Loftin appoints Gary Ward as permanent operations chief

Ward hopes to address student and faculty’s facility needs.

Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin appointed Gary Ward as MU vice chancellor of operations and chief operating officer on Tuesday.

In this position, Ward will oversee several key departments at MU, such as Campus Facilities, MU Police, Parking and Transportation Services, Sustainability Office, KBIA, KOMU-TV and Environmental Health & Safety.

Ward said one of his goals is to address student and faculty needs and further their experience at MU.

“The only way we can is by having conversations with people,” Ward said.

Ward said he also hopes to improve lab safety and coordinating with MUPD.

“We try to make sure officers are on campus and in Greek Town as much as they can,” Ward said.

Ward said alcoholism among students is another issue that needs to be addressed, and encourages students to take part in the RSVP Center’s Green Dot program.

“We want our degree from MU to be a spotless degree, we want people to look at us with awe,” Ward said.

Ward’s new appointment will become effective Sept. 1. He took over the position on interim basis after Jackie Jones retired from the position in January.

While in the position as an interim, Ward implemented the Mizzou Stewardship Model, which focuses on highlighting the educational and research outcome of renovations.

“When we renovate a building, people need to understand that it is for students and faculty,” Ward said.

Tate, Switzler and Gwynn halls have been renovated through the stewardship model in the past. The renovation of Swallow Hall started in June as part of the Renew Mizzou project.

Ward said he believes he was offered the position permanently because he strives to develop relationships and be as transparent and inclusive as possible.

Ward received his bachelor’s degree in environmental design and master’s degree in business administration from the University of Oklahoma.

After his education, Ward worked for the Cavin Design Group in Oklahoma and went on to become the director of physical plant operations at Penn State University before he came to MU in 2005.

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