Restructuring will bring about greater efficiencies and alignment with strategic goals
University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe this afternoon announced a reorganization of the UM System that will help keep pace with the changing dynamics of higher education, better serve constituencies on the four University of Missouri campuses and enhance operational efficiencies systemwide.
“As I near the end of my first year as president of the UM System, it is clear to me that higher education is changing rapidly, and as leaders of public higher education in Missouri, we, too, must embrace transformational change and adapt our structure to better meet both the opportunities—and challenges—that come with change,” Wolfe said. “We must align resources with priorities, including aligning the executive team at the system with the strategic direction of the campuses, as well as look for efficiencies to better meet our mission of teaching, research, service and economic development.”
To this end, Wolfe is realigning and consolidating several of the responsibilities of the most senior positions within system administration. He will consolidate the previously separate roles of vice presidents of Academic Affairs and Research and Economic Development into a new Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research. This person will take the lead role in working with the chief academic officers on each campus as they embrace the significant changes in student learning and educational delivery that are occurring throughout higher education, as well as work with the campus chief research and economic development officers to secure federal research dollars and promote economic development within the state.
“Our mission of research is what sets us apart from many of the other higher education institutions in the state, and our ability to conduct research throughout our system that leads to improved quality of life, enhanced revenue and job creation is one of our greatest benefits to the state and nation,” Wolfe said. “Yet, this landscape continues to change as competition for declining federal dollars that facilitate this kind of research escalates. Our university system—and ultimately the people of Missouri—will benefit from enhanced focus in this area.”
In addition, the new Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research will lead the system’s strategic planning efforts, which will guide the university’s strategies, actions and budget in the next five years and beyond, as well the institutional research, student access and success, academic program review and eLearning functions at the system. The current system leaders and staff in these units and academic affairs and economic development will report under the new Vice President of Academic Affairs and Research. A nationwide search will begin in the coming weeks.
Wolfe is also combining the system's Government Relations and Strategic Communications departments into University Relations, which will be led by Steve Knorr, currently the Vice President of Government Relations. University Relations will be responsible for strategic communications, government relations, and external affairs at the national, state and local levels.
Wolfe also announced that Vice President of Finance and Administration Nikki Krawitz will be retiring in June and the system will be focusing the position’s job duties when they conduct a search for a new vice president. This position will have primary responsibility for universitywide financial planning, including the university’s budget, management of its endowment, retirement trust funds and debt, as well as the university’s treasury, accounting, procurement, risk management and facilities planning and development functions.
“Vice President Krawitz is a highly respected and trusted resource within the university system, the state of Missouri, and nationally,” Wolfe said. “The university has benefited from her tireless advocacy for public higher education, and in particular from her leadership of our financial resources.”