Dr. Harper

A Visionary Leader Retiring

McMurry University’s 10th President, Dr. Sandra S. Harper, announced her retirement on March 8, 2024. She has served McMurry for a combined total of more than 20 years, assuming the role of president in 2013. Her determination, vision, and courage have positioned McMurry for continued growth into the University’s second century.

As president, she led the University’s progress, enriching campus life through infrastructure initiatives, including expanding the Garrison Campus Center, building the Edwards Field softball stadium, and adding new on-campus apartments (Centennial Commons). In 1989, she oversaw McMurry College’s transition to McMurry University as a faculty member.

Dr. Harper’s impact will be felt in the coming years, spearheaded by developing and adopting the University’s new strategic plan, The Second Century: 2023-2030.

Old Main

Search for McMurry's 11th President Launches

The search firm EFL Associates of Kansas City, Missouri, is conducting a nationwide search for a successor to Dr. Harper. The presidential search will officially launch on May 6, 2024, with the public posting of the position.

The presidential search committee members will work throughout the summer months to recommend two or three finalists, from whom the McMurry University Board of Trustees will choose a new president this fall.

Dr. Harper’s final day as president of McMurry University will be January 10, 2025, and the new president’s tenure will begin immediately after that date.

Application Process

  1. Complete a brief online application (2-3 minutes)
    Online application link
  2. Send us your cover letter and résumé or curriculum vitae
    • Send in PDF format
    • Send to ApplyHigherEd@eflassociates.com
    • Email subject line should read “McMurry – President Application”

Key Dates

  • Application deadline – June 30, 2024.
  • Semifinalist Video Interviews – August 21, 22 & 23, 2024.
  • Finalist On-Campus Interviews – Week of September 23, 2024.

Confidential Inquiries:

Steve Waldron, J.D.
Managing Director, Higher Education Practice, EFL Associates
Kansas City, Missouri
SWaldron@eflassociates.com or call 816-945-5423 (direct)

Search Questions & Nominations:

Nominations for the position are welcome and encouraged.  If you wish to submit a nomination, please send all relevant information, including the nominee’s email address and phone number to:

Edith Ketay
Project Manager, Higher Education Practice, EFL Associates
Kansas City, Missouri
Edith.Ketay@eflassociates.com or call 816-841-4001 (direct)

Presidential Search Committee Members

Ms. Kathi Edwards and Mr. David Bailey are the McMurry University Presidential Search Committee co-chairs. They will guide the board of trustees, faculty, staff, and community members through the candidate evaluation process.


Kathi Edwads
Kathi Edwards
Chair, Board of Trustees
Bailey David
David Bailey
Chair-Elect and Trusteeship Committee Chair

Additional members of the committee include:


Steve Sundby
Steve Sundby
Immediate Past Board Chair
Austin Pittman
Austin Pittman
Past Board Chair
Chuck Fallon
Chuck Fallon
Past Board Chair






Russell Hall
Russell Hall
Institutional Oversight Committee Chair
John T. Hendrick
John Hendrick
Campus Oversight
Committee Chair
Cindy Allen
Cindy Allen
Institutional Advancement Committee Chair






Bennett Mike
Mike Bennett
Trustee and son of former McMurry President, Dr. Gordon Bennett
Elaine Harmon
Elaine Harmon
Past Board Secretary
Kenneth Wheeler
Ken Wheeler
Alumni Board President and Trustee

McMurry Campus Community Members

Ricky Harrison
Ricky Harrison
Cabinet Member and University Chaplain and Director of Religious Life
Larry Dockery
Larry Dockery
Cabinet Member and Director of Athletics
pam veltkamp
Pamela Veltkamp
Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Faculty






Cindy Martin
Cindy Martin
Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty / AVPAA for Student Success / Professor of Mathematics
Jori Sechrist
Jori Sechrist
Professor of Sociology and Director of Institutional Effectiveness
Juan Mendoza
Juan Mendoza
Professor of Music and BIPOC Sub-Committee Co-Chair






Abe Salazar
Abraham Salazar
Web Manager and Staff Council Chair

Abilene Community Member

George Levesque

George Levesque
Executive Director of the Paramount Theatre and Civic Leader