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Presidential Search Committee approves UM System president qualifications statement

Input, gathered from a variety of constituents statewide, to be shared with executive search firm

ROLLA, Mo. – The Presidential Search Committee today approved the qualifications statement of the next University of Missouri System president to guide recruitment efforts led by Isaacson, Miller search consultants.

“We were very pleased with the engagement of the university community when we hosted open forums on each UM System campus,” Cheryl Walker, co-chair of the search committee, said. “We feel the fruitful, candid conversations brought forth a comprehensive list of suggestions for future candidates to be sought by the search firm.”

The following qualifications were assimilated through a statewide effort to engage various constituencies and stakeholders in a series of dialogues and listening sessions related to the search:

  • Fluency in, and a passion and respect for, the culture of public higher education and the System’s unique mission;
  • An abiding interest in the development and success of students, faculty, and staff, with sincere respect and honor for their contributions;
  • A fundamental commitment to the importance of research and the pursuit of academic excellence;
  • The acumen necessary to cultivate key political, civic and business relationships essential to leading a public university system; demonstrated success in securing resources and support from public sector agencies;
  • A deft command of communications and public relations that enables the broad dissemination of the System’s vision to the broader communities it serves;
  • A multi-culturally competent individual with a demonstrated awareness and sensitivity for all people and  who will foster and create a supportive climate and internal systems to evidence the same;
  • Ability to create an enduring social compact with the citizens of the state that generates a deeper understanding of, and commitment to, the critical importance of University of Missouri System to the economic viability and success of all Missourians;
  • A tireless advocate and relationship builder, attentive to many highly varied constituents as well as the ability to appreciate  institutional memory while moving the institution forward;
  • The ability to communicate effectively across numerous audiences, with a demonstrated capacity to listen actively, engage constructively, and motivate others to action through a compelling vision he or she can articulate broadly;
  • A strong executive leadership record in a complex organization, with a demonstrated ability to develop and drive strategy, and appropriately steward resources to ensure education remains affordable;
  • Demonstrated business judgement to foster continuous performance improvement and accountability, and to guide the operational effectiveness and organizational efficiencies within an organization; and,
  • The experience and talent to assemble and empower an exceptional leadership team and to work with a committed Board of Curators.

“A university president must establish strong relationships with each constituent group during his or her tenure,” Jim Whitaker, co-chair of the search committee, said. “These recommendations, from the discussions statewide, have really laid the groundwork for expectations in the next chief to lead the university forward.”

The University of Missouri System is currently searching for its next President to move the university and the state forward by leading the four Chancellors of the University of Missouri System enterprise (University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis). This individual must be able to recognize and support the distinctive strengths of the unique campuses and statewide impact to ensure their communities prosper individually as well as align, strengthen, and sustain the system collectively.

The four campuses, state-wide extension program, and health care system of the University of Missouri System collectively form an essential part of the state’s academic and economic growth, scientific and technological advancement, entrepreneurial dynamism, and the promotion of an engaged and productive citizenry.  As a land-grant university and Missouri’s only public research and doctoral-level institution, it is the mission of the University of Missouri System to discover, disseminate, preserve, and apply knowledge.  The university promotes lifelong learning by Missouri’s citizens, fosters innovation to support economic development, and advances the health, cultural, and social interests of the people of Missouri, the nation, and the world.

Additional information on the presidential search is available online at



Reviewed 2016-04-14