Public Speaks On President Search
University Curators held a public forum to help find Elson Floyd's replacement. Opinions on which qualities would make the best UM president vary from person to person. Faculty and community leaders showed up to speak, but mostly those who came were alumni or relatives of current or past students.
Jenice Prather-Kinsey is the mother of a recent graduate. But even with him out of school she's concerned for other students.
"I think it's important that these students have role models that they know that there is a possibility that some day I can be a professor at a university, there's a possibility that I can be a Chancellor or a Dean or a President," Kinsey said. "But, if they never see that, then they have no hope or no drive to ever believe that that's a possibility."
Other parents also wanted their voices heard.
"Well, I'm concerned about my daughters in general, but I'm concerned about all the other parents who couldn't be here today who are equally as concerned about their sons and daughters making sure they get a good high-quality education at the most affordable price too," father Frankie Minor said.
Some people asked that the new president have university ties, while others hope for someone with global appeal to bring in international students as well. Minor also said he'd like the new leader to be an educator, not a politician.
"This is a high-quality institution and we just had a high-quality president, but I wanted to make sure that they heard from at least me where my priorities were," Minor said.
The search commitee's tour across the state continues Tuesday when it will make its final two stops in Rolla and Springfield. The leaders of the committe didn't want to set an exact date for naming a new president. But, an interim president will be announced by April 6, and will serve until there is a permanent replacement.
The University of Missouri welcomed Elson Floyd in Nov. 2002. Four years and one month later, Floyd announced he was leaving Missouri for a position at Washington State University. At the beginning of March, University Curators started a tour of the state to get public input on the search for a new president. Floyd leaves the university in two months.