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Morgan State University Board of Regents Announces New, Five-Year Contract for President David Wilson

Morgan State U
February 07, 2018

Agreement Extends President’s Leadership Until 2023, Continuing Current Momentum

Morgan State University’s Board of Regents has announced its unanimous vote to award a new, five-year contract to University President David Wilson, extending his term until 2023. The announcement and official contract signing took place in an open public session during the Board’s February meeting. With the new agreement in place, Morgan joins other Maryland universities that have secured their leadership for a set period, a move that communicates stability to donors, alumni and other supporters.

“The Board of Regents of Morgan State University has been generally very pleased with the performance, administration and leadership of Dr. David Wilson during his tenure as University President and the Board wishes to underscore that satisfaction in good faith with a five year employment contract,” said Board Chair Kweisi Mfume. “We hope that this demonstrated commitment signals to donors, potential donors, our Governor, the State Legislature, the larger world of academia, alumni, supporters and most of all our students, that we support the leadership of President Wilson. At Morgan State University we take seriously our claim to…Growing the Future, Leading the World™.”

Dr. Wilson was inaugurated as the 10th president of Morgan in July 2010, after an extensive national search. Since 2014, his term as University president had been an at-will appointment in which he served annually at the pleasure of the board.

Since Dr. Wilson’s arrival at Morgan, the University has flourished, and its progress has continued unabated. Among his many accomplishments to date as Morgan’s president include:

10-Year Strategy to Further Growth and Foster Positive Transformation

  • Working in conjunction with key University stakeholders to develop a comprehensive, 10-year (2011–2021) Strategic Plan, a blueprint used to build a transformative educational environment enriched by diverse perspectives
  • Establishing a shared, University-wide vision, mission and core values

Campus Development 

  • Spearheading the founding of a new school, the School of Global Journalism and Communication, and appointing its first-ever dean
  • Overseeing the expansion of a new West Campus and stewarding new campus construction valued at more than $271 million with plans for another $300 million in construction of the next several years Health and Human Services Building and a new Science Complex
  • Opening two new, state-of-the-art facilities on Morgan’s West Campus: the $79-million Martin D. Jenkins Hall Behavioral and Social Sciences Center and the $81-million Morgan Business Center, the home of the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management; and opening the third of the University’s pedestrian bridges, the eye-catching Legacy Bridge
  • Initiating a complete overhaul and improvement of the campus information technology infrastructure, modernizing the campus’s technological capabilities
  • Leading the effort to have the National Trust for Historic Preservation designate Morgan’s entire campus as a National Treasure
  • Breaking ground to begin construction on the new, $88-million Calvin and Tina Tyler Hall Student Services Building, which is scheduled to open on main campus during the summer of 2020
  • Completing the renovation and reopening of the historic Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum  

University Fundraising 

  • Launching the “$5 Endowed Dollar Scholarship Fund,” which is currently valued at $1,041,227, to assist students’ participation in Morgan’s Study Abroad Program, and personally contributing more than $107,000 to ensure its success
  • Overseeing a 183 percent increase in the alumni participation-in-giving rate since 2010, going from 6 percent in 2010 to more than 17 percent to-date
  • Ushering in an endowment increase of 123 percent, from $14.3 million to $31.8 million. The endowment giving during FY2011–17 reached $7.8 million 

Financial Stability

  • Steering Morgan’s financial stewardship, producing consecutive years of solid A1 and A+ bond ratings, as ascribed by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, respectively, and projecting a long-term stable outlook 

Advancements in Faculty and Staff Experience 

  • Launching an aggressive initiative to maintain excellence in customer service
  • Increasing the number of faculty members with terminal degrees while significantly decreasing the number of contractual faculty 

Academic Progress 

  • Continuing Morgan’s status as the No. 1 HBCU in production of Fulbright scholars and grantees
  • Establishing Morgan’s first online degree program and growing that number to a total of 10 online degree programs and four certificate programs
  • Significantly expanding study abroad opportunities for Morgan students, adding new global destinations for foreign study
  • Elevating the University’s status as a top awarder of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees to African Americans 

Research and Innovation 

  • Establishing the University’s Division of Research and Economic Development and the appointment of its first-ever vice president
  • Procuring the University’s largest-ever research contract, a $28.5-million, five-year contract with NASA
  • Securing the largest federal grant in University history, a $23-million NIH grant to produce the next generation of minority bio scientists
  • Overseeing the official designation of Morgan as the State of Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University
  • Ensuring Morgan’s inclusion as one of the recipients of a $129-million energy innovation research grant to Penn State University
  • Having the NSA and Department of Homeland Security designate Morgan as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education 
  • Establishing and opening the School of Engineering’s Center for Reverse Engineering and Assured Microelectronics (C.R.E.A.M.) laboratory to provide research in cybersecurity 

Enrollment, Retention and Graduation 

  • Seeing the University’s second-year retention rate exceed 70 percent for the seventh consecutive year, an accomplishment for which Morgan was nationally recognized
  • Increasing enrollment to nearly 8,000 students
  • Launching the University’s “50 by 25” initiative to boost the graduation rate, and subsequently increasing Morgan’s graduation rate by more than 35 percent 

Under the new agreement approved by the Board of Regents, Dr. Wilson will receive a 3 percent increase (an amount he plans to reinvest back into the University over the next several years) bringing his annual salary to $445,737, along with a 457(f) nonqualified deferred compensation retirement plan. In addition, Dr. Wilson will relinquish his right to professional tenure at Morgan at the conclusion of his time as president.

All new terms are effective immediately.

“It is a true honor to be in a position to continue serving as Morgan’s president with the backing and support of the Board of Regents,” said Dr. Wilson. “I appreciate the Board’s confidence in my ability to lead this university as well as their belief that we are indeed on the right path to securing a stronger position for the future. Morgan is a great university, and I welcome this opportunity to extend my time working alongside such an exceptional faculty and staff in service to our brilliant and phenomenal students.” 


About Morgan 

Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 140 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit

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Media Contacts:
Larry Jones, for University PR