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New University of Missouri System president about to be introduced

University of Missouri System will name its new president in a series of announcements on each of the four campuses starting with a 10 a.m. event Tuesday in Columbia.

University officials are being tight-lipped about who the system’s next president is. But some speculation points to a man with ties to Missouri and, like his predecessor Gary Forsee, is from the business community.

Anticipating that the new president will come with a business background, Intercampus Faculty Council President, Gary Ebersole, had some advice with regard to how faculty might take to not having an academic in charge.

“How faculty respond will depend upon the new president’s demeanor and how he engages with the faculty,” Ebersole said. “You cannot bring a CEO-mentality — that is, a top-down management style — into the academy and expect it to work.”

Forsee, on day one, said he knew business and not education so he was open to learning from faculty, staff and students. He held a series of town hall meetings around the state to hear what the needs were in each area served University of Missouri campuses. He was well received by all sectors within the university system.

Board of Curator President Warren Erdman, who has led the university’s search committee, said last week that after a year-long search, curators had selected a person to be introduced to the public this week after some final contract negotiations had been completed.

After narrowing the search from hundreds of nominations, an advisory search panel talked to final candidates and made its recommendation to the full search committee, which is made up of the Board of Curators and the student member of the board. Curators make the final decision.

For a year, since Forsee resigned his post last December to care for his ailing wife, Steve Owens has led the university as interim president. Owens stepped away from his position as general counsel for MU to fill in while the system searched for its 23rd president.

Tuesday’s presidential announcement will be made in the Donald W. Reynolds Alumni Center followed by a reception at 10:30 a.m. Subsequent announcements will be made at 4 p.m. in Rolla at Missouri University of Science and Technology, then at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday in St. Louis and 12:30 in the Student Union at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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