David K. Wilson, Ed.D., has agreed to a seven-year tenure, meaning he will remain president of Morgan State University until 2030. (Courtesy photo)

By Tashi McQueen,
AFRO Political Writer,

Morgan State University’s (MSU) Board of Regents unanimously voted May 2 to extend the tenure of MSU President David K. Wilson, Ed.D., until 2030, according to a university statement. 

His new seven-year contract, if served out fully, will make Wilson the fourth longest tenured president in the institution’s history, according to the college’s presidential biography page.

“There’s a lot more work to be done. We’re building a research powerhouse here at Morgan, and the pieces we’re putting in place now – will enable the University to continue making a consequential impact on the communities we serve,” said Wilson in a statement to the media. “It is a profound honor to serve as president at one of the nation’s best and fastest-rising universities. I am humbled by and appreciative of the Board of Regents continued trust in my capabilities and vision as president.” 

The Board of Regents is an independent, 15-member body that governs the operations of the university, according to the Maryland Manual at msa.maryland.gov. The governor of Maryland selects and the State Senate approves all members, according to the manual.

Wilson has been president at Morgan for nearly 13 years. He took the helm of the institution in July 2010, leading Morgan into what college officials regard as its “modern era,” according to the press release.

“I am happy to announce that Dr. David K. Wilson will remain president of Morgan State University for the next seven years,” said Rep.  Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.), chairman of the Board of Regents, in a May 2 statement to the media. “The Board of Regents has approved a new employment agreement that will keep Dr. Wilson at Morgan through 2030. We, the Board, are quite pleased with the sterling and transformative leadership that he displays in higher education on behalf of our students, staff, and alumni.”

“We look forward to continuing our work together as a team,” Mfume continued.

Faculty and students shared their reactions to the news.

“I was quite excited and happy,” Linda Loubert, associate professor of economics at Morgan, told the AFRO. “[Wilson] is someone who is out there a lot in different organizations and I was scared he was going to get pulled away from Morgan, but he signed a seven-year contract, so I know he’s going to be here.”

Her fears were valid. He confirmed he has had offers to go elsewhere. 

“Despite having received attractive offers from other institutions to replicate the success we’ve produced here, I haven’t given any of them serious consideration,” Wilson said in a statement. “Morgan has truly been a calling for me, and this is where I want to be.”

Loubert hopes Wilson will continue to lead Morgan into greater notability. “I believe he can help us,” said Loubert. 

“I’m hoping he will take us to R1,” Loubert said, referring to the top level of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, a globally recognized higher education ranking system.  

Wilson has helped Morgan become an R2 research institution during his tenure. Carnegie Classification is a top tool for recognizing diversity in American higher education. 

According to information released by Morgan, it puts them on track to access “the highly coveted upper echelon of premier research institutions by attaining an R1 ‘very high research’ classification in the coming years.”

Brooke Foyles and Kayla Clark, newly elected MSU Student Government Association (SGA) president and vice president, respectively, for Morgan’s 2023-2024 academic school year, both voiced optimism for Morgan’s future.

“When I found out, I was ecstatic because I know that Dr. Wilson has brought many great things to campus, such as improved infrastructure,” said Foyles. “The new buildings are well needed and are a wonderful complement to our campus.”

In recent years, the school has upgraded its University Student Center, according to the school’s student-run newspaper, The Spokesman.

“They’ve added ballrooms, seating and photo opportunity areas, and eateries including Chick-fil-A,” said Foyles. “The student center is the hub of student life now. It’s an easygoing place for current students and alumni [to gather].”

Clark said she approves of Wilson’s communication and transparency with students.

“I think he’s an incredible president,” said Clark. “One thing I believe he has done right is communication. I’m happy that he notifies and is transparent with us.”

Foyles said Wilson can do a better job of listening to students.

“The one thing that he could work on moving forward is ensuring that he’s incorporating student’s voices,” said Foyles. “Making sure we remain ‘at the table,’ especially regarding housing and financial issues, and making sure that faculty hears us as well.”

Tashi McQueen is a Report For America Corps Member.