Public forums part of UM System curators' president selection process

Monday, February 21, 2011 | 7:25 p.m. CST; updated 9:58 p.m. CST, Monday, February 21, 2011

Seven public forums will be held across the state in March to gauge public opinion on finding the next president of the University of Missouri System.

Four of the forums will be held on the campuses of the system's universities, with the remaining three in Portageville, St. Joseph and Springfield.

The UM System Board of Curators is seeking comments from Missouri residents about the qualities, characteristics and background they would like to see in a university president.

“It's important to have these public forums because I, for one, would like to get public input on the job description and the kind of person we're looking for,” Chairman Warren Erdman said during the curators' January meeting. 

Members of the presidential search committee, the search advisory committee and university and search firm representatives will attend the forums.

“It's important that we bring the public into this process as best we can,” Erdman said.

The public forums are as follows:

Gary Forsee stepped down as president of the UM System on Jan. 7 to focus on his wife's recovery from cancer.

General counsel for the UM System Steve Owens was appointed interim president, but he has said he does not want to be considered as a candidate.

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