Mizzou has a new chancellor. And he’s an Aggie. R. Bowen Loftin, outgoing president of Texas A&M University, will fill the seat in Jesse Hall left vacant since Brady Deaton’s Nov. 15 retirement. He starts Feb. 1, 2014.
An alumnus of Texas A&M, Loftin became president of his alma mater in 2010, after serving eight months as interim president and four years as vice president and CEO of Texas A&M’s Galveston campus. Loftin announced in July that would leave his position as president in January 2014.
He might expect a smooth transition. Like Mizzou, Texas A&M is a large, public land-grant research institution. It’s a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. It’s even a fellow Southeastern Conference newbie; Texas A&M joined the SEC with Mizzou in 2012.
Under Loftin’s leadership, Texas A&M has acquired a law school, reached $700 million in annual research expenditures and set records in enrollment (56,255 students) and capital-campaign gifts ($740 million in FY 2013).
The social media star
The bowtie-clad, mustachioed administrator is beloved by students. He lunches with them in dining halls and helps them move into the residence halls. He cheers alongside them at pep rallies and sits in on band practices.
He tweets. He uses Facebook. His Internet presence is peppered with pics of admirers’ babies and pets in Loftinian maroon bowties, as well as the smiling president posing with students and colleagues in “Gig ’em!” stance — an Aggie thumbs-up hand signal soon to be replaced with a hearty “M-I-Z!”
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