UM Curators Name New President

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Board of Curators announced Timothy M. Wolfe, 53, as the 23rd system president on Tuesday. This announcement follows nearly two dozen meetings and nearly year-long search. 

Wolfe is formerly Novell's president of the Americas and a 20-year IBM executive. Wolfe graduated from Rock Bridge High School, where he was a quarterback and led the football team to a state championship. Wolfe is an MU business school alumnus. Both of Wolfe's parents are university professors. His father taught communications, and his mother is a law professor. 

"Tim Wolfe comes back to us as a successful graduate with a 30-year career in business," Board of Cutator's Chair Warren K. Erdman said. "He comes back to us now with national and international experience, but with a heart that has always stayed in Missouri....Now he wants to come home and give back to the university that prepared him for his success."

"My passion for higher education is in my DNA," Wolfe said at the annoucement. He continued, "University needs to discuss what it wants to look like in the future."

Wolfe said wants to initiate dialogue with the entire UM family.

"During the months of interviews and conversations, we have learned that our next president cares deeply about Missouri and about our university. He is highly motivated to protect its great traditions and reputation and see it to even higher levels....He listens and respects the opinions of others (and) values their knowledge. He respects the unique role of each of our campuses and understands the nature of our strong campus system....He has passion, vision, experience and humility. He can sell to others the vital importance of our university," Erdman said.  

"University of Missouri is the state's greatest asset," Wolfe said.

Former system President Gary Forsee said in a written statement, "I applaud the selection of Tim Wolfe as the next president of the University of Missouri System. As a Missourian, a graduate, and an accomplished executive, he will bring the requisite skills and passion to the role of president. He understands the critical role of public higher education and the unique role each of the four campuses of the system plays in our state. He understands the stewardship and accountability that he is being entrusted with and all Missourians should reciprocate by giving him their full support."

Wolfe said he's "ready to pull some all-nighters" to learn his new job as UM System President, and "can't wait to get started." Wolfe added some of the biggest issues facing higher education are global and economic pressures, which he said will force change.

According to Board of Curators Chairperson Warren Erdman, Wolfe will make $450,000 base salary with the option for up to $100,000 in bonuses. Wolfe will officially begin February 15.  Until then, Interim President Steve Owens will continue his position while Wolfe gets better aqauinted with the UM system.