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Contact:
Barbara Laskin
651-696-6203

Kathleen M. Murray Named New Macalester Provost

St. Paul, Minn. - Kathleen MurrayKathleen M. Murray, the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Birmingham-Southern College, a professor of music and an accomplished pianist, has been named Macalester’s new provost.

She will assume her new duties on July 1, 2008.

“I’m absolutely delighted that Kathy Murray will be joining us at Macalester,” said President Brian Rosenberg. “She is a skilled and experienced academic leader with a deep understanding of the culture of the liberal arts college and a strong commitment to our institutional values. Her expertise in the fine arts will also serve us very well as we move forward with the major renovation of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts complex.”

Murray has been at Birmingham-Southern, in Birmingham, Alabama, since 2005. Before that, she was dean of the faculty and a music professor at Lawrence University from 2003-2005 and dean of the Lawrence Conservatory and music professor from 1999 to 2004. She was an associate professor of music and Piano Department chair at Lawrence from 1992 to 1999 and an assistant professor from 1986 to 1992.

"The Search Committee faced difficult choices among an impressive array of very talented and capable applicants,” said Professor Jane Rhodes, chair of American Studies, dean for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and a member of the Search Committee. “Macalester's faculty, staff and students all played an important role in our recommendation. When all was said and done, Kathleen Murray stood out as a great choice for our next Provost. Kathleen Murray will be a terrific asset for Macalester--she will bring with her tremendous liberal arts experience and a history of getting the job done. We are lucky to have her."

After receiving her Bachelor of Music degree from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1979, Murray received her Master of Music in piano performance from Bowling Green State University in 1982 and her Doctor of Music in piano performance and pedagogy from Northwestern in 1989. Her doctoral thesis was entitled “A Study of Aaron Copland’s Piano Sonata.”

She is the author of numerous articles on music and music education. She also has performed with the Lawrence University New Music Ensemble and on Wisconsin Public Radio, recorded on the CRI label, has given numerous recitals and has accompanied Cynthia Loebl at the Prague Spring International Music Festival. 

In her letter to the search committee, Murray wrote that “as a performing artist I have developed creative problem solving and collaborative teamwork skills which have served me well as an educator and an administrator…As a graduate of a liberal arts college, an educational institution that valued my ability to think, write, and speak as much as my work at the piano, I am a passionate proponent of the liberal arts and sciences. I firmly believe that my undergraduate years in that special setting formed me as an artist and scholar and laid the foundation on which I have built my career.”

In accepting the position, Murray said, “I am thrilled to be joining the administrative team at Macalester at this exciting time in the college’s history. Macalester has an extraordinary faculty and exceptional students; I look forward to getting to know them and working with them in the coming years.”

Murray succeeds Diane Michelfelder, who will return to the Philosophy Department after a sabbatical leave.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,889 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.