Release date: April 30, 2010
News & Public Affairs contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-5616 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MTSU’s Lea Retires with ‘VP Emeritus’
Status After 38-year IT Career
(MURFREESBORO, TN) – Lucinda Lea’s 38-year career in higher education administration ends today as she retires from MTSU.
Lea retires as vice president for the Information Technology Department and chief information officer, duties she has held since 2002 after being named to those posts by President Sidney A. McPhee.
Before retiring, Lea was named vice president emeritus by McPhee. MTSU has named Tom Wallace, who is associate vice president for ITD, as CIO until a permanent replacement is named.
“This is a tremendous honor,” Lea said of the emeritus status, which also was awarded to her husband, Dr. James W. Lea, when he retired in 2008 after being an MTSU mathematics professor for 38 years. “I could not be more honored.
“This is about so many things. It doesn’t happen very often. I am so appreciative of Dr. McPhee in naming me vice president emeritus. I have had a long, long association with the university and will continue to be associated with the university. This (emeritus) will be a special attachment.
The longtime MTSU employee began her career in 1973 as the faculty liaison for academic computer support, and climbed the IT promotional ladder in subsequent years.
Lea has been a part of or overseen many technology changes through parts or all of five decades.
Concluding a story she wrote for The Record, a biweekly publication for the MTSU community, Lea wrote, “As the second decade of the 21st century begins, MTSU has a student population of more than 25,000, and the MTSU leadership continues to recognize the increasingly critical role that information technology must play in providing an effective student-centered living and learning university. The complex, integrated multifaceted computing environment required today is a far cry from the two or three computers used to satisfy campus needs a half-century ago.”
In 2009, Lea served as chairwoman of the EDUCAUSE Board, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. The organization is comprised of more than 2,200 colleges, universities and educational organizations, including 250 corporations.
Propelled by the efforts of Dr. Rebecca Calahan, professor in mathematical sciences, an endowment fund – the Jim and Lucinda Lea Mathematics Scholarship – was established with the MTSU Foundation in January 2005. A Foundation official said today the scholarship “looks to be fully invested ($10,000) by this summer.”
Lea said there’s a myriad of things – traveling, spending time with their grown children and their families, cooking, gardening, playing bridge, being in a book club and other potential hobbies – she hopes to try in retirement.
“Maybe I’ll audit some classes – like history, art appreciation or music – things I have not had time to do,” she said. “I like flower arranging. I hope to scrapbook. I’ve saved about every card I’ve ever received. I love to photograph. I’ll try the creative side of computing.”
A reception was held in Lea’s honor at the home of McPhee and his wife, Elizabeth, on April 27.
“It’s a bittersweet day,” Lea said earlier today. “I will miss all the people around here.”
Note: A high-resolution jpeg photo of Lucinda Lea is available. To request, contact Randy Weiler in MTSU News & Public Affairs by calling
With three Nobel Prize winners among its alumni and former faculty, Middle Tennessee State University confers master’s degrees in 10 areas, the Specialist in Education degree, the Doctor of Arts degree and the Doctor of Philosophy degree. MTSU is ranked among the top 100 public universities in the nation in the Forbes “America’s Best Colleges” 2009 survey.
For MTSU news and information, go to mtsunews.com.