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Mixed reception: Former Sprint Nextel CEO Gary Forsee takes over as UM System president Monday.

Some faculty members questioned Forsee's lack of academic background, but curators sought a president with business know-how.
Friday, February 15, 2008 | 5:00 p.m. CST; updated 1:51 a.m. CST, Tuesday, February 24, 2009

COLUMBIA — The December day Gary Forsee was introduced as the new University of Missouri System president seemed to lack pomp and pageantry.

Outside the Reynolds Alumni Center, the sky was overcast and occasionally spitting snow. The MU campus, usually humming with activity, was shuttered and relatively dormant after the students left for the holidays.

Inside, a staid coronation took place. The only hints that a university-related event was in progress were the podium and two gold banners featuring the seal of the UM System hanging behind it.

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