Dr. David Wilson

President, Office of the President
Baltimore, Maryland
United States

Focus Areas

Higher Education
Finance / Fundraising / Administration


Dr. David Wilson, the 12th president of Morgan State University, has a long record of accomplishment and more than 30 years of experience in higher education administration. Dr. Wilson holds four academic degrees: a B.S. in political science and an M.S. in education from Tuskegee University; an Ed.M. in educational planning and administration from Harvard University and an Ed.D. in administration, planning and social policy, also from Harvard. He came to Morgan from the University of Wisconsin, where he was chancellor of both University of Wisconsin Colleges and the University of Wisconsin–Extension. Before that, he held numerous other administrative posts in academia, including: vice president for University Outreach and associate provost at Auburn University, and associate provost of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Dr. Wilson’s tenure as Morgan’s president, which began on July 1, 2010, already has been characterized by great gains for the university. Among the many highlights: a record one-year enrollment increase during the 2010–11 academic year; procurement of the university’s largest-ever research contract, a $28.5-million, five-year contract from NASA; inclusion of Morgan as one of the recipients of a $129-million energy innovation research grant to Penn State University; the launch of an aggressive initiative to maintain excellence in customer service and improve the information technology infrastructure on campus; new construction on campus valued at $234 million; signing of articulation agreements with several two-year colleges, bringing Morgan bachelor’s degrees to their campuses; approval of Morgan’s first off campus baccalaureate program by the State of Maryland; establishment of Morgan’s first online degree program; a significant expansion of study abroad opportunities for Morgan students and the continuation of Morgan’s tradition of producing Fulbright Scholars: two students and one professor in 2011. Dr. Wilson has authored 2 books and more than 20 articles published in scholarly journals. Among the many honors and recognitions he has received for his work: he was named one of the nation’s top 100 leaders in higher education by the American Association of Higher Education in 1998, was selected as one of The Daily Record newspaper’s Influential Marylanders for 2011, and was honored by the University of Alabama with an award for outstanding leadership in engaged scholarship in April 2011. Dr. Wilson serves on the Boards of Directors of the Greater Baltimore Committee and the United Way of Central Maryland and on the Governing Board of the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center. He is a member of the Maryland Humanities Council — appointed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley — and the P-20 Leadership Council of Maryland. In February 2010, President Barack Obama appointed him to his 11-member Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Dr. Wilson’s achievements as leader of Maryland’s Public Urban University have clearly been strong, but it is the character he brings to the presidency, a character shaped by the intangibles of his background, that is perhaps most impressive of all. Dr. Wilson grew up with ten siblings on a sharecropper farm outside the small town of McKinley, Ala. Through hard work, tenacity and the encouragement of his father and his teachers, he became the first person in his family to attend college. Dr. Wilson’s educational philosophy is to put the students’ experience first. As a leader, he is a consensus builder and a strong believer in transparency of process. His goal is to make Morgan a leader in producing the next wave of innovators in the U.S.