Judith Haggard’s responsibilities as a nurse practitioner include research, education and learning new information — skills, she said, that will be useful if she is confirmed for a spot on the University of Missouri System Board of Curators.
Gov. Matt Blunt nominated Haggard on Wednesday to replace Anne Ream, whose term expires Jan. 1, 2007. Ream is one of three curators whose term will expire at the beginning of the year.
“It’s wonderful,” said Haggard from Kennett, where she works at Southeast Missouri Health Network.
Haggard’s nomination comes a day after UM System President Elson Floyd resigned and accepted the position of president at Washington State University. Haggard said she met Floyd twice and was sad he was leaving.
The discussion, she said, will now move to the search for a new president. As a curator, she would help set the guidelines for the search, oversee the search committee and confirm the new president.
Curator John Carnahan said that Haggard would be the only board member with a medical background, which would be beneficial. Carnahan said there are three essentials for a successful curator: a love for the university, an interest in higher education and a desire to better understand the UM System.
Gov. Blunt called Haggard this week to tell her she was going to be nominated.
“He felt like he was comfortable with me as a human being making decisions,” Haggard said. “He said he had confidence in me.”
As a graduate of MU, Haggard said she was excited about the possibility of returning to her alma mater, where the board meets at least once a year.
Haggard earned a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and started her nursing career shortly thereafter. Since 1970, she has worked at Chickasawba Hospital in Blytheville, Kennett High School and Family Counseling Center in Kennett. She also founded the Dunklin County Hospital volunteer program.
Missourian reporter Silas Allen contributed to this report.