Staff Changes Continue for UM

1 decade 10 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, July 26 2007 Jul 26, 2007 Thursday, July 26, 2007 1:41:12 PM CDT July 26, 2007 in News

The relative quiet of the MU campus during the summer months stands in contrast to the noise caused by several recent departures of high level administrators.

Since former President Elson Floyd announced his resignation in February, at least five other positions at both the University and Columbia campus levels have become vacant. Some say the University of Missouri could be in trouble, others say it might be just fine.

"It means that we're struggling," Faculty Council Chairman Rex Campbell said. "We're not really competitive in terms of salaries and other support, all the way from junior faculty up through administrators."

One administrator planning to leave said it's only natural.

"I've worked with five different presidents, I've worked with 12 different chancellors, fifty percent of our faculty have turned over since I've been here," Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Steve Lehmkuhle said. "Change is part of higher education."

For Missouri, change is happening fast.

As the board of curators searches for a new President to replace Elson Floyd, they must also look for two new vice presidents - one to replace John Gardner, who will join Floyd at Washington State, and one to replace Steve Lehmkuhle, who made the announcement on Tuesday that he would be leaving.

Campbell said he feels some are leaving because of a lack of resources.

University system representatives said there's nothing to worry about.

"It's part of life at higher education institutions that we're very adaptive, and things change," University Communications Director Scott Charton said.

"I don't think we're reaching an end," Campbell said. "I think that this will continue until we get into a more competitive basis."

Only time will tell whether this small exodus will grow any larger.

For now, the university is pleased with the way interim officers and substitutes are performing their duties.

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