Ward takes permanent place as MU chief operating officer

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 | 8:39 p.m. CDT; updated 8:51 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, August 26, 2014

COLUMBIA — Gary Ward will be the permanent vice chancellor of operations and chief operating officer for MU. Ward has been in the position on an interim basis since January, after Jacquelyn Jones retired.

Ward directs university planning and facilities operations, according to a release from the MU News Bureau.

The news release lists his duties as providing administrative oversight of financial and service operations for: Campus Facilities; the MU Police Department; Parking and Transportation Services; Printing Services; the MU Sustainability Office; Environmental Health and Safety; the Missouri Theatre and Jesse Auditorium; the A.L. Gustin Golf Course; the University Club and Catering; KBIA/91.3 FM and the University Concert Series; and KOMU/NBC.

Jones was vice chancellor of administrative services. Ward's job title change reflects Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin's renaming and restructuring of upper-level jobs at MU.

Earlier this year, Loftin renamed the job of MU budget director held by Rhonda Gibler to vice chancellor of finance and chief financial officer and expanded her duties.

Other changes included naming Hank Foley as senior vice chancellor for research and graduate studies at MU. He also is executive vice president of academic affairs, research and development for the University of Missouri System.

Leona Rubin was named associate vice chancellor for graduate studies at MU and associate vice president for academic affairs and graduate education for the UM System.

More recently, Ellen de Graffenreid was named vice chancellor of marketing and communications at MU.

Still to come is the hiring of a successor to Provost Brian Foster, who retired last year. That job also comes with the title of executive vice chancellor of academic affairs.

The chief operating officer position was created to deal with all operational aspects of the university, Ward said.

"For an institution that is so large and so complex, it's a really smart strategy," Ward said.

Ward, 53, joined MU in August 2005. As associate vice chancellor of facilities, he oversaw completion of more than $500 million in MU construction projects, according to the news release.

Ward said he wants to develop a relationship with faculty and students and learn how to support them.

"I want operations to be known as good stewards," he said.

Ward's permanent status will be official Sept. 1. His annual salary will be $210,000, MU spokesman Christian Basi said.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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