KBIA is covering the announcement of MU's next chancellor live and online. Check this space regularly for updates.
University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe announced today the appointment of R. Bowen Loftin as MU's next chancellor. Loftin previously served as president of Texas A&M from 2010 to last July.
In his first remarks at Chancellor, Loftin emphasized his long time relationship with the school. He said he has known former MU Chancellor Haskell Monroe and recalled visiting MU's research reactor as a young professor in the 1970s. He emphasized MU's status as a land grant university and suggested that the MU system could increase collaboration between its four campuses. In his most substantive remark, Loftin suggested that MU might expand the hiring of professors in a "strategic" manner.
The news was leaked the night before by the Texas college sports website TexAgs. The article notes that Loftin announced his retirement in July but said he would continue to teach as as professor at A&M. He took a $850,000 buyout to do so.
An alumnus of Texas A&M since 1970, Loftin has served as president of the school since 2010 (he was interim president in 2009). Prior to that appointment, he was vice president and CEO of Texas A&M University at Galveston where he also taught in "maritime systems engineering." Notably, he was president of the campus in 2008 when Hurricane Ike caused significant destruction in the Texas Gulf Coast. Loftin oversaw evacuation of the campus and relocated 150 miles inland to the main Texas A&M campus.
Loftin is noted for leading Texas A&M through a period of increased enrollment and construction. Like MU, Texas A&M also entered the SEC last year. Wolfe emphasized Loftin's academic reputation (he has published over 100 papers) and reputation for having a strong connection with students.
Loftin is extremely active on Twitter and uses the handle @aggieprez.
Click through our interactive timeline below to learn more about Loftin's life and career:
Timeline by Scott Pham and Kate Grumke.
Finally, note Loftin's tiger bow-tie in the promotional poster MU released with the announcement: