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University of Missouri looking to fill three dean positions

Three University of Missouri deans have announced their resignation in the past week.

Michael O’Brien, dean of College of Arts and Science, announced Tuesday he was stepping down from his position to take a job as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Texas A&M – San Antonio.

His resignation is effective July 15. O’Brien has been the dean at the College of Arts and Science since 2006 and has worked at the university since 1980.

Last week, Thomas Payne, dean of College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, announced he would be retiring in December.

Gary Myers, dean of Missouri Law School announced May 27, he would be stepping down from his position, but continue working within the law school as a professor.

His resignation came after a lawsuit involving an open records request was filed by a former state representative.

MU spokesperson Christian Basi said Myers decision to step down as dean had nothing to do with the lawsuit.

Ken Dean will take over as interim dean starting August 15.

Basi said interim positions for O’Brien and Payne haven’t been decided yet. He said the university will hold a national search to fill the dean positions. Basi said this process could take several months and the positions may not be filled by the upcoming fall semester.

He said it’s a coincidence that several departures have happened in this time frame. He adds the deans are all stepping down for various reasons.

Since 2014, seven MU deans have resigned from their positions. Patrick Delafontaine left his spot as dean of the School of Medicine in September 2015, but returned in February 2016.

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