Columbia Visioning Commission chairman resigns

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 | 6:55 p.m. CST; updated 5:55 p.m. CST, Friday, March 6, 2009

This story has been modified to correct the name of Jeffrey Williams' new employer in Kansas City.

COLUMBIA — After working nearly three years to help Columbia develop a vision for the future, chairman Jeffrey Williams of the Columbia Visioning Commission has resigned. A new chairman will be elected Tuesday.

Williams' last meeting will also be Tuesday. That meeting is open to the public and scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m.

Now MU's director of access and urban outreach, Williams is relocating to Kansas City to become vice president of higher education for Kauffman Scholars Inc.*, a college prep and scholarship program. .

Williams, who has strong family and personal connections in both Kansas City and Columbia, said the choice was difficult.

"The range of my involvements in general in Columbia weighed very heavily on my thinking," Williams said. "It's very hard to pull up roots when you're engaged on a certain level. This was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."

The fledgling visioning commission is scheduled to present its initial report to the City Council in late March; Williams said he thought he was leaving it in "good hands" with "lots of talented people."

"I don't think that one person is going to undermine its efforts in any kind of way by leaving," Williams said.

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