Task Force Report formalizes UM System leadership role specifications

The Task Force consisted of leadership from all four campuses and the UM System as a whole.

The Board of Curators passed a document called the Task Force Report that defines the UM System’s vision, mission and guiding principles for the governance of the university system on July 19, 2018.

The vision of the system is to advance the opportunities for success and well-being for Missouri, the nation and world through transformative teaching, research, innovation, engagement and inclusion, according to the report.

“What [the Task Force] wanted to come up with were some guidelines and some structural models on the governance of the university,” MU News Bureau Director Christian Basi said. “In the past, there had been some issues with individuals who were running the university, not necessarily having a clear idea of roles and responsibilities, and we’ve had a lot of changes over the last couple years.”

According to Curator and Task Force Chairman Darryl Chatman, in the role-changing process in past years new members did not have a formal document that established all the responsibilities and obligations for their positions. The report allowed this process to become formalized.

“[The Task Force] specifically lists out board members, presidents and chancellors’ roles to provide guidelines so that everyone would know what their roles and responsibilities are,” Basi said. “When you have people come and go over time, it helps to have these guidelines laid out so that everyone who comes into those new roles has a good understanding.”

The Task Force included many administration members from each campus and of the UM System administration. UM System President Mun Choi, the Board of Curators and Chancellors were present at all meetings because this document specifically defined their roles.

The report outlines the higher-level administrative positions throughout the UM System, and there is no single person in charge to enforce these responsibilities. Instead, each of the leaders ensures the others’ are being met.

“The board has expectations, the president has expectations and the chancellors have expectations,” Chatman said. “The board can evaluate the president, the president can evaluate the chancellors. I also think it’s important for the president to evaluate the Board. We’re all upholding those guiding principles that are stated in that document.”

Although the Task Force consisted of administration members, they had received outside input. Members of the Task Force sought out feedback from faculty, staff and students. There was an open mic session during a curators’ meeting earlier this year, where people shared their thoughts on how the university campuses were being governed.

Chatman also mentioned a portal that all students, staff and faculty could use to submit criticism, ask questions and provide suggestions to improve the UM System.

The overall purpose of the Task Force Report was to create unity and harmony among all four campuses in the UM System.

“[The Task Force Report] was created to show that we are a system and we are stronger as a system as opposed to being four independent universities,” Chatman said. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and we wanted to emphasize that through this document.”

Edited by Morgan Smith | mosmith@themaneater.com

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