MU Human Environmental Sciences dean announces retirement

Saturday, August 23, 2014 | 3:14 p.m. CDT; updated 7:42 p.m. CDT, Saturday, August 23, 2014

COLUMBIA – The dean of MU's College of Human Environmental Sciences announced that he would retire near the beginning of the 2015-16 school year.

Stephen Jorgensen, who has worked at the university since 2001, will retire on Aug. 31, 2015, according to an MU news release. He oversaw a 160 percent increase in his college's endowment, while the number of credit hours taken in the college doubled during his nearly 15-year career.

“(I)t has been rewarding to be part of the growth the college has experienced,” Jorgensen said in the news release. “I’ve enjoyed helping students, faculty and staff resolve problems and break down barriers as they strive to achieve their goals.”

In addition to advancing the College of Human Environmental Sciences, Jorgensen helped secure support for the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in 2005.

“It was a fantastic experience to work on an effort that is now touching the lives of so many children and their families in such positive ways," he said in an interview.

Jorgensen completed a doctorate in family sociology at the University of Minnesota in 1976. He served on the faculty at the University of Arizona, Texas Tech University and the University of Arkansas before coming to Columbia.

Outside of his education work, Jorgensen is an avid scuba diver. The 65-year-old plans to expand the range of places he visits for diving after retirement, especially in Micronesia and other destinations in the South Pacific Ocean.

“I plan to travel for fun more than I have been able to do,” Jorgensen said.

The university will conduct a national search for Jorgensen’s replacement, the interim provost said in the news release.

Supervising editor is Seth Klamann.

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