Wilson is Here To Stay

President David K Wilson’s Contract Extended Through 2030 With Board of Regents Unanimous Vote.



President David K. Wilson shakes hand of Board Chair Kweisi Mfume following official contract signing.

Raven Roberts, Features Editor

“I have no doubt at all that I will be a long-term, long-serving president,” Morgan State University President David K. Wilson told the Spokesman ten years ago. Tuesday, his words came to life

On May 2, Morgan announced that the Board of Regents voted unanimously to extend Wilson’s contract through 2030. 

“There’s a lot more work to be done. We’re building a research powerhouse here at Morgan, and the pieces we’re putting in place now, along with the work that is being undertaken, will enable the University to continue making a consequential impact on the communities we serve, long after my stewardship has concluded,” said Wilson.

Morgan has grown significantly throughout Wilson’s tenure including campus development, research and innovation, academic growth and more. Most notably, in 2016, Morgan was designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

In 2017, Morgan was designated as the state’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University and has since advanced its research designation from R3 to R2, representing high research activity at a doctoral university.

Additionally, Wilson has increased retention and graduation rates, founded the School of Global Journalism and Communication and completed the school’s largest-ever contract. In 2022, Wilson launched a ten-year strategic plan called “Transformation Morgan 2030: Leading the Future,” detailing Wilson’s plan for continued success. 

“Despite having received attractive offers from other institutions to replicate the success we’ve produced here; I haven’t given any of them serious consideration. Morgan has truly been a calling for me, and this is where I want to be,” said Wilson.

Tuesday’s decision by the board of regents to extend Wilson’s tenure for an additional seven years represents a significant change from the board’s position ten years ago.

In 2013, the Board of Regents voted against renewing Wilson’s contract with a vote of eight to seven, a decision Wilson told CBS ‘blindsided’ him. The vote faced backlash including an online petition to reinstate Wilson, which accumulated 1,374 virtual signatures. 

After an open meeting with the community and a closed meeting among themselves, the board decided to revote after backlash from the Morgan community and then voted 14 to one 1 to extend Wilson’s contract. The board then voted to oust chairman Dallas R. Evans who remained opposed to Wilson. Evans was replaced by the current chairman, the Honorable Kweisi Mfume.   

According to a 2018 press release from the university, “Since 2014, his term as University president had been an at-will appointment in which he served annually at the pleasure of the board.” 

In 2018, the Board of Regents voted unanimously to extend Wilson’s term until 2023. The extension from 2023 until 2030 represents Wilson’s longest extension so far. 

“It is a profound honor to serve as president at one of the nation’s best and fastest-rising universities. I am humbled by and appreciative of the Board of Regents’ continued trust in my capabilities and vision as president. Their support of the direction this University is headed under current leadership is laudable,” said Wilson. 

In 2018, Wilson received a three percent increase, his first Board approved salary increase, which increased his annual salary to $445,737 and 457(f) retirement plan. “In addition, Dr. Wilson will relinquish his right to professional tenure at Morgan at the conclusion of his time as president,” according to the release. 

On July 12, Wilson’s new annual salary will be $605,000, a nearly five percent increase of what his salary will be in July after it is increased by the latest cost of living adjustment (COLA) from the state of Maryland. This will be Wilson’s second salary increase throughout his tenure, aside from State issued COLAs, according to Larry Jones, assistant vice president of public relations and communications. 

Wilson came to Morgan with over 20 years of experience in educational leadership including as Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin colleges from 2006 to 2010.

Wilson earned a bachelor of science degree in political science and a master of education degree from Tuskegee University in 1977 and 1979, respectively. He earned an additional master of education degree in 1984 as well as a doctorate in education in 1987 from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

In July, Wilson will be tied with President John J. Wagner as the fourth longest-serving president at Morgan, each with terms of 13 years. John Oakley Spencer was Morgan’s fourth and longest-serving president with a term of 35 years, following Earl S. Richardson (26) and Martin D. Jenkins (22).