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UPDATE: R. Bowen Loftin will be MU's next chancellor, according to reports

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 | 8:39 p.m. CST; updated 11:58 a.m. CST, Thursday, December 5, 2013

COLUMBIA — R. Bowen Loftin, outgoing president of Texas A&M University, is MU's next chancellor.

Loftin, sporting a black and gold bow tie, was introduced to the campus Thursday morning at an event in the Reynolds Alumni Center.

AT A GLANCE

Here are some things you might want to know about R. Bowen Loftin, who will be MU's next chancellor, according to reports by the Bryan-College Station Eagle.

According to his curriculum vitae published in August 2010:

LAST JOB: President of Texas A&M since February 2010

EDUCATION: 1975 doctorate degree in physics from Rice University in Houston, Texas; 1973 master's in physics from Rice University; 1970 bachelor's degree in physics from Texas A&M

PREVIOUS JOBS: Vice president and professor at Texas A&M and chief executive officer of Texas A&M University at Galveston from 2005 to 2010, professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, from 2000 to 2005

WIFE: Dr. Karin Christiane Loftin, an associate biosafety officer at Texas A&M, according to the university's Office of the President website

CHILDREN: Two adult children, Elisabeth and Benjamin, and three grandchildren

TWITTER: @aggieprez

FACEBOOK: R. Bowen Loftin

FOR MEMBERS

With Brady Deaton stepping down recently after nine years as MU chancellor, he and Anne Deaton will no longer host visiting dignitaries, faculty, staff, students and donors. But they will continue to make MU their professional home as they launch a global leadership institute bearing both of their names. (This story is available to Missourian digital members.)


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Loftin, 64, has been president of Texas A&M since February 2010. He announced in July 2013 that he would step down as president of Texas A&M University in January 2014.

Under his leadership, the university's enrollment has surpassed 50,000 students, according to a July 2013 news release on the Aggie Network website. He was interim president for eight months before becoming president.

Prior to that, he served as vice president of Texas A&M University and as chief executive officer at Texas A&M at Galveston's branch.

Loftin's annual salary as president was $425,000, according to The Associated Press.

Sammi Wallace, a junior at Texas A&M, said Loftin is an "awesome guy who really takes the time to talk to students."

"I was at the Missouri game just last week actually, and he came down into the A&M section to shake people's hands and take pictures," Wallace said.

According to Loftin's 2010 curriculum vitae:

Loftin received a bachelor's degree in physics from Texas A&M in 1970. He then attended Rice University, where he earned a master's degree in physics in 1973 and a doctoral degree in physics in 1975.

Loftin has also worked as a lecturer, assistant professor, professor and researcher. His teaching areas include physics, engineering and computer science.

He has published more than 100 research articles. He has given numerous presentations and has received several grants for his work in modeling and simulation, synthetic environments for training, education and scientific/engineering/medical data visualization, intelligent systems for training and education, and human-computer interaction.

According to a 2010 interview with the Texas Aggie, Loftin grew up in Navasota, Texas, a town southeast of College Station, Texas, and made his way through college on scholarships and a part-time job.

Tom Adair, a professor who taught Loftin as an undergraduate and later encouraged him through graduate school, told the Texas Aggie that Loftin was a hard-working and dedicated student.

Loftin is married to Karin Christiane Loftin. The couple have two adult children and three grandchildren.

He told Texas Aggie that he owned well over 100 bow ties and started wearing them more than 35 years ago when the University of Houston's physics department required its instructors to start wearing ties.

Loftin succeeds former Chancellor Brady Deaton, who retired on Nov. 15. He will lead the Brady and Anne Deaton Institute for University Leadership in International Development.

A search committee led by Dean Mills, dean of the School of Journalism, and Ann Covington, a curator for the UM System, has conducted a confidential search. Two public forums were held in the summer to get input on qualities people wanted in a new chancellor, and then the process was closed to the public.

The 18-member committee worked for about four months with Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, a California-based company, to conduct the closed national search. The UM System paid the company $114,886 for its services, UM spokesman John Fougere said Wednesday.

In addition to the search firm, the UM System also paid $5,400 to Nebraska-based Talent Plus assessment agency. The company screened candidates' interpersonal skills so that the search committee could have a more holistic view of not only experience but personality, as well.

When Wolfe was hired in 2011, he underwent the same screening. He said that it was "insightful" and that it "prevents us from hiring someone that's great on paper and great in interviews but not so great when she or he hits the street running."

The new chancellor will be MU's 22nd top executive. Before chancellors, MU had presidents; the change came in 1963, when the system was formed. It includes MU, the universities of Kansas City and St. Louis, and Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.


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Comments

Mary Douglass December 5, 2013 | 11:01 a.m.

A bow tie man? Well then, let's see if he lives up to that standard...in my experience, all great scholars and University visionary leaders know the value of the bow tie...why yes, yes they do...:)

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 5, 2013 | 11:06 a.m.

Mary: He needs a pipe.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith December 5, 2013 | 2:24 p.m.

Bow tie or not, your new chancellor comes from an organizational culture (Texas A&M) much closer to that of MS&T than the present culture at MU. Given the respective management philosophies of Texas A&M and MS&T, similarities in administrative approach should't be surprising (even though the former has approximately seven times the enrollment of the latter).

I suspect folks like George Kennedy may now be sensing a pattern to recent System administrative appointments. :)

(Report Comment)

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