After traveling to Lubbock, Texas, and listening to overtures from Gainesville, Fla., MU Provost Brady Deaton decided his loyalties rest at home in Columbia.
Deaton withdrew his name from the presidential searches at Texas Tech University and the University of Florida on Thursday and promised to be a part of the UM system’s administrative consolidation plans next year.
“I love this university, I love where we’re going and I think we have the potential to become an absolute premier university,” Deaton said.
MU Chancellor Richard Wallace will retire next August, and administrators will explore a plan to consolidate the UM system administration with that of the Columbia campus administration. Deaton will serve as a “chief operating officer,” overseeing the implementation of changes set in motion by Wallace and UM system President Elson Floyd.
“I will be working closely with Chancellor Wallace and President Floyd to ensure that the components are working together to implement the mission we are all developing,” Deaton said.
He said his role in the plans for the “year of transition” were the primary reason he decided to stay at MU.
“I was actually involved in the searches before Floyd’s proposal, so it complicated things because I was very excited about them,” Deaton said.
Deaton said he wasn’t immediately offered any additional salary to stay at MU, but UM system spokesman Joe Moore said that Deaton and Floyd were currently discussing how much the provost will earn next year. Deaton currently earns $181,476 per year.
“There’s been no decision regarding the provost’s salary,” Moore said.
Deaton visited Lubbock on July 24 and 25 and was one of only two candidates to visit the campus to speak with faculty and students. The Texas Tech Presidential Search Committee met Thursday and made a recommendation to the university’s chancellor regarding whether to nominate a finalist for the position.
“They went ahead and made their recommendations about finalists, and I don’t think this will affect that,” Texas Tech spokeswoman Cindy Rugeley said.
Deaton’s career at MU began in 1989 as a professor of agricultural economics. He later served as a department chair in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and a deputy chancellor. In 1998 he was appointed provost.
As provost, Deaton serves as the head administrator in charge of academics, and he has earned high marks from faculty for the job he has done in that role.
“I think he’s admired for his leadership on the campus academic programs,” said Faculty Council President Michael Devaney.