Forsee to take leave of absence from UM system presidency

His duties will be delegated among chancellors, vice presidents and the UM system general counsel.
UM system President Gary Forsee speaks to the Board of Curators in February 2009. The curators announced Thursday that Forsee would be taking a temporary leave of absence after his wife was diagnosed with cancer last week. Maneater File Photo

UM system President Gary Forsee will take a temporary leave of absence from his position, a news release from the university stated Thursday. The announcement came a few minutes after the UM system Board of Curators met in a special closed session.

According to the news release, Forsee's leave of absence is due to his wife's recent cancer diagnosis following emergency surgery last week.

“I appreciate the board’s understanding and support, and Sherry and I appreciate the expressions of care and concern from our many university colleagues and friends around the state,” Forsee said in the news release.

Forsee's authority will be delegated to chancellors and vice presidents during his leave of absence. He asked the board to endorse an additional delegation of power to UM system General Counsel Steve Owens, who will deal with all other matters typically handled by the president.

The special meeting was announced Thursday afternoon. According to the public meeting notice, 24 hours notice of the meeting was both impossible and impractical. As much notice as reasonably possible was given.

The curators' meeting scheduled for Dec. 9 and 10 in St. Louis will still take place as planned.

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