SEPTEMBER 18, 2008

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Murray State College Hires Provost

Photo of MSC's Dr. Richard Braley.
Dr. Richard Braley was named provost at Murray State College in September.

Surrounded by unopened cardboard boxes, briefcases, piles of file folders along with stacked cds and unique leather sculptures, Murray State College’s new provost, Dr. Richard Braley, warmly greets visitors in his office located on the second floor of the Administration Building.

Accepting this new position for Braley and his wife, Pat, was easy, for both longed to come back home to Oklahoma.

Dr. Braley’s journey is broad and extensive.

Beginning his career in education, Braley first received an Associate of Engineering Technology degree at Eastern Oklahoma State College and a Bachelor of Education degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 1978. He completed a Master of Liberal Studies degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1988 and a Doctor of Education degree from Texas A & M University in 1994.

Prior to these educational achievements, Braley served in the U.S. Navy from 1968 to 1971 specializing in electronic warfare and as an operations specialist in Chu Lai Naval Support Detachment, in the Republic of Vietnam completing two tours of duty.
His training included operational and tactical intelligence gathering and survival, resistance, evasion and escape schools.

Braley later worked in the third precinct of the Norfolk Police Department in Virginia and as a patrol officer with the Arkansas State Police in the Criminal Investigation Division. Employment outside of educational institutions included FMC Corp. in Conway, Ark., as a maintenance shift supervisor and with the Kearney & Trecker Corp. in Milwaukee, Wisc., as a field service engineer.

His teaching career includes wide-ranging experiences at Texas Sate Technical College, Carl Albert State College, Mason Public Schools administration, Eastern Oklahoma State College, University of Central Oklahoma, Cameron University, and his most current position as asistant dean of the College of Education with Texas A&M University at Kingsville.

“With an eclectic background in technology, public school administration, higher education teaching and administration and supervision of curriculum and instruction, as well as my various roles in research project supervision and doctoral dissertation chair and member, I have developed a broad interest agenda that seems well-suited to serving on multiple teams, team leadership and research facilitation. Not only is it fun, it is valuable to my organizations and supportive of the work of different faculty in different disciplines and different levels of academic standing,” states Braley.

Teamwork is evident in Braley’s educational philosophy.

“I am a full professor who has come to realize a simple fact: you can get a lot of work done if you don’t care who gets the credit,” states Braley.

One of Braley’s strongest desires for returning to Oklahoma included shrinking travel distances to his three children who live in Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Arkansas, along with becoming a member of the Murray State College’s family.

“I had such a great interview with MSC President Noble Jobe and immediately said ‘yes’ to the offer,” stated Braley. “To us, this is home.”

“We feel very fortunate to be able to hire Dr. Braley. His experience as an educator and leader will not only impact what happens in every MSC classroom but outside of it as well,” stated Jobe.
Tishomingo will be the Braleys’ permanent home and both look forward to purchasing a house close to the college.

Outside of the office, Dr. Braley enjoys an unusual hobby of leather sculpturing, which he learned from Professor Leon Harney at Texas A & M in Commerce. He also enjoys writing poetry and is anticipating a new release of his works in a collection titled Poems from the Potato Hills. Several of the poems in this collection were written while residing in Oklahoma City and include reflections about children who suffered in the Oklahoma City, Federal Murrah Building bombing in 1995.

“Writing these poems affected me so much that I just couldn’t write for about five years,” stated Braley.

Braley’s ability to empathize with human tragedies and triumphs also includes many years serving as a pastor.

Braley’s wife, Pat, will work as an interim full-time business instructor in the business department, teaching classes in computer usage and accounting.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a wonderful and experienced instructor join the business department at Murray State. Patty is an excellent fit for the business department,” stated Cleta Phillips, chair of the business department.

Braley’s new appointment as second in-command at Murray State College started September 1, 2008 and he appears to be a solid selection ready to serve administration, faculty, staff, students and Tishomingo citizens for years to come.