Chancellor’s last days

Wallace leaves his job this week but will raise funds for MU
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:37 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

MU Chancellor Richard Wallace spent his penultimate day in office in a few meetings and attending to last-minute details.

Although Wallace will stay with MU for at least two more years as a fund-raiser for the $600 million “For All We Call Mizzou” campaign, he said Monday he’s sad to leave his job as chancellor.

“It’s a bit difficult to walk away from,” said Wallace, who has led the MU campus for nearly eight years.

On Wednesday, Provost Brady Deaton will step in as interim chancellor.

Wallace’s last week began with a bang — literally. Packing up his office on Sunday, he accidentally backed his car into a light post behind Jesse Auditorium.

He joked Monday about the irony of his accident; a large part of his job as chancellor has been devoted to campus improvements.

Wallace will continue those efforts in his new position as an MU fund-raiser, for which he will be paid $150,000 annually for the next two years.

“He will continue to be involved with many one-on-one personal calls … and will participate in campaign and development events,” said David Housh, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations.

Housh said Wallace’s established relationships with potential donors and ability to connect with them and with alumni will be a boon for the campaign already under way.

Wallace said that although he did not volunteer for the position, he was eager to take it.

“It was natural in that we’re one and a half to two years from the end of a five-year campaign,” he said. “Someone may finally kick me off campus, but until then, I’ll be around.”

Many have talked about the positive impact, especially financially, Wallace has had on MU. Yet he is hesitant to offer his opinion.

“I hope I’ve contributed to building a sense of community, of family,” Wallace said. “Others will have to figure the legacy out.”

It’s also up to others to figure out who the next chancellor will be.

University of Missouri system President Elson Floyd is expected to make an announcement within the “next several weeks” regarding the search committee for a new chancellor, MU spokesman Joe Moore said.

Floyd has waited to appoint the committee until after the summer break because so many people involved were not around this summer, Moore said. Floyd wanted to wait until faculty and students had returned before making any announcements about the committee.

Deaton is likely to be considered for the position.

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