COLUMBIA — UM System President Gary Forsee named Leo Morton as the interim chancellor of the University of Missouri—Kansas City effective Aug. 1, a news release said. Morton is the current chairman of the UMKC Board of Trustees and previously served as a senior vice president and chief administrative officer at Aquila, a Kansas City-based natural gas utility company, the release said. (Aquila was acquired by Great Plains Energy Inc., its crosstown rival, on Monday.)
“Leo will continue to advance the vision and mission of UMKC, building upon the solid foundation that has already been laid,” Forsee said in the release.
Morton graduated from Tuskegee University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and received a master’s degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Morton has held leadership positions at AT&T Microelectronics, AT&T Bell Laboratories, General Motors Corporation, Rust Engineering Co. and Corning Incorporated, a glass company.
“One of my top priorities will be to continue to engage all of the university’s constituencies — including the faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends who are the heart and soul of the university — in important discussions that will shape the future of UMKC,” Morton said in the release.
UMKC Provost Gail Hackett will continue to run the university on a day-to-day basis.
Morton will not be a candidate for the permanent position, that selection process will begin in the next few weeks.