COLUMBIA — Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Craig Van Matre to the UM System Board of Curators on Thursday.
Van Matre is an MU alumnus and the president of Columbia law firm Van Matre, Harrison, Hollis, Pitzer & Taylor. He has lived in Columbia since 1974.
Nixon originally nominated Van Matre for the position in January, but withdrew the nomination in May to retain the ability to appoint him in the future.
Van Matre previously served on the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education. He stepped down in January when he was nominated for the Board of Curators.
The job of the nine-member board is to appoint the president of the UM system and monitor his or her performance. Van Matre said he also expects the issues of state financial problems and budget allocations to be hot button issues during his term.
"I expect to spend lots and lots of nights reading material," said Van Matre, who says he is nervous about his new position.
Van Matre fills the seat left after Bo Fraser resigned. Van Matre will begin serving with the curators immediately. If his appointment is renewed by the state Senate next year, he will serve the rest of Fraser's term, which ends on January 1, 2013.
"I'm not coming to this board with any preconceived ideas," Van Matre said. "I want to make it better, but I'm not sure how to do that yet."