Missouri Prepares to Decide New University President

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri is on the verge of hiring a new president.

Board chairman Warren Erdman says that university curators have identified a preferred candidate and hope to announce the new hire next week after finalizing contract negotiations. The governing board of the four-campus system met Thursday and Friday in St. Louis.

The university is seeking a replacement for Gary Forsee, who stepped down as president in January to care for his wife as she battles cancer. Interim president Steve Owens has said he is not a candidate for the permanent job and will resume his duties as general counsel.

Erdman declined to discuss the background or qualifications of the confidential search's remaining finalist from a group of four candidates interviewed by the board.