Attorney appointed as new UM general counsel

Friday, October 5, 2007 | 12:33 p.m. CDT; updated 6:20 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — The UM System Board of Curators announced today that it has appointed Stephen J. Owens, a Kansas City attorney, as the next general counsel for the university system that includes campuses in St. Louis, Kansas City, Rolla and Columbia.

Owens, 52, will succeed Marvin E. “Bunky” Wright, who is retiring as general counsel on Dec. 31, 2007. Wright has served as the general counsel since March 1, 1998.

Owens, who received a bachelor’s degree from MU in public administration in 1977, is a partner and chairman of the Class Action and Complex Litigation Division of the Kansas City-based Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP.

Owens has helped establish scholarships for MU students in the College of Engineering, the School of Journalism and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

Owens’ appointment will begin Jan. 22, and his base salary will be $290,000 plus benefits and incentives.

As a general counsel, Owens will represent the Board of Curators, all administrators in the system, University Extension and MU Health Care.

In addition, the general counsel is responsible for representing any university employee who is sued for actions within the scope of their duties for the university.

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