11/13/15 6:06 p.m.


Dear CAFNR Alumni and Supporters,

I wanted to reach out to you once again as this week winds down and give you a quick summary of recent events. We have new leadership in place and for all of them, and us, this is a new day. I remain positive and will continue working to keep MU doing what has helped it become the wonderful 176- year-old institution of higher learning it is. In my view, the events of the day cannot erase the evidence of all the great things MU has done and will continue to do. I’ve heard from many of you. Thank you for your thoughts and comments. We need all of our alums and friends to help us move forward from here.

Leadership Changes

  • On Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, University of Missouri System President Wolfe resigned effective immediately, and MU Chancellor Loftin announced he was transitioning out of the chancellor’s position into a research role on campus. The UM Board of Curators announced Thursday Loftin’s transition was effective Nov. 12, 2015.
  • The University of Missouri Board of Curators named Mike Middleton as interim system president. Middleton recently retired as deputy chancellor emeritus and professor emeritus of law from Mizzou after decades of service. Hank Foley has been named interim chancellor. Foley was the MU senior vice chancellor for research and graduate studies, and executive vice president for academic affairs, research and economic development for the UM System.
  • Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel announced he will resign his position following the conclusion of the 2015 season. His decision is health-based, as he was diagnosed earlier this year with lymphoma.

Highest Priority: Ensuring the Safety of Students, Faculty and Professional Staff

  • All protests and demonstrations on campus have been peaceful; however, there were social media threats on November 10 that resulted in multiple arrests involving individuals not affiliated with the Mizzou campus.
  • Mizzou continues to operate on its regular schedule.
  • Students have been encouraged to report any hateful speech or actions to the MU Police Department, and they have been given the option to not attend class if they are concerned about safety. However, students must contact their professors/instructors in advance to let them know. Faculty have been encouraged to provide flexibility regarding the timing of tests, papers and projects during this period.
  • The MU Counseling Center is providing students with assistance 24/7.
  • MU has an emergency alert system which notifies the campus community via text and phone of any credible threat. You can follow these alerts at http://mualert.missouri.edu/ or on Twitter @MUAlert.

We Need Your Support Now More Than Ever

I recognize that some of you are pleased about the recent leadership changes while others are disappointed and frustrated. We each bring our own perspective to what has happened based on our backgrounds and life experiences, as well as our understanding of the reasons for what has transpired. For those of you who say you have lost faith in the university and will be removing your support, we ask that you not rush to judgment. We are confident that with your help and commitment, we can work together to make Mizzou the best it has ever been. We need you now more than ever.

Please feel free to contact me at cafnr@missouri.edu or 573-882-3846 if you have any questions, suggestions or concerns.


Tom Payne

Vice Chancellor and Dean

College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources