COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The University of Missouri System Board of Curators held a special meeting Tuesday afternoon via Zoom and voted unanimously to combine the positions of University of Missouri Chancellor and system president.
The board has discussed the combination as a way to save the university system money during the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
The decision could save the system up to $10 million annually.
Former MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright left Columbia earlier this year after accepting a job at the University of Central Florida. Cartwright is the sixth president of the university.
UM President Mun Choi, has been acting as the interim chancellor since March 27.
“I look forward to pursuing even more ways to collaborate among our institutions and grow our shared mission of academic and research excellence that benefits our students and our communities while maximizing common resources," Choi said in statement.
In the meeting, Choi said in order for him to perform duties for both the president and chancellor position, the other chancellors will have to take on higher leadership roles.
"What I think you'll find is the chancellors are going to be much more front and center," said Julia Brncic from the board of curators.
She said they will be expected to manage issues on their campus.
The board discussed several concerns about the new system, like whether there would be favoritism toward the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. Members voiced concern about the other university campuses in Rolla, Kansas City and St. Louis becoming branches of the system.
The board created a council of chancellors to ensure the chancellors from each university have an equal voice.
"The Council will establish a campus advisory committee comprised of two
representatives from each campus to support the Board in its broad mission and to ensure campus-specific voices across broad dimensions of regional, community, donor and alumni needs are being heard," the resolution said.
The council will have 120 days to report their findings on the effectiveness of the new system.
The board also emphasized the important of the system working down the road when someone else fills Choi's position.
"And in order to do that we have to get the right process and decisioning and role clarity that you have to have in order for it to work beyond the individual," Brncic said.