic voice as the college confronts the challenges ahead.  The members of the College Council look forward to assisting Dr. Morris in her new role.”

Dr. Morris served as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fort Lewis College, in Durango, Colo., since 2011. In this role, she reported to the president and served as chief academic officer of the rural regional public arts college and was responsible for all academic matters including oversight of 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 joining Fort Lewis College, Dr. Morris worked for 16 years at the University of Redlands in southern California. She held many leadership roles, leaving as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Morris also served the Colorado Commission of Higher Education (CCHE) as the elected representative from the Academic Council. She served on the Colorado State Remedial Education Task Force, the Supplemental Academic Instruction Sub-committee, the General Education Council, the Prior Learning Assessment Committee and the P-20 Alignment committee.

Dr. Morris received her bachelor of arts in political science from San Diego State University, and a master of arts and a doctorate in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Barbara Jean Morris is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Fort Lewis College. Prior to coming to Fort Lewis College, she worked at the University of Redlands in southern California for 16 years. During her tenure at the University of Redlands, she served as Chair of the Government Department from 2001-2005, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2005-2006, and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2006-2011. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science in 1996 from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

As Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Morris reports to the President and is the chief academic officer for the College, providing leadership for all aspects of its academic programs, including oversight of educational policy and programs of instruction, the development and assessment of academic programs, faculty development, and the integrity of the College's curriculum. Provost Morris is deeply committed to providing resources to faculty and students for professional development, field trips, faculty/student research, innovative teaching and collaborative learning, guest speakers, and community service learning. Additionally, she fosters community partnerships, both local and global, to provide opportunities for students and faculty.

To foster a learning community, Provost Morris believes that good teaching grows out of continued scholarly endeavors. Her research is multidisciplinary in both approach and subject matter. Her research began with the study of interest groups in the American States. Her later projects concern women and politics, tribal governments, and the presidency. Her co-authored manuscript, Recreating the Circle published by The University of New Mexico Press is a “collective undertaking by Indian people and their allies that focuses on American Indian and Alaska native self-determination.” In addition, 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. Organizational theory, leadership practices, and strategies for cooperation all inform her research. In particular, her co-authored article “Feminist Organizational Structure in the White House: The Office of Women’s Initiatives and Outreach,” which investigates how organizational cultures impact leadership styles, has helped her to recognize the importance of identifying organizational cultures in the practice of leadership.

Dr. Morris believes that colleges and universities need to be learning communities based on shared governance and respect. This includes engaging students in decision making. She tends to see everything in terms of relationships and community. She believes the Native American symbol of the circle best illustrates her desire for a process of decision making that is based on mutual understanding, respect, communication, and a shared commitment.

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