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New President Spreads Word On UM

University Of Missouri System Advances The State

University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe, center, talks with Marty Oetting, left, and Erin Elliott, both of the UM System’s government relations department, at a Feb. 15 reception for Wolfe at University Hall.

The University of Missouri System got a new leader this year when Tim Wolfe took the reins in February.

Since then, he’s been a man on a mission trying to better acquaint Missourians with the myriad of services and benefits the UM System and its four campuses provide the state.

Most Columbians are aware of MU’s local bragging rights. It’s one of 34 public universities that belong to the prestigious Association of American Universities. It’s one of five universities in the country to have a law, medical, veterinary medicine and a nuclear research reactor on one campus. It’s the county’s top employer and provides health care, economic development opportunities and culture for area residents on top of its teaching mission.

And there are personal ties, too. At a Rotary Club meeting in Columbia this spring, Wolfe asked attendees to raise their hands if they graduated from, had a student enrolled in or were employed by the university. About half had at least one of the three connections.

But Columbians aren’t the only ones who benefit from the university, and Wolfe is making similar pitches to Rotary, Lions Club, community groups and lawmakers across the state.

Since he started the job, Wolfe has traveled some 6,070 miles in an attempt to spread the word, his spokeswoman, Jennifer Hollingshead, said. He’s been to Washington, D.C., to meet with federal leaders and has regularly met with state lawmakers in addition to the dozens of meetings he’s had with community and campus groups.

“The challenge is how to get the message out,” Wolfe told the Columbia Rotarians. “If we do more investing in higher education, we can solve significant economic problems.”

Read the rest at the Columbia Tribune >>