UM System President Gary Forsee to take extended leave

Thursday, December 2, 2010 | 7:50 p.m. CST; updated 11:55 a.m. CST, Friday, January 7, 2011

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.


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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.

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Ellis Smith December 3, 2010 | 5:24 a.m.

Regardless of what anyone has said, positively or negatively, about Gary Forsee's term as President we should all extend the Forsees our sympathy and our wishes for Sherry Forsee's recovery. I have experienced having been told that my spouse has cancer. I wouldn't wish that experience on anyone.

The current situation appears to give greater authority and discretion to the four campus chancellors, at least for the short term. That could prove very interesting, as we have at least one current chancellor fully capable of picking up any loose football and running 95 yards with it.

How much better recognition than that of one's peers?

(Report Comment)
Bob Mitchell December 3, 2010 | 7:46 a.m.

To Gary and Sherry,
Our Prayers to his family, and certainly for his wife Sherry, that Sherry has a complete successful recovery, and prayerfully NO SETBACKS during this time of illness.
What a great comfort when you know that your entire staff is supportive and behind you in matters such as this.
Just know Gary, if you are seeing this online, the Lord will bring your wife through this, and the both of you will be stronger than ever.
May God bless the both of you during this holiday season.

(Report Comment)
Melissa Tiffany December 3, 2010 | 11:44 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Amy Vandergriff-Belcher December 3, 2010 | 8:38 p.m.

Thoughts and prayers go to the Forsee's.

(Report Comment)

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