COLUMBIA — Members of the MU Faculty Council reflected positively on the tenure of MU Chancellor Brady Deaton on the heels of his Wednesday announcement that he will retire on Nov. 15.
“Most faculty would consider it as a loss to the university and a loss to the faculty,” said Craig Roberts, chair of the Student Affairs Committee and the next Faculty Council chairman, of Deaton's retirement.
“I’m already down about it,” Roberts said. “As the next Faculty Council chair, I was counting on Brady because of his honesty and his principles.”
Roberts attributed Deaton’s bottom-up administrative approach and his supportive nature to his agriculture and grass-roots background.
“Brady was very much a proponent of shared governance,” Roberts said, referring to the idea of allowing faculty input on major decisions regarding MU and the four-campus University of Missouri System.
Clyde Bentley, chairman of the council's Diversity Enhancement Committee, said that both Brady and Anne Deaton are "two of the most gracious people I have ever met."
"I'm sure it would have been easier to get angry these past two years. There is less money, more students, not enough classrooms and underpaid faculty," Bentley said in an email. "But (Deaton) never lost his temper. I haven't always agreed with the chancellor, but I always appreciated his calm style and friendly smile."
Bentley said Deaton's passion for diversity made it easy for the Faculty Council to enact the cultural competency review program.
Harry Tyrer, current Faculty Council chairman, said he hopes the new chancellor will be as scholarly as Deaton.
“We’ll definitely miss him," Tyrer said. "He accomplished a lot for the university.”
Tyrer cited the increased fundraising goal for For All We Call Mizzou and continuing the Chancellor's Fund for Excellence as some of Deaton’s major influences at MU.
Initially, For All We Call Mizzou’s goal was to raise $600 million by the end of 2005. Under Deaton, the goal was increased to $1 billion by the end of 2008. The money went to specific entities, such as scholarships, research and the creation of faculty positions and facilities.
“These are enormous resources that come to bear on the campus,” Tyrer said. “He has had a great impact.”
Tyrer and Roberts think the Faculty Council will have some say in helping select a new chancellor. That could mean helping form and participating in a search committee and providing opportunities for faculty to meet candidates.
“What the nature of that say is, we don’t know yet,” Tyrer said.
Roberts said he would like to see someone like Deaton succeed him.
“I’m hoping we get to weigh in on the qualities that we are looking for in a chancellor,” Roberts said. “Hopefully Faculty Council can have some impact on administration.”
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