JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate confirmed Michael Williams to the University of Missouri Board of Curators on Friday, leaving one vacancy for the governor to fill.
Appointed by Gov. Mike Parson to a six-year term earlier this year, Williams is a double MU alumnus: He earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1995 and his law degree in 1998. He has returned to MU twice as an adjunct professor for the School of Law.
He has received multiple honors from the MU Alumni Association, such as the Distinguished Recent Alumni Award from the School of Law and the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the MU Alumni Award in 2014.
A Kansas City resident, Williams is a founding partner of Williams Dirks Dameron LLC. He specializes in labor and employment law. He has participated in numerous civic organizations as a mentor and board member.
Williams’s confirmation leaves one seat to be filled on the UM Board of Curators: Jamie Farmer resigned last month after relocating to Texas. Curator Julia Brncic is now the board’s only female member.
State Sen. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, said he’s looking for “stability” for the Board of Curators. He praised the work of UM System President Mun Choi and MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright, saying that “anybody who can step in and continue to be part of the team and continue to push them in the direction that they’re going will be welcome.”
When asked whether consideration should be given to the gender balance on the board, Rowden said that “diversity in all areas, whether it be rural, urban or whatever else, is important. So I’d love to see another woman on the board.”
Gov. Mike Parson, who will recommend the next curator candidate to the Senate, said he is looking for the most qualified candidate, regardless of other factors.
“Sixteen of my cabinet directors are women; around my office, a lot of women are in key positions,” Parson said. “I’m going to go back to the person that qualifies, it doesn’t matter if they’re a man or a woman, what the color is of their skin, we just want qualified people to be in positions. That’s how we make decisions.”
Supervising editor is Mark Horvit.