Prescott College Celebrates Inauguration of 18th President, Barbara Jean Morris

By Carla Snook, Prescott College

Dr. Barbara Jean Morris became Prescott College’s 18th President during an inauguration celebration on May 6. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and members of Barbara’s family attended.

“Today, we celebrate a new era at Prescott College, as we recognize and honor our history and embrace the future with energy and optimism,” said Lynne Nemeth, Chair of the Board of Trustees, before officially installing Barbara as President. “I know that I speak for everyone here—the Board of Trustees, administration, and faculty—when I say that we are all re-committing to student-centered, transparent, and transformative work as we forge a path to our future with our new President, Dr. Barbara Morris.”

Barbara spoke about how her parents’ passion for each other and their family, for the community in which they live, for educational opportunities and for service, and for paying it forward laid the foundation for her resilience and values.

“Prescott College, since its founding in 1966, has been dedicated to making communities better through experiential and collaborative education,” she said. “Fundamentally, the core belief that has endured is that education can both inspire and transform, producing leaders needed to solve the world’s growing environmental and social problems.”

“I understand the value of lifelong learning,” she added. “I am proud of our faculty for being unconventional, asking the big questions; essentially, what do our students need to know, why do they need to know it, and how are we ensuring that they get it? Relevancy and innovation in our curriculum and pedagogies stand at the forefront of what we do to set the example in tailoring learning across all delivery methods. It is important that we are recognized as a leader in creating opportunities for students to affect positive change in education, the environment, and society.”

Reflecting on the College’s mission, values, traditions, and culture reinforce her priorities of creating interdisciplinary experiential and diverse learning environments that inspire future leaders to create a healthy, just, and sustainable world.

Barbara comes to Prescott College after serving as the Associate Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the State University of New York (SUNY) System. With her bachelor’s degree from San Diego State and her advanced degrees from the University of California Santa Barbara, Barbara has taught courses on American foreign policy; gender, power, public policy; and political activism.