June 3, 2014

Dr. Alan Marble named president of Missouri Southern

Joplin, Mo. -- After serving nearly a year as Missouri Southern State University’s interim president, Dr. Alan Marble was named the university’s fifth president during a press conference held Tuesday, June 3.

“After careful consideration, the Board of Governors unanimously voted to invite Dr. Alan Marble to continue as president of MSSU,” said Lynn Ewing, board chairman. “The board believes Dr. Marble is the right person, at the right time, with the right skills to lead Missouri Southern.”

During his yearlong tenure as interim president, Marble led several positive advancements for the campus.

Missouri Southern broke ground on a $14 million residence hall complex, made inroads on projects such as the new baseball stadium and end zone facility and announced an improved budget for the coming fiscal year that includes raises for all university employees. Marble worked to boost confidence among faculty and staff members and also welcomed previous university president Dr. Julio Leon back to campus for the announcement that the Health Sciences Building would be dedicated to him.

The search process for the presidency began in December 2013 with a series of public focus groups, the results of which were reviewed by a 12-member search committee appointed the previous month. The committee – chaired by Dr. Sherry Buchanan and Richard Walter – was comprised of campus and community members.

In the months that followed, the search committee defined the qualities sought in the next president and outlined how the search process should proceed. Nearly 60 applications for the position were reviewed by the committee, which made its recommendations to the Board of Governors on Monday, June 2, during a closed session.

Before coming to Missouri Southern, Marble had retired from Crowder College after serving the school for 27 years, including seven as president. He had previously served as business manager and dean of development.

Prior to his career in higher education, Marble owned and operated a testing and placement service that worked with many leading insurance companies nationwide to assist injured claimants in their efforts to become retrained and employable. He sold the company in 1986 to begin his career in higher education.

Dr. Marble is an alumnus of Missouri Southern, earning a bachelor's degree in 1979. He earned a master's degree from Pittsburg State University in 1986, and his doctorate in higher education administration with an emphasis in finance from the University of Nebraska in 2006.

In addition to numerous awards for his private industry work as well as his efforts in higher education, Dr. Marble was a founding member of the board of directors for the Missouri Energy Initiative, served on the Missouri Higher Education Performance Funding Task Force, was appointed by Governor Nixon to the Missouri Tax Credit Reform Commission and is a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary International.

“I am proud, humbled and very grateful to have the opportunity to serve as the next president of Missouri Southern State University,” said Marble. “I pledge to represent and support our terrific students, faculty and staff to the very best of my ability.”

On Tuesday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon praised the selection of Marble as the new president of Missouri Southern.

“With a career in higher education spanning nearly three decades, including an accomplished tenure as president of Crowder College, Dr. Marble is an outstanding choice to lead Missouri Southern State University,” Nixon said. “I am pleased that Missouri Southern and the entire region will continue to benefit from his strong leadership and commitment to college affordability and student success.”

David Russell, commissioner of the Missouri Department of Higher Education, said that the announcement would be enthusiastically received by colleagues across the state.

“Alan brings unique credentials to the job. He is highly respected by both the community college and university sectors as a thoughtful leader and an advocate for closer collaboration between higher education and business and industry. I also know him to be a champion for student interests. The MSSU board has made an outstanding choice.”