MU Provost Brady Deaton will take over as interim MU chancellor when the current chancellor, Richard Wallace, retires on Aug. 31, Deaton said Tuesday.
Deaton learned Tuesday evening in Knoxville, Tenn., that he would not be the new president of the University of Tennessee system. Shortly afterward, he said, he phoned UM system President Elson Floyd to accept the interim leadership position for MU.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Deaton said he would begin working closely with Wallace and Floyd to ensure a smooth transition. Deaton said his main priorities would be to carry on the development campaign and life sciences innovations and generally keep things running during the search for a permanent chancellor.
Deaton also expressed interest in the permanent chancellorship.
“I’m very interested in the position, and my intent would be to be an applicant,” Deaton said, adding that he had expressed that sentiment to Floyd.
On Tuesday night, the Tennessee system Board of Trustees narrowed down its list of candidates for president from six to three. Deaton did not make the cut. This left Deaton open to accept the interim chancellorship at MU, which Floyd had offered him.
If he had received the UT post, Deaton would have been in charge of a system with about 42,000 students attending five universities: the flagship campus in Knoxville, UT-Chattanooga, UT-Martin, the Health Science Center in Memphis and the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma.
The next UT president will receive a salary of $400,000 to $500,000, plus a university-provided home and car, UT spokesman John Clark said.
Though the salary of the interim chancellor has not been discussed, UM system spokesman Joe Moore said, the current chancellor’s compensation, including housing, is $250,000.
During his interview with the UT trustees, Deaton said that a state land-grant institution, such as MU or UT, should be competing with all other universities, not just ones of comparable size or tuition.
“We don’t want to be like Harvard,” he said. “We want to be the university Harvard wants to be like.”