MURRAY, Ky. — Below is information regarding recent news, notes and accomplishments from Murray State University for the week of Oct. 15–19.


Murray State’s accounting program through the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business was recently recognized by as one of the most affordable options in the country for the University’s undergraduate accounting program offerings, which include areas such as information systems, finance or financial planning.

The resource lauded the University’s regional tuition discount for students from numerous states and described the University’s undergraduate accounting program options as “well-rounded, robust and plentiful.”

“The faculty and staff of the Department of Accounting truly set the standard for what Murray State University is all about,” said Dr. Tim Todd, dean of the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business. “To paraphrase what former president and professor of accounting Dr. Tim Miller says: We recruit students, we retain students, we educate students, we graduate students and we place students in careers. That is our core mission, and the faculty and staff of the Department of Accounting truly achieve this mission and take care of their students.”

The Department of Accounting at Murray State is honored to be recognized by as a leader in the state of Kentucky for providing both exceptional quality and value to our students,” added Leigh Johnson, chair for the Department of Accounting. “We are proud of the education that our graduates receive and the contributions that they make to the profession.”

Those interested in learning more about the University’s Department of Accounting may contact  Johnson at 270-809-7014 or


Murray State University was recently recognized by a study that ranked how well public universities and states are serving African-American students.

Murray State received the second-highest equity index score among Kentucky public universities that were part of the study, which was published by the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center and funded by the Ford Foundation. The ranking included four equity indicators relating to African-American students: representation, gender, completion and faculty.

Through a variety of programs and resources to support students, the University’s Office of Multicultural Initiatives, Student Leadership and Inclusive Excellence helps foster a campus environment of diversity and excellence.


Dr. Maeve Lewis McCarthy, the Jesse D. Jones Endowed Professor of Mathematics in the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology, has been named a 2019 Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) fellow.

According to AWM, “this year’s class of fellows is a phenomenal class of researchers, mentors and educators whose commitment to supporting and growing women across the mathematical sciences is praised by their students and colleagues.”

“I am honored and proud to become a fellow of the Association for Women in Mathematics,”  McCarthy said. “It’s very exciting to be part of such a prestigious group and to have my work for women in science be recognized in this way.”

McCarthy has taught at Murray State since 1998 and serves as director of MSU ADVANCE, a project that studies the recruitment and retention of female faculty members in science fields at rural institutions. More information is available at


Dr. Kenneth Tucker, former professor of English at Murray State, recently published his latest novel — a work of science fiction nearly 55 years in the making.

Tucker first began working on “The Zebonites’ Stronghold,” which was ultimately published in June 2018, after earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville in the 1960s. The novel is a work of science fiction, a genre Tucker has enjoyed since his teenage years, and explores the philosophical debates sparked by a newly established alien military base that offers potentially life-changing technology and possible grave danger to the Earth.

“I wanted to write a different kind of science fiction novel,” Tucker said. “Sure, I wanted to have ray guns and monsters, but I wanted realistic characters — self-conflicted characters — such as I read about in my college classes. Luckily, I discovered such a plot.”

Tucker temporarily put aside the novel’s manuscript while completing his PhD in English. Then, after accepting a role in Murray State’s English department in 1970, Tucker still had little time for the novel in the midst of developing and planning his courses. He did return to the novel in 1980, ultimately setting it aside for later publication, before deciding to rework the manuscript and move toward publication in 2017. “The Zebonites’ Stronghold” is now available for purchase.

Since retiring in 2001, Tucker has written 14 novels in several genres, including “Wilderness of Tigers” and other stories pertaining to western Kentucky history. He has also published “Shakespeare and the Jungian Typology” and “Eliot Ness and the Untouchables.” Tucker continues to write book reviews for the Shakespeare Newsletter and coordinates the Murray Writers Support Group, which meets the second Saturday of each month at Brookdale of Murray.


Two Murray State faculty members in the Department of Organizational Communication published research in July about higher education faculty codes of conduct as they relate to bullying.

Dr. Crystal Coel and Dr. Frances Smith conducted the research by analyzing codes of conduct at 276 universities and colleges across the U.S. The aim of their project was to review whether postsecondary institutions recognize bullying as a distinct form of harassment and to evaluate how bullying pertains to free speech as described in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“Through this research, we hope to add to the conversation about workplace bullying,” Coel and Smith said in a joint statement. “This article asserts that workplace bullying policies can be incorporated into faculty codes of conduct to provide resources for targets and bystanders without compromising First Amendment rights.”

Coel and Smith’s findings were published in an article titled “Workplace Bullying Policies, Higher Education and the First Amendment: Building Bridges Not Walls,” which appeared in First Amendment Studies, one of the journals of the National Communication Association.

Learn more about Coel and Smith’s research at


Dr. Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture, recently contributed a blog post on the Hemp History Week website.

Brannon’s article speaks of the importance of agricultural hemp, its future and Murray State’s leadership in research and innovation relating to the crop with the University planting the first legal agricultural hemp research plot in 2014.

“As an educator, history and tradition are important to me.  Yet, there is a saying that ‘if you always do what you’ve always done and always say what you always say, then you will always get what you already have,’” Brannon said. “One of the great current opportunities presented to Kentucky agriculture to provide ‘more than we already have’ is to ‘reinvent’ agricultural hemp.”

“Proudly, Murray State Agriculture has taken a leadership role in rebuilding the hemp industry,” Brannon continued. “In recognition of this effort, it was a pleasure to be asked to document our work as part of the Hemp History Week blog series. I was excited to provide to others within this forum some insight and context on an often misunderstood yet viable crop with multiple uses and potential.”   

Brannon’s blog post on the Hemp History Week website can be read at


Dr. Urmi Engineer Willoughby of Murray State University’s Department of History has released her second book of the year, which is titled “A Primer for Teaching Women, Gender, and Sexuality in World History.”

The book was co-authored with Dr. Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks. As Willoughby notes, there is a transformation in how history courses are taught, oftentimes focusing more on themes, such as gender and sexuality, rather than a nation-based approach.  The book is a practical guide for not only anyone who is asked to teach a course on gender and sexuality for the first time but also more experienced faculty members looking to refresh their courses. The book provides advice on everything from thinking about an appropriate course title to pedagogical approaches on the topic.

Murray State’s accounting program through the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business was recently recognized by as one of the most affordable options in the country for the University’s undergraduate accounting program offerings, which include areas such as information systems, finance or financial planning.
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