WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Almost 300 days since Midwestern State’s first female president announced her retirement and 21 days after being named as the lone finalist for the president, MSU’s second woman president is ready to lead the university into its future.

Through knowledge to excellence, that’s MSU’s motto and one student hopes the new president Dr. JuliAnn Mazachek will uphold it.

“I don’t think that just because you’re new or it’s just the first time that should diminish the quality of work that the position is expected to fulfill,” MSU Freshmen Samantha Wilson said.

Mazachek was formally announced Monday as the 12th and second female president in MSU’s 100-year history. She follows in the footsteps of Dr. Suzanne Shipley and said she’ll start her tenure with a listening agenda at first but does want to focus on two key areas.

“We’ll want to make sure we’re growing enrollment and we’ll be working together to develop a plan and to continue some of the hard work that has already been started and then embrace what needs to come in the future to expand enrollment,” Dr. Mazachek said. “Then also to determine how we can best take advantage and leverage the partnership as a part of the Texas Tech System.”

State lawmakers are currently discussing a controversial topic that would eliminate academic tenure for professors. But Dr. Mazachek said academic tenure helps create stability for the institution.

“I believe it allows us to keep our strongest teachers and our strongest researchers at our institutions,” Dr. Mazachek said. “I do believe there’s a tremendous responsibility that goes along with tenure and that in continuing to personally develop, continuing to provide the level of service, teaching excellence, and research excellence that you do even before you have tenure.”

A big discussion locally for many years is when or will MSU build its own football stadium on campus. That’s something Dr. Mazachek envisions in the university’s future.

“I anticipate we will be moving forward to plan how that might be able to happen,” Dr. Mazachek said. “I don’t have a timeline but I anticipate that will be one of the priorities that we will be talking about when I arrived.”

It’s the potential for progress that has some students, like Wilson, excited, not just for herself, but for her children’s future at MSU.

“Knowing that I’ll get to see all of the changes that she brings firsthand before my kids start attending MSU that’s really powerful because I’ll know what kind of school they are coming to,” Wilson said.

Although she has now been announced as the new president, Dr. Mazachek won’t officially take on duties until May 23, 2022.