Murray graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1977 with a BSA in agricultural economics, receiving the Governor General’s Gold Medal. After completing his MSc in agricultural economics at Texas A&M in 1978, Murray attended Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship. Receiving his BA from Oxford in 1980, he returned to Saskatoon and joined Saskatchewan Mining Development Corporation as Director, Market Research. In 1982, he returned to university to begin his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1985, at which time he joined the University of Saskatchewan. He served as director of the Centre from 1995 to 2000 and took up the reigns for another five-year term in January 2014.