Curators to hold forums for new UM president

Public view will be factored into the board’s ideals for Floyd’s replacement.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 2:29 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The UM System Board of Curators has decided that the next system president should be a leader with vision, a background in academics and the ability to attract an administrative team with “unquestioned commitment and unswerving loyalty” to UM.

Now, they want to hear what you think.

The curators will conduct six 90-minute public forums around the state during March to gather comment on the next system president, said UM spokesman Scott Charton. The Columbia forum is scheduled from 1:30 to 3 p.m. March 20 in Room 208C of the Reynolds Alumni Center.

Charton said the forums will provide opportunities for curators to tell Missourians what they want from the system’s next president, but will also let the curators hear directly from people who care about the future of the university. “It will be a dialogue more than anything,” he said.

The curators began developing their expectations for the next system president shortly after Elson Floyd announced in late December that he had accepted an offer to be president of Washington State University. Floyd is scheduled to begin his new job in June.

The curators hired Atlanta-based Baker-Parker Executive Search Consultants in January to assist in the search for Floyd’s replacement. With the consultants, the curators developed a list of nine qualities they are looking for in the system’s next president. Those qualities include an understanding of the university’s role as a land-grant institution, a demonstrated record of creating a culture with a focus on achievement and an ability to relate with constituents.

“We seek an exemplary leader of national stature to guide the university during an era marked by great challenges and unlimited opportunities for higher education,” said Board of Curators chairman Don Walsworth.

The board, with help from UM’s four chancellors, is also in the process of putting together a 17-member advisory panel to interview finalists for the position and report to the curators. The panel will be made up of eight faculty members, two from each campus; the chairman and vice chairman of the intercampus student council; the chairman of the intercampus faculty council; a representative from MU Health Care; the chairman of the intercampus staff council; and an alumni representative from each of the four campuses.

Charton said the UM System is creating a Web site detailing the presidential search that could be online this week.

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