Dr. Steven Ralston

Dr. Steven Ralston, provost at Morehead State University, has announced his plans to retire.

His last day as provost will be June 30, 2018.

Ralston has been provost since 2014 when he replaced Dr. Karla Hughes.

He says he had known former MSU President Dr. Wayne Andrews from their time at East Tennessee State, and he was looking to move up from his then position as dean at Marist College.

He says his decision to retire was a decision that he made on his own.

“I am at retirement age, and that's the biggest part of it. As I have gotten older, it just seems more important to reconnect with family. It just seems like it is time to move closer to family,” Ralston says.

He says he feels like it is a good time to leave a full-time career.

Ralston says he approached MSU President Dr. Jay Morgan in November about the idea.

He says he is not eliminating the possibility of going back to work once he retires.

“There are a lot of possibilities after leaving a full-time position like this,” said Ralston.

He has been a part of higher education since 1986.

“I wouldn't do it any different way, and I wouldn't want to end it any place but here,” Ralston says.

The provost oversees the academic mission of the university, dealing with all items related to student learning.

“I work with my colleagues to ensure we have the best we possibly can at any given time,” he says.

A search committee for the next provost is being formed, where a pool of applicants will be interviewed and evaluated before an offer is made.

Ralston says he would encourage the next provost to let people help them.

“There is a great team spirit here, which has helped me greatly. Lean on them, and let them give you some guidance,” says Ralston. “There's not one good thing I have done that did not involve a lot of people doing a lot of work.”

Ralston says being a good communicator and listener is key for the next provost.

“One can have the best idea, and if they cannot communicate them well, they inevitably fail,” he said.

Ralston says he feels his greatest accomplishments during his time at MSU include implementing the winter sessions and the new nurse practitioner master's degree program, both of which he said took a lot of teamwork.

Morgan says the university offers Ralston best wishes.

“Dr. Ralston has served diligently and professionally for several years. I have known him for some time, and am pleased to call him a colleague and friend,” said Morgan. “We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

Megan Smedley can be reached at msmedley@themoreheadnews.com or by telephone at 784-4116.

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