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President of UM System named to APLU board of directors


Christian Basi

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri System officials today announced that Mun Choi, president of the UM System, has been elected to the board of directors of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The appointment places Choi alongside distinguished chancellors and presidents from public universities around the country.

As the oldest higher education institution in North America, APLU is an association of 243 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations. Through a variety of initiatives aimed at strengthening public higher education, the association works to further student success, promote research and drive economic growth. As a proud member of APLU, the UM System supports more than 70,000 students across four Missouri campuses. A recent independent report found that the System has a more than $5.4 billion impact on the state of Missouri. 

“I am honored to be chosen to help lead an association that allows public universities across the country to come together and address the most important challenges facing higher education,” Choi said. “Through collaboration, there is nothing that the collective efforts of APLU’s member institutions cannot accomplish.”

APLU’s board of directors is elected annually and provides oversight of the association’s advocacy and leadership work, which includes campaigning for the interests of public higher education at the federal level, as well as working to uphold the association’s commitments to diversity and free speech across its member institutions.

“We’re so pleased to have Mun Choi join the APLU Board of Directors,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “The Board of Directors plays a key role in shaping APLU’s work to advance the education, research, and engagement missions of public higher education. As a higher education leader and engineer, we’ll rely on his analytical ability and strategic vision. We’re looking forward to having him at the table helping to provide a national direction.” 

Choi has served as the president of the UM System since 2017. With a reputation as an energetic leader and advocate for higher education, he has cultivated important collaborative relationships with business, political and community leaders. Throughout his tenure, he has worked to drive excellence in research, inclusivity and community engagement through initiatives like the Missouri Compacts for Achieving Excellence, which is providing up to $260 million in investments from the UM System to support these goals in all four System universities.

Over a productive 25-year career in higher education, Choi has served as an assistant and associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, department head of mechanical engineering and mechanics at Drexel University, dean of engineering at the University of Connecticut (UConn), and provost and executive vice president at UConn.

“As the president of a university system with the largest land-grant institution in Missouri, it is fitting that Dr. Choi be selected to help direct an organization as committed to the merits of public universities as APLU,” said Jon Sundvold, chair of the UM Board of Curators. “Dr. Choi has brought an exciting, collaborative vision to the UM System, and I know he will do the same for APLU.”

Born in South Korea and raised in Chicago, Choi received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois (1987), and he received his master’s (1989) and Ph.D. (1992) degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University. Choi is married with three children and resides in Columbia.

Annually, APLU member campuses enroll 4.9 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff and conduct $44.9 billion in university-based research.


Reviewed 2019-11-11