Provost Tom Murray has decided to retire from the university, according to the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, S.J. in an announcement made to Creighton students, staff and faculty on Monday.
Murray began his provost duties on an interim basis on July 1, 2016. After a nationwide search for a new provost, he was awarded the permanent position on May 1, 2017.
Murray has spent 14 years at Creighton teaching, researching and working in academic administration.
“[Retirement] has been on my mind for a while,” Murray said.
He is currently working on several neuropharmacology and molecular pharmacology research projects in his lab and wants to make sure he has the time to finish these projects before the federal funding for the lab ends next summer. Depending on when a new provost takes office, retirement from the position will give Murray six to 12 months to finish these projects.
As provost, Murray served as the university’s chief academic officer. When he was first asked to fulfill the role as interim provost, Murray didn’t have immediate aspirations to apply for the permanent position. However, throughout his time in the temporary office, his mentality changed.
“After seeing the [positive] impact that [one] can have on the campus as a whole really encouraged me, and to an extent, inspired me,” Murray said.
Before he came to Creighton, Murray had worked at two much larger universities.
“Coming to Creighton has been a very different experience for me,” Murray said. “It has been refreshing to see that everybody on this campus understands what the Jesuit charisms and pedagogy are. When I look back at my career here, I think that will be the most salient feature: people here understand the mission of the university.”
Hendrickson looks forward to continuing to work with Murray as the nationwide search for a new provost commences.
“I have personally appreciated Tom’s deep understanding of our institutional complexity and Jesuit, Catholic identity, and his ability to both complement and challenge me and other campus leaders in reflecting upon and addressing a range of issues,” Hendrickson said in his announcement of Murray’s retirement.
After he retires and finishes out his research, Murray is looking forward to spending more time with his wife and daughter, as well as volunteering as a USA swimming official.
He isn’t looking to leave this place behind, though.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of opportunities for me to remain engaged with Creighton,” Murray said.