To the editor:

Throughout my career as chair of the Murray State University Chemistry Department, mayor of Murray and 5th District state representative, I have always ferociously advocated for MSU by recruiting students and making sure our community and university received more than its fair share from Frankfort.

There were times, during past MSU administrations, when I was one of few fighting to advance MSU. MSU has traditionally had presidents who have blown into town to keep the seat warm, while waiting for their next job. These former presidents also obviously did not want to live here and allowed other universities, such as UK, WKU and NKU to recruit our students and caused many of our state dollars to end up east of I-69.

In reading about the MSU Regional Vaccination Site in the Murray Ledger, it is obvious President Bob Jackson and his administration, particularly Gov Relations Director Smith and the Vice Presidents, are advocating effectively for our university and community.

During this pandemic, some CEO’s have not risen to meet the moment and instead complained about the current environment and went on vacation, while letting others pick up the slack. That is not the case at MSU.

After years of negotiating with state officials and reminding them that an entire world exists west of I-69, with the state’s highest performing comprehensive university, I know it must have taken a lot of negotiating to get a regional vaccination site placed at MSU. It is also good to see so many coming together to make this site happen for our citizens, particularly from the Health Department, MSU, Primary Care and others.

I hope the MSU faculty will join me in applauding President Jackson and the current MSU administration for strong advocacy, in tough times. Without a strong leader, state funding is reallocated to other universities, students are not recruited, dollars and vaccinations likely do not make their way past  Bowling Green.

Melvin B. Henley