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Systemwide Communications - August 1, 2011

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that Missouri S&T Provost Warren K. (Kent) Wray has agreed to serve as the interim campus chancellor in Rolla effective Sept. 1, following the retirement of Chancellor Jack Carney. Kent’s breadth of experience and enthusiasm for the education of future engineers and scientists will ensure that the campus maintains its upward trajectory as one of the nation’s leading technological research universities.

While the national search for a new chancellor continues, Interim Chancellor Wray and his colleagues will focus on strengthening the campus’s e-learning initiative to reach more non-traditional students and redesigning some existing courses to better utilize technology to improve learning outcomes. He and his colleagues also will work to expand national and international recruitment and build on existing research initiatives that could ultimately better the lives of fellow Missourians in immeasurable ways.

During his five years as provost, Provost Wray has provided key support to the student recruiting team that has helped achieve tremendous growth in the student body during a particularly challenging time. He also has directed several important campus initiatives, including Missouri S&T’s strategic planning process, and the restructuring of the university’s academic and administrative organizations.  This restructuring has resulted in more collaboration and a re-energized environment for learning and research.

Prior to joining the campus, Kent served as provost and senior vice president for academic and student affairs at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. He has held teaching positions at Texas Tech University, as well as Ohio University, where he served as Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology. He received his bachelor’s degrees in physics from Washburn University and civil engineering degree from Kansas State University, a master’s degree in civil engineering facilities from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and a doctorate degree in civil engineering with a focus on geotechnical engineering from Texas A&M University.

Kent was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Air Force following graduation from Kansas State and retired from the Air Force Reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1990. He also has received national and international recognition for his research and work, and has served as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator in more than 20 geotechnical and transportation engineering research projects.

During Kent’s service as interim chancellor, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Dr. Robert Schwartz will serve as interim provost.

As always, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to our colleagues in Rolla who have been so supportive as we continue our search for a permanent chancellor.  I know you join me in wishing Dr. Wray the best as he continues to work closely with his colleagues across the campus to achieve even greater successes for Missouri S&T.


Stephen J. Owens

Interim President, University of Missouri System

Reviewed 2011-08-01.