Gov. Jay Nixon on Wednesday appointed three new members to the University of Missouri Board of Curators. One is a former NBA player and television sports analyst.
Jon Sundvold, a Columbia Republican, played nine years in the NBA, then became a college basketball analyst for ESPN and CBS. Currently he is president of Sundvold Financial, an investment advisory firm.
Sundvold also serves as a color analyst on the SEC Network for Missouri games and is president of the Missouri Junior Golf Foundation, which recently opened a nine-hole course in Jefferson City.
Sundvold played basketball at the school from 1979 to 1983 and is a member of the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Nixon also appointed Thomas R. Voss, an independent who lives in Eureka and is the chairman of Smart Wires, a global grid optimization company.
Voss is the former chief executive of the utility company Ameren Corp. and a U.S. Air Force veteran with a degree in electrical engineering from what is now the Missouri University of Science & Technology.
The third new member is Mary E. Nelson, a St. Louis Democrat. She is general counsel and chief legal officer for the St. Louis Community College District.
Nelson is a graduate of Princeton University and is a University of Missouri School of Law alumni. She has had a diversity scholarship established in her honor there to attract and retain women and minority students.
The three new appointees can begin serving on the board immediately with full voting power but will need Missouri Senate confirmation when legislators returns to session in January.
The new curators replace three who abruptly left the nine-member board following racially charged unrest on the Columbia campus last fall.
The three gave reasons for their resignations that ranged from health to family and business responsibilities.
With only six members, the board was tasked with searching for a new president to oversee the four-campus system.
Republican lawmakers had threatened to block any attempts Nixon might make to fill those curator posts until next year. But Wednesday’s appointments fulfill Nixon’s promise to name interim appointees this spring.
In addition, Gene Patrick Graham, a vocal music education student on the Columbia campus, was appointed Wednesday by Nixon as the new student representative on the board. The student member does not have voting power on the board.
Sundvold, who has two children attending Mizzou, understands Missouri’s higher education system is in flux but said he is looking forward to beginning his new duties.
“I’m not walking in nervous that they’ve had issues,” Sundvold said. “That’s past. … The issues got much bigger than they really were, but there were issues. Those were addressed and they’re handling them and you move forward.”