COLUMBIA — Gary Forsee, president of the University of Missouri System, told the Board of Curators on Thursday night that his wife was recently diagnosed with cancer, requiring him to take extended leave.
According to a statement from the president's office, Sherry Forsee had emergency surgery last week.
The UM president has already delegated authority to chancellors and vice presidents on various campuses, the statement noted. Steve Owens, general counsel of the UM System, will handle other matters normally addressed by the president.
The board met in a quickly called closed session Thursday that lasted an hour. The statement was released at the end of the session. Scheduled curators meetings Dec. 9 and 10 in St. Louis will be held as planned.
In the statement, Forsee acknowledged the board's understanding and support. He also said that he and his wife "appreciate the expressions of care and concern from our many university colleagues and friends around the state."
The Forsees have been married for 35 years and have two daughters, Melanie and Kara.
According to the UM System website, Sherry Forsee grew up in St. Louis, attended University City High School and is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, where she majored in secondary education.
She serves on the boards of directors of Starlight Theatre, the United Way and the Rose Brooks Center, which helps victims of domestic violence. She is also on the board of directors of the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation, her sorority.
Cards can be sent to the Office of the President, 321 University Hall, Columbia MO 65211. Personal messages can be sent directly to a web page.
Michelle Markelz and Megan Cassidy contributed to this report.