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University of Missouri System appoints experienced higher education leader as chief of staff

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Christian Basi

September 22, 2014

COLUMBIA - University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe today announced the appointment of Zora Mulligan as chief of staff for the University of Missouri System.  Mulligan currently serves as executive director for the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA), a professional development and advocacy organization that represents the state’s 12 community colleges. Mulligan replaces Dr. Robert Schwartz, current interim dean of the University of Missouri – Columbia’s College of Engineering.

“Zora comes to the UM System with an extensive background in public higher education leadership, making her a perfect choice to serve as a trusted advisor to me and my leadership staff,” Wolfe said.  “She will be instrumental in helping to execute the strategic priorities and mission of the UM System, represent me and the Office of the President in a variety of settings, and coordinate various staff and office support. I am delighted to have her join our team.”

At the system level, Mulligan will play a leadership role in the university’s strategic planning process and serve as a liaison between the Office of the President and the university’s general officers and board of curators. Her appointment is effective October 20 and has a starting salary of $165,000. 

During her tenure (2010 to the present) at MCCA, Mulligan presided over a 25 percent increase in individual memberships, indicating increased buy-in from the faculty, staff, administrators and trustees the organization represents; $35 million in grants, the applications for which were developed by consortia of community colleges around the state through the leadership of MCCA; and increased appropriations from the Missouri General Assembly to support the state’s community colleges’ legislative priorities. Prior to her current position, Mulligan served as assistant commissioner and general counsel for the Missouri Department of Higher Education (2007-2010), where she helped lead the development of the state’s coordinated plan for higher education, the higher education funding model, and other key initiatives.

She also served as an assistant attorney general in the consumer protection, environmental protection and government affairs divisions of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office from 2003 through 2007.

A native of West Plains, Mulligan received her juris doctor and master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Kansas, and her bachelor’s degree from Drury College.

 

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