BARBARA JEAN MORRIS ON CAMPUS TODAY
ONEONTA – As she begins her new job today, SUNY Oneonta’s news president, Dr. Barbara Jean Morris, has already assumed her first civic assignment: She will be Grand Marshal of the city’s Hometown Fourth of July parade this Wednesday.
The parade marks the first public event for the new president, who arrived on campus last week to begin her tenure as SUNY Oneonta’s eighth president.
Morris, the former provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., is the college’s second female president – after Nancy Kleniewski, who completed her 10-year tenure June 22 – and proud of her Native American ties.
Coming from Fort Lewis College, where nearly half of the student population identified as minority, Morris believes that colleges and universities should be learning communities based on respect, and from this, shared governance, including participation by students.
As a political scientist, Morris has focused 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.
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.
“I will work tirelessly to ensure that SUNY Oneonta is recognized as a model of an engaged university – engaged with our students, one another, our community, region, and the world,” she said. “I believe it is essential that we not only create critical thinkers but also prepare our students to be responsible doers that will create a pathway for a more just, humane, and sustainable world.”