At the end of the current school year, Dr. Marie Morris will be resigning from her position as Provost at AU.
Morris was named provost in 2011 following a two-year role as dean and vice president of academic affairs on campus, and is currently serving her twelfth year at AU.
Morris spoke about her reasons for resigning, stating that she thinks, “there are different leaders at different times for an institution.”
“The average tenure for a chief academic officer, based on some studies that have been done, is about four years, and this is my twelfth year,” Morris said. “Prior to coming here, I was at Eastern Mennonite University for nine years as vice president. That’s 20-plus years in cabinet-level leadership, and that’s a lot. I’ve been sensing God’s nudging over the last couple of years—just a growing sense that maybe my work is done.”
During her time as provost, Morris oversaw various projects regarding academic endeavors on campus, which included rearranging the Masters program’s schedules, co-chairing MOSAIC and numerous other projects.
Over the years Morris has spent as provost at AU, she has come to enjoy being part of the numerous traditions on campus.
“I absolutely love AU,” Morris said. “I love Homecoming, the luminaries—and the street fair is just wonderful. I miss that we were not able to do that this year. It’s all really special.”
Morris spoke highly of the colleagues she has worked with throughout her years at AU, specifically mentioning former AU President Dr. James Edwards as being a significant help in her initial years on campus.
“President Edwards was very affirming and very supportive,” Morris said. “He gave me the freedom to work with a faculty on an academic vision.”
Cultivating a healthy environment based on teamwork, growth and learning are components considered essential to Morris. She spoke on the importance of these qualities, saying that, “we do our best when we work with others and collaborate.”
“We don’t grow when we don’t engage,” said Morris. “The synergy that comes when we work together on a problem produces much better solutions than if I try to solve a problem on my own. Accountability is not an enemy. Accountability is the right thing to do if we want to do right by people and the institution.”