UPDATE: MU engineering dean will step down from position Sept. 1

Monday, June 9, 2014 | 6:43 p.m. CDT; updated 4:25 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 10, 2014
*UPDATE: This story has been updated to include information about the search for Thompson's replacement and about why he stepped down.

COLUMBIA — MU College of Engineering Dean James Thompson will step down effective Sept. 1, according to an MU news release.

Dean Thompson has been the dean of the college since 1994, according to his biography page on the college's website. Prior to his current role, Thompson was the dean of engineering at the University of New Mexico.

During his tenure at MU, he has overseen the expansion of engineering-based research and education programs including bioengineering, computer science and information technology, according to the college's website. Undergraduate enrollment more than doubled to 2,886 in 2014 from 1,360 in 1994, according to MU's Division of Enrollment Management. 

"Much has changed during his leadership, and we look forward to building on the college's excellent reputation in all of its disciplines," Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said in the news release. 

Interim Provost Ken Dean said Thompson is leaving the college in a good place.  

"Dean Thompson leaves the College of Engineering well positioned to move to the next level in research and cutting-edge, market-responsive education programs," Dean said in the release.

Harry Tyrer, an electrical and computer engineering professor, who worked with Thompson frequently during the beginning of his term, said he "did the right things for the college."  

"He had a vision in his mind and he wanted others to go with it," Tyrer said. 

*Thompson is stepping down to be able to spend more time with his family, MU spokesman Christian Basi said. The selection of the interim dean and more information about the search for Thompson's replacement will be announced later.

Supervising editor is Samuel Hardiman.

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