Loftin’s Jan. 1 resignation date comes ahead of schedule

Effective immediately, R. Bowen Loftin is no longer the chancellor of MU.
This screenshot of R. Bowen Loftin's shows the change in title for the former chancellor. He announced he was stepping down Nov. 9, six hours after UM System President Tim Wolfe resigned.

Effective immediately, the UM System Board of Curators has given Interim Chancellor Hank Foley the full responsibilities of the MU Office of the Chancellor. This decision removes administrative power from R. Bowen Loftin about one and a half months premature of his Jan. 1 resignation date.

On Monday, Nov. 9, the board took a unanimous vote to approve Foley as interim chancellor of the university at the start of 2016, said John Fougere, UM System chief communications officer. Last night, Wednesday, Nov. 11, the board took another vote to accelerate that process, transferring power to Foley ahead of schedule.

While the official change was announced Thursday, it seemed clear that Foley had been acting as chancellor since Monday. In a message to students with the subject line “A Statement from MU Leadership” from the official MU chancellor email account Wednesday, three names were signed at the bottom: Foley, Provost Garnett Stokes and Chuck Henson, interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity. Loftin’s name was not listed.

Before entering the UM System, Foley spent 13 years at Pennsylvania State University. Since his arrival at MU, Foley has served two years as executive vice president of academic affairs and one year as senior vice chancellor for research and graduate studies.

“Our priorities have been to keep our campus community informed and safe, and to make sure students, faculty and staff are aware of the many resources available to them in terms of counseling, mental health services and other support,” Foley said in a news release. “I am looking forward to working with interim President Middleton and the other system chancellors to continue to forward progress at the University of Missouri.”

With the decision to accelerate the transfer of authority to Foley, Loftin can promptly start his new position as director of research facilities. Loftin has already taken to Twitter to share his support for the decision, writing that he holds “great respect for (Foley’s) vision for the university.”

Loftin has also updated his Twitter bio to reflect the change: “Former Chancellor of the University of Missouri.”

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